Meal Planning and the Art of Eating: Update

I've been wildly on and off with my resolution to create healthful, simple, beautiful, and regular meals.  My husband has somewhat to do with that, what with his sudden voracious presence in the house (we went through food three times as fast I as normal with just me and Squirt here) and with his love for sugary drinks and alcohol.

Above: fettuccine with pesto, grape tomatoes, and olive oil
Below: spicy brown mustard and honey vary the palette for homemade egg rolls

I tend to overdo it when I slip up; let go entirely and just drown myself in junk food.  It's important for me to be able to count each new day as its own little existence, so as not to get discouraged.  Sometimes, it's just not practical for me to cook.

When I do make meals with purpose, I find greater joy in the eating and throughout the rest of the day, even when they're not famously healthful.  The European habit of shopping every couple of days has done more to make over my food attitude than anything else so far.  When I go to the store, I take pleasure in picking out fresh, deliberate ingredients for dishes that I can look forward to cooking in the next few days.  Only buying things for meals I intend to make and a few wholesome snacks means less waste and less gluttony.  I know exactly what I have in the cupboard or the refrigerator and am not overwhelmed by an excess of edibles that tempt me into grazing.  I'm also trying to make smaller amounts of food at one time so that I eat less and have scraps left over for thrifty meals when supplies get low.

Bonus to frequent shopping: it's nice to get out with the stir-crazy toddler, to have a built-in activity several times a weak in order to channel some of that typhoid energy and ineffable curiosity.

Shopping every couple of days may not be a practical solution for you; it depends on how far away you are from areas of human population and if you grow and store your own food.  But I'm really, really pleased with how it's going for us so far.

That said, I'm always alert for simple meals with five ingredients or less (not counting oil and spices--unless it's something like fresh cilantro, that needs washing and chopping, then I count it as an extra ingredient).  I love sauteing things in a pan with oil: meat, veggies, eggs, and even pasta.  What kind of quickie meals do you throw together that are relatively cheap and nutritious?



  1. I lived in Canada for 15 years, 7 of them in Ottawa and I loved very much going to the grocery store every few days and getting fresh food. It's a real joy. It's hard to always cook well but worth it.

    1. I'm glad your experience mirrored mine! What do you do now for food and meal planning?


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