Saturday, June 07, 2014


I've had a battle with meal planning all of my adult life.  It is something I have mentioned several times on this blog.  It's not changing.  I recently decided that I must be brain damaged because I really do have the hardest time with the planning and after something like 25 years of trying to change the behavior, one must wake up at some point and admit to brain damage.

I like cooking and I like eating.  But the actual decision-making that comes before the cooking? My brain freezes up.  The reason this is an issue is because if I can not think of something to eat I will either go get fast food, or I just will not eat at all because it's not worth the trouble.

Here is a story from ~2002.  It was December.  I was to spend Christmas in Texas and then maybe 2 days after my return I was to spend a few days in Vegas.  I avoided grocery shopping prior to my trips, because in addition to my usual avoidance of grocery shopping I also didn't want food sitting in my fridge while I was gone.  So following TX, I returned to a relatively empty fridge, and then I basically didn't eat again until I got to Vegas.  I mean I know I ate something but it was probably Cheerios.  I remember all this quite vividly and the reason I remember it because the second my plane landed in Vegas I went to my hotel and then straight to the restaurant and ordered a big plate of food and was awaiting the delivery of said food with great anticipation, when my friend arrived at my table and said there was an emergency and I would need to cancel my order.  And here I am stuttering, "but, but, I HAVEN'T EATEN SINCE TEXAS!"

I do feed my kids.  Sometimes 3 times a day.

But I've tried so many meal planning services and grocery list services and there hasn't been a whole lot of change in my brain.  I could make excuses and say it's because Mike and I don't eat the same things or we eat at different times no matter how much I nag, so it's hard. Or that I look in the freezer and all I see is something in white paper labeled "elk roast" and a 5 pound bag of frozen vegetables from Costco, and I don't know why we have either of those things, and then something like ADD kicks in.

Then a nanny comes to the house and she doesn't know a thing about what's in the fridge or the pantry but 15 minutes later she has a meal on the table and I'm simply dumbfounded that she managed to decide on a meal that fast, and then cook it, when all I could see was frozen elk roast and 5 pounds of vegetables.

Most of you are reading this and thinking Heather, this is the dumbest post you have ever written, and that's saying a lot, but that's where I must tell you, I know! This is completely stupid and irrational and thus evidence that I have brain damage!  It is not my fault!

The reason this is on my mind lately is because I was complaining to a doctor of sorts and she asked me about my diet and I said, oh, it's terrible, for example yesterday I only ate one meal.  And she told me it was affecting everything else in my life.  And since this is Healthy 2014 I have been thinking about food.  Not just eating healthy food but realizing the need to eat it several times a day. The doctor asked me what I would say to her if she told me that she only ate one meal a day.  I said I would say, "Everyone knows you're supposed to eat 6 small meals a day.  What is the matter with you??" At which point she took offense at the "what is the matter with you" statement even though it was purely hypothetical, but whatever.

So take today for another example.  Lunchtime.  Mike came home with fast food for himself.  I was making the kids sandwiches and fruit and quesadillas.  I also made a quesadilla for myself.  I sat down with my plate and, having finished their own food already, asked for my quesadilla, which I gave to them.  So now there are 4 of us sitting at the lunch table and everyone's plate is full except mine.  And at this point my brain just gave up and I didn't want to eat anymore.  I didn't care to get up and make another quesadilla, simple as that would have been, and I got frustrated because I couldn't think of anything else and finally Mike suggested that I eat a breakfast burrito which I had helpfully cooked 8 of, for myself, a couple days ago, and put in the freezer.

Now that I know I am brain damaged I think I just need to keep more cereal on hand.

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