This morning is all about backup plans and how important they are. The holiday weekend was great – bike rides, swimming, picnic and my first yoga class. I did have to work a few hours because we’ve got a software release coming up, but I live close to work and it wasn’t a big deal – going in now, as a matter of fact, even though it is a holiday. I’ll take my break on the 15th when the boys and I go up to Vermont/New York and spend a few days on Lake Champlain with my friend Meredith and her family.
But because this weekend was a holiday weekend, I didn’t stick to my usual rut, I mean routine! Not a lot of cooking because we just weren’t home that much. So I don’t have a menu plan for this week and there are no leftovers for my lunch at work. Plus, I haven’t packed up my vitamins for the week. Here’s where the backup plan comes in!
We save all our menu plans and shopping lists on our family Wiki page. So I can open up a few and copy/paste some selections and voila! A menu plan in about five minutes, complete with shopping list for the items we need. I have backup vitamins at work and will pack up the week’s supply tonight when I have more time.
For lunch, instead of leftovers, I have frozen soup, stew and other weight loss surgery friendly meals stored in the freezer in 1/2 cup portions. I can grab one of those for my lunch for today and throw it into the bag with my protein powder and still race out the door in the next 30 minutes. To do this yourself, you don’t have to cook a special meal that you freeze, just start carving out a cup or half cup of your leftovers – whatever your portions sizes are – for each person who may need a backup meal. Label it and put it in the freezer. They keep for months as long as they are sealed well. For a backup family meal, just cook double of one of your family favorites that freeze well – like roast chicken, pot roast, spaghetti sauce or meatballs. While the water boils for pasta, you can defrost sauce or meatballs and have the whole thing on the table in 30 minutes or less. Or defrost the chicken and some whole wheat tortillas while you chop up lettuce and tomatoes for some fast tortillas. This is perfect for those nights when you get home and you thought it was his turn to cook and he thought it was your turn to cook.
What do you want to order from take out is just not a healthy option most of the time. I feel so guilty sometimes about how much fast food and prepared food my family ate in the last 6 years. When I was doing the stay-at-home Mom thing, I learned to cook. It wasn’t always healthy cooking (Loved Paula Dean recipes which always seem to start with one stick of butter!) Once I went back to work after my son was born, I really cut back on cooking and started to rely on prepared foods, takeout and delivery menus that piled up by the phone. I thought I was being super organized and efficient, but I was feeding my family crap. I gained weight. My husband gained weight. Even my eight year old gained weight. As I watch it come off now, I’m so grateful that my husband has decided to be the stay at home Dad and has learned to cook and cook HEALTHY! We save so much money, it really makes up for the lost income. Plus our quality of life is improved because we eat together. We sit down at a table and we talk and catch up on our day and that is the best part of all. A meal isn’t just about what we eat. It is about how we eat it and I’m so grateful I get to eat mine with the two best boys in the whole world. I love you guys.