My experience with meal planning (& eating disorder recovery)

Hello beautiful one, I hope you are having a great start to the week! (and that there is loads of coffee in your vicinity if you're not...)

Today I want to share my personal experience with ordering groceries online and, more importantly, meal planning. It is something that I avoided at all cost for years, but have quickly fallen in love with over the past month. What I though would make my eating disorder worse, has actually helped tremendously! 

1. NO NEED TO THINK (stress) ABOUT WHAT TO EAT TONIGHT

Let me start off by saying that my mum is super-mum and lady-of-the-house all in one. Growing up as a kid I could jump on the sofas (they were old), play with food and paint on the windows. It was great.

When it came to food my mum told stories about a childhood friend of hers who could tell what day of the week it was by looking in the pan around 5pm (dinner time used to be weirdly early in the Netherlands). Another friend's mother kept a journal of what they had eaten for the past four years. 

We did none of those things because PLANNING IS FOR BORING PEOPLE AND YOLO.

Her famous exclamation was 'oh I think we still have a little bit of this and ahhh... yes.' She basically just winged it all the time and then magically produced something great at dinner time. 

Despite watching up-close, sitting on the kitchen counter next to her to prepare dinner for my toy Simba & Nala with food waste and our spice rack (they really liked pepper), I am nothing like my mother. Last week's one-pot-pasta (aka The Worst Dish I Have Ever Made) attests to that. 

Anyhow, getting to the point! All this anti-domestic non-planning was all fun and games until I moved out of the house, my eating disorder took over and I became obsessed with food.

'What are we eating tonight?' all of a sudden became the thing I thought of more than anything else.

(sometimes I’d desperately call my mum from the supermarket for some inspiration, because I was on the verge of panic!)

During my seven year struggle to not think about food all the time, I believed that victory was a day where I didn't think about dinner all day long and got hit by inspiration in the supermarket. This never happened. but giving more thought to food at one point during the week didn't even cross my mind... I was trying to think about food less, not more! 

But I was constantly anxious, because WHAT ARE WE EATING TONIGHT?! 

My mum may have seemed the most anti-domestic person you'll ever meet, but in reality she had (and still has, hi mama) her shit in order. I clearly did not. A lot of plain and uninspired meals were eaten. Pizza too. 

A month ago I picked out five recipes and put all the ingredients + stuff for breakfast in my virtual Morrisons trolly. Three days later everything was delivered to our doorstep. Easy peasy. 

Not carrying groceries home was already bliss, and then... my mind went quiet: I knew what we were eating tonight. And tomorrow night. And the day after that too. 

Boring? Not really, because...

2. new recipes are fun


Get all the ingredients for a dish you have never made before! When the day of making it arrives all you have to do is print out the recipe and get in the kitchen. To me, trying something new on a Tuesday night after work always felt like way too much of an effort. Somehow, when I already have all the ingredients and know what I'm making it doesn't feel like a hassle at all.

And you can now make one of those dishes that need preparing. Soak beans overnight? Check. Drying out tofu? Letting dough rise for at least eight hours? Check. Check.

3. saving all the dollar

Fancy slashing the money you spend on food in half? Yes, I said HALF oiii.

When I’m in the supermarket I usually get some bits & bobs at random. If I'm lucky I end up with enough ingredients to make a meal. Brownie points for spontaneity, but not very cost efficient. (Means no longer enough money to buy the brownies...!)

Ordering everything online from a list leaves no room for distractions. No grabbing some cookies or fancy bread or a bottle of wine just because it's Wednesday. Plus, being able to see how everything adds up together means you will notice right away if you've picked a recipe that is too expensive and you can swap it for something else. I don't know about you, but I hate it when I think I have a budget meal and find out at checkout (aka too late) that it isn't. 

unrelated gratitude

Today I am grateful for spring that is on its way. For the first time in my life I might actually be looking forward to summer time! The days in London are just so awfully short in winter ❤ i am in love with the perfect bread I made the other day, and excited for the moment I will manage to make the perfect low fat (beetroot) hummus ❤ I love tahini (how did I live without this for 24 years?) ❤ I am grateful for two weeks without any morning shifts. I haven't felt this well-rested in weeks ❤ I am looking forward to going home next weekend and seeing friends. November was too long ago ❤ I am also super excited for trying out Classpass and getting into a workout routine again ❤ finding cheap books at charity stores & reading more ❤ Casey Neistat's vlogs make me happy. Do more! Do more! ❤ Every day I am happy to be in love... ❤

The Brave exchange podcast & why you should listen to it

I am not a seasoned podcast listener. I quite enjoyed Serial, but it took me 1.5yrs to get through the first season. 

I get distracted easily, 'kay? 

About two weeks ago I was giving Kayla Itsines' BBG another go (I hate it and have since vowed to never try again), meaning I had to go outside to do LISS. For some unknown reason I decided to listen to a podcast during my walk/run. 

The sun was out and it was the first day of 2016 that was more spring than winter (don't you just love that day!?). The perfect time for a love story to commence... 

HONEST CHAT WITH CHANGE INSTIGATORS AND COMPELLING CREATORS
breaking the cycle of convention and redefining success one brave mission at a time.
Each episode pulls back the curtain on success to reveal what it really takes to create an extraordinary and heart-centred existence.
TUNE IN FOR LESSONS ON HOW TO INSTIGATE AND LEAD A MOVEMENT THAT MATTERS
How to grow and escalate your life after failure; and how to inject more meaning, connection and resilience into your life and business.

Two weeks later I am listening to Lucy Bourchier and her guests during commutes, while I do my cooking and on every single walk around town. I dread the day I finish the last episode. 

your people are out there

Before stepping outside I recall briefly listening to the first episode with Dr. Laurence Tham. It was interesting, but not interesting enough for me to finish the episode (told you I have the distraction span of a puppy). 

However, Lucy & LT did mention one thing that stuck: when listening to a podcast, you feel like you really get to know & connect with the speakers.

This being the first episode I listened to I was like 'sure whatever.' Two weeks later I want to frantically nod my head and scream 'Hell Yes!' 

If you live in a large & crowded town like me, chances are making new friends is not the easiest: everyone is busy and broke and tired constantly. Plus, there are so many people out there, how do you find the ones you click with? 

Hearing Lucy talk to all those women who are passionate about all the things I am passionate about has made me super aware that my people are out there. I trust again. And even though I haven't found a bunch of spiritually aware vegans in London just yet, believing that they are out there makes me feel so much better. 

Are you feeling lost or stuck? 

In that case go and give The Brave Exchange a listen. Do it! Have a read through the titles, pick one that speaks to you and I'm sure that after an hour you will buzz with creative inspiration again and have the faith in your own glorious potential restored! 

my favourite episodes (so far!)

By now I have an iPhone full of notes & thoughts that were inspired by The Brave Exchange, but these four episodes stuck with me most. The best thing? Almost all of these ladies have an online presence of their own, so there is no reason to be sad after the their episode with Lucy finishes.  (ps. I am listening to the podcast in a completely random order, so there are many episodes in between 4 and 22 that I haven't heard yet and that are most likely equally awesome)

#4 with CLAIRE BAKER - This was the first full episode I listened to and I can only say that I love Claire. She is a coach & mentor to upcoming coaches, and she's given me heaps of ideas about how to set myself up for coaching when the time comes. She also talks about feeling good and doing your own thing... all in all she's just a total babe! Thank god she runs her own blog, This is Lifeblood, so after listening to the episode you can just head straight over and soak up more positivity. 

#21 with KATIE DALEBOUTwomen that talk about wellness, body image, love & passion. What's not to love? Katie is recovered from an eating disorder and her story feels very similar to mine. She fell for the health food movement even though she wasn't particularly unhealthy, and from there everything spiralled for her. In the episode Lucy & Katie really get into the issue of body image which I found super interesting. Katie is in the process of releasing her first book: Let It Go. The book is on the transformative powers of one of my favourite things: journaling. Needless to say I will definitely be getting myself a copy once it hits stores. 

#22 with DR EZZIE SPENCERI already touched upon feminine power and yin/yang energy in my previous blog, but really you should listen to the whole episode. If you regularly feel out of touch with what's going on with you it might just hit home for you the way it did for me.

#2 with JESS LIVELYWrite out a conversation between your Ego & your Intuition. MAGICAL. I am a big big believer in doing what feels good, and I urge everyone I speak to to listen to their gut. Think about it, when was the last time -barring multiple choice test haha- you went with the voice of truth deep inside of you and regretted the decision? Jess teaches this to people all over the world and her devotion to Intuition is truly inspirational! 

Perfectionism is the death of creativity (and I'm writing 30 posts in 30 days)

Soooo... starting here has been kind of slow I guess. 

You know what the problem is? My mind. It wants me to do everything perfect all the time. I have a huge list of all the things I want to write about and more topics are being added to that list daily.  But whenever I get to the part where I actually have to write anything... nothing happens. 

I get stuck.

I want to get everything exactly right (without even knowing what exactly right is!), so I end up editing every sentence before I even finishing writing it. Let me tell you, that process will get you absolutely nowhere. 

Today I decided things need to change. I want to be writing again. I have learned & discovered so many things and I want to share!

So, to borrow the words of John Green (and he has written whole books so he knows): I am hereby giving myself permission to suck. 

Because how will I ever find out what not-sucking is, if I never even try? 

And because I am an all-or-nothing kinda gal all the way, I am going to jump into this sucking thing head-first. 

For the next 30 days I will publish a blog every single day. 

I will try to create content that is more than just a funny picture of a cat, but no promises okay?

*picture source