I think in order to be successful you need to plan well. I don’t generally have a specific day that I plan the menus, usually it’s after Thursday (the day we get our sales) and before we run out of food. Since I’m buying local organic meat, I need to do all my planning on Friday because the market is only opened on Saturday. I could just go to the stores that sell the meat for the farmers, but I’d rather get all my questions answered by the farmers directly. I also like the atmosphere at the market. People going in early to sell goods, and other coming in hungry looking for something delicious to eat.
I was 18 when I first heard about farmer’s markets. I was a college student in Woodstock at the time, and the market mostly consisted of elderly women selling same hand mittens… Then when we moved to Fredericton, my husband and I had an apartment right behind the farmer’s market. Every Saturday morning, it smelled like samosas, and fresh bread when we opened the window. When we had a bit of extra money lying around, we’d go buy a dozen samosas and look at all the meat and cheeses on display. Those were the days!
Now that I live in Moncton, I have the option between two markets on Saturdays, and an extra one in Shediac during the summer. They all have their advantages, good foods and varieties of products on display. I find the idea of being able to access such a wonderful network of local producers a great advantage in doing the Whole30 program. I think if I was living in my hometown, being able to find fresh, organic produce would be a lot more challenging. I’d probably have to drive 45-60 minutes to an actual beef farm to get what I want. There would be a lot more planning and hunting (in the non literal sense) to do to get what I need. Luckily, Moncton has several natural food stores, organic farmers and of course Farmers Markets. It’s still far from perfect (try finding Ghee!!) but it’s easier to plan around what I have available.
This morning, I looked at the flyers to see what was on special and then made next week’s menu accordingly. I like to use the OurGroceries app to write out my list. I use the webpage to insert everything, and have the app on my blackberry to cross off when I get to the store. It’s super convenient and I always have my list with me in case I stop in to the grocery store. I have different lists for different stores for example: Bulk Barn, Groceries, Home Depot, Market… I don’t go to home depot regularly, but I learned that my husband always buys the wrong filter for our furnace, so I saved the size in that category, in case he has the urge to buy more!
Planning our meals in advance also helps me reduce our grocery bill. I’m less likely to buy something that’s not on my list. I do the groceries once a week and if I forget something, that’s just kind of too bad, I’m not going back. My mom doesn’t do meal planning, and she gets rather frustrated with what to make for supper every night. I can honestly say, that’s never been a problem here!
My planning skills also prevent me from buying food at the cafeteria where I work. I make sure my lunch is made, in the lunchbox, in the fridge before I go to bed at night. As a kid I would set out all my clothes for the next day before I went to bed, and I occasionally still do (even though I wear scrubs and need zero serious planning about what to wear to work.)
Sweet mother of River Song, that was a long planning rant so here’s what I ate today:
This omelet didn’t know what was coming… I’m really not great at making omelets. Also I tend to smoke up the kitchen. My dogs have grown fearful of me walking by the stove for fear I might set off the fire alarm. I’ve never actually burnt anything though…
This morning’s omelet consisted of olives, bacon, chicken, and mushroom.
I had left over Chicken Divan from last night. I didn’t think it was going to be enough food so I heated up a bowl of beef stew, but I didn’t end up eating it.
Sweet Tardis of Gallifrey, that was such a great supper! It was supposed to be a celebration meal, but my husband got caught up at work, so I shared it with little Z. As per usual, I was missing some key ingredients, which is starting to irritate me, I wish I had everything I need to make my recipes. Tonight I was short on Coriander (substituted with Cumin), Shallots and Whole30 appropriate Dijon (used mustard powder instead). About the Dijon though, I seriously considered using it anyways. I had an inner conflict moment, eventually I convinced myself that by cheating on Day 7, I wasn’t going to accomplish anything, and the only one I was cheating was myself.
I wish I could of had my BBQ out today, but the wind probably would have blown it away. I cooked my steaks on Broil and there was definitely some smoke in the house. The fire alarm went off 3 times, and my dogs will never forgive me for that. The steaks were perfectly cooked, but since I don’t have a vent for my oven, I have to open up windows and turn on fans. Someday I’ll have a real kitchen! Anyways, about the dogs: I almost had to carry my 65lbs Husky mix into the house, she was terrified. I spent a good 20 minutes outside freezing my butt off trying to coax the bloody Dalek into coming in. It wasn’t until my husband got home at 7 that she came in.
So there it is, my first week completed! I feel great, but no noticeable changes just yet. I haven’t felt the need to have a mid afternoon meal, I rarely snack (handful of Cashews or Macadamia sometimes), and I don’t feel guilty about seconds once in a while. I’m looking forward to my upcoming meals, and kitchen adventures!