Meal Planning and Eating Better

Growing up, I have no clue if my mom planned out our meals or if she just winged it. I just ate whatever was in front of me. And it was always a well balanced meal. Then in college, bad habits started. I snacked. A lot. Like, almost all the time, often skipping real meals to instead chow down on Cheetos. If I did eat real food, it was likely microwaved mac and cheese or cold cereal, with or without milk.

When I visited my cousin’s family throughout college (they were the closest family members to me there), Keisha would often have written out meals for the week. I didn’t think much about it besides “neat” at the the time.

Then I started getting older and could no longer use the college excuse for eating poorly. But I still did anyway. I ate slightly better when I got my first apartment, cooking maybe one real meal a week … like with veggies and stuff! I enjoyed cooking, but I was suffering from laziness and making excuses. I ate terribly for a long time, and it never really bothered me.

When I became engaged, my senses sort of became heightened. I was more aware of my choices in many aspects of my life. One of the things I vowed to do was cook more, dine and take out less, (for financial reasons too) and be healthier. Not that I need to lose weight, because I was blessed with a pretty good metabolism, but just for overall good health.

I recalled Keisha’s weekly meal plans and went out to buy a weekly meal list planner that sticks to our fridge and set out to do the same. So far, I’ve actually been sticking to it, and it’s one of the best things I’ve done. I’m saving money on groceries because my purchases are thought out and based on the food I actually plan to use (rather than buying junk food just because, and throwing half of it away too), and it’s making us eat better, more balanced meals with leftovers for the next day.

I was too embarassed of the fridge clutter to take a picture of the magentic planner, but here’s a post-it instead of our meal plan for this week. 2013-12-17_12.01.29

The chowder I made on Sunday was SO GOOD. Thank God for Pinterest. I use it all the time to find recipes. Here’s how it turned out:

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I’m couponing more too and using money-saving apps like Shopkick and Cartwheel, which is such a great addition to the new me, a wife. At the store, I had coupons for buy one get one free bags of meatballs and packages of chicken thighs, so I saved like $15 just one those things, and will incorporate them into our meals this week. I love this feeling.

I also tried quinoa for the first time a bit ago, and it was so good. So, I’m being brave and trying my own first attempt and making it into some chili. Wish me luck!

In addition to my meal planning, I’ve been more aware of my snacking too. It’s easier to make better choices now that I work for a health food and vitamin company, so I found some snacks that are really yummy and good for me. Win win! Here’s my new favorite item:

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I also have some dried mango slices that are incredibly tasty. I even got myself some supplements to round out my diet:

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Anyone who knows me probably thinks I’ve gone crazy or got abducted by aliens because I’ve been so unhealthy for so long. But now I have more motivation because I have a husband, and maybe some day, will have kids, so I have to learn better habits and make better choices. Another reason is I thought that healthy things tasted bad or were hard work. Seriously, they don’t and it’s not. Who knew!

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11 thoughts on “Meal Planning and Eating Better

  1. Pingback: 2013: What a Year! | Notes from a Newlywed

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