Do you remember that book by Helen Fielding? Bridget Jones’s Diary? They made a movie of it too but the only thing I can remember about that is how cute Colin and Hugh were and wondering throughout the whole thing, couldn’t they have found a cute British actress for this role?
Anyway, Renee Zellweger aside, in the book Bridget starts each chapter with a count of calories and cigarettes and other funny “sins” she is tracking.
I feel like Bridget today because I could just bullet point what I got done and what I am grateful for, and then pepper those bullet points with how many snacks I thought of sneaking.
Actually, the snacks and overall food choices weren’t so bad. They were just under a microscope of irony because I spent a good portion of the day organizing healthy-eating/all natural recipes into weekly plans so that I can plan grocery lists around them.
Here is what I did: Being totally inspired by this book, which lists recipes for dinner every night of the year, I decided to make my own “meal plan”. Yes, I could have just bought Robin’s incredible book, but remember the overhaul involves smart financial decisions so I tried to replicate it for free, as it will soon become clear to you that I have spent far too much money on cookbooks already.
I got down all the cook books I have that I actually unpacked when we got to NJ. This means that I actually use them from time to time. The others that are still in boxes will be taken, in said boxes, to donate somewhere. If I haven’t missed them in a year (I haven’t missed them so much that I can’t even tell you the titles) then I don’t need them. That is the beauty of moving-the regular purging of life’s clutter. Sorry, I digress.
I took my cookbooks and a stack of 5×7 index cards and cut and pasted recipes from the books onto the cards. Out of four books I ended up with about 30 recipes. I would say I was more than wasting shelf space with those books if all that even interested me were 30 total recipes. Now I know, cutting books almost killed me too. And of course I fancied the idea that someday I would browse these books and hold glorious dinner parties with their contents. But, c’mon this overhaul is about action and dreaming about maybe someday doing doesn’t sound very active. Right? So I chopped and I taped and now I have a stack of menus that will take me weeks to work through. Check it off the list and don’t think about it again. Just read, list, shop, cook and repeat. Walla-no more chips and dip for dinner!
Unfortunately the organizing took longer than I expected so no groceries were actually purchased today. Thus, my children had buttered noodles and peas for dinner and I tried very hard to find snacks that didn’t involve left over chips and dip from New Year’s Eve.
The good news is I am that much closer to healthy eating made simple and day one of diligently using a a planner was fantastic. This is the last of the items on the to-do list. Check.
At day’s end I am grateful for the food that nourishes me and the heat that warms me. On a day where the weathermen told me that any exposed skin could suffer frost-bite in 10 minutes, I am so, so grateful that we can provide a roof for us all to sleep under and oil to warm us while we sleep. There are many who can’t provide and do not have those things. Too many. And it is the least I can do to be grateful and not take for granted that I am not among them tonight.
P.S. Looking for more parenting guidance and tips for self-care? Check out From Chaos to Calm a guided training to help you feel better in this tough season.