For years I have said "I need to be a better meal planner." For years I have said, "I should cook healthier meals." For months I have said, "I need to be spending more time in the kitchen, period."
Well, my husband has embarked on a weight loss journey, and I am finally making those changes in the kitchen. I have a shelf full of diabetes cook books, knowing I should cook healthier to help prevent my husband from developing diabetes. (It runs in his family and his Dad died from complications of type 2 diabetes.) Now I'm pulling them off the shelf and looking for healthy recipes ... that hopefully the kids will all eat.
We're using more fresh vegetables, and I'm having to figure out how best to serve them to my family. We're experimenting. Which ones will they eat raw, and which ones do I need to cook? What is the healthiest recipe that my kids will actually eat with broccoli in it?
One of my daughters has been on her own journey to better health over the past 8 months. She helps me look for recipes, track fat and calories in the meals, etc. But I am also learning to fill my husband's plate, and my own, with more veggies and less of the meat or starches.
But I realized the other day that I'm doing a better job of meal planning. I can't wait until the last minute and throw together something fast ... and usually unhealthy. I also have to think in terms of using the fresh veggies before they spoil, so I'm thinking ahead with those, as well. I don't have a chart on my fridge. I still might not know what I'm going to cook until noon, but I'm thinking further ahead than I had been ... on a regular basis. And of course, I'm finding myself in the kitchen longer each day. Taking more time with the meal planning, being more involved in the meal clean-up, packing my husband a healthy lunch, refilling the coffee pot for the morning, etc.
As part of his weight loss plan, my husband decided to stop eating out for lunch. He's taking leftovers from suppers with him to work. Of course, that also keeps me thinking and planning since I need to have an idea of what I can send him, and plan for leftovers.
It's a good change, for everyone. Maybe I'll even lose weight from the changes we're making ...