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... ❤