I’ve made some major changes to my diet since Gray has been born and it’s taken quite a bit of adjusting on many fronts.
In a nutshell, I’ve cut all dairy, gluten (this is a cheat sometimes…), and anything spicy along with the odd vegetable like broccoli and cauliflower. It’s been a rough transition to say the least. People who know me know that cheese was probably about a third of my diet. Maybe not quite a third, but I loved it on EVERYTHING. So cutting that out really limited my go-tos. I survived on salads for a while but let’s be honest, when you’re breastfeeding a fast growing newborn and on your feet 6 hours a day bouncing him because he refuses any other comfort, lettuce just isn’t going to do it for you after a while. I don’t care how much kale and chard you add. You need some real sustenance.
Another challenge with Gray has been having time to cook. David took over that task midway through my pregnancy since I felt my worst in the evenings. Now, Gray takes up most of my time from 5-7 with baths, feeding and “sshhing” to sleep so while I feed him and get him down, David is typically in the kitchen getting things ready for us to eat once Gray finally falls asleep. While it’s been a really big help to have David taking care of dinner, I have missed being in the kitchen. It’s strange how the mundane tasks can seem like refreshing breaks once a small child has entered the house.
Since my diet has changed so drastically, I’ve been on the hunt for some new recipes to try. Before the pregnancy, I was pretty focused on meal planning. It’s really the best way for us to save money when it comes to groceries and give us some structure when it comes to the question of “What do you want to eat tonight?”
I have a pile of cookbooks that have survived all my purges from moving and living a more minimalist lifestyle, but that have been stowed away at the back of a cabinet waiting to be used. I think with Pinterest so handy, it’s easy to just hop on and pick a few recipes that I can screenshot and bring to the grocery store all in one step. Which, don’t get me wrong, I love the convenience of the Internet, but there’s something to be said of sitting down with a large glass of wine, pen and paper and a beautifully curated book full of not only delicious recipes but also inspiring photos. That’s the combination that brought me some relief the other night.
Like I said, Gray has been taking up most of my evenings and by the time he’s down, I’m typically so tired from the day that I lounge on the sofa for about an hour before hopping into bed to get as many winks sleep as I can before he wakes for his middle of the night feeding. Last week we had a slight miracle situation where he ate and fell asleep before 7:00 leaving Momma with a little extra time for herself.
I went through the books, marked favorite recipes with ingredients that are safe for Momma and Gray’s tummy and began a grocery list. I realized the importance of these rare slow, quiet moments as I jotted down lists of vegetables and fruits. The moment wasn’t anything special but it was vital and necessary.
A huge part of living a simple life comes down to enjoying the ordinary moments in life. Whether that means surrounding yourself with beautiful utilitarian tools, filling your home with comforting decor or finding inspiration through the meals you’re cooking for your family, there is beauty to be found in each moment.
I’d encourage all of you no matter what stage of life you’re in to take time to slow down and savor some of the ordinary. Whether your hands are constantly full with a fussy newborn or your schedule is completely wide open, those moments are valuable and precious. So don’t take them for granted.
I’ll leave you with some of my tips for meal planning that will help keep you organized throughout the process.
- Search for recipes that use similar ingredients. This will cut down on your grocery bill and unnecessary food waste.
- Check your weekly schedule to see what’s going on for the week. If you have Monday free and Tuesday requires a quick, early meal, save yourself the energy and double up your recipe for Monday’s meal leaving quick leftovers for Tuesday.
- Pick recipes that have ingredients that are in season. You’ll get the freshest foods this way and they will typically be cheaper since they are being sourced locally.
- Include your calendar in the planning process. Write down your plans for each evening’s meal that way you know what to expect when the time comes and you aren’t scrambling to figure out what you’re doing.
- Organize your grocery list by what store you need to visit. David and I frequent several in our area since they all vary in price. So we may pick up vegetables at one and meat from another. Keep that in mind and separate your list by shop so there’s less chance of you missing an item by scrolling past it on on big list.
Until next time!