Deciding what, and when, to eat ...

Some of my cookbooks … most often used are the binders at the left, full of internet-based recipes, followed closely by Nourishing Traditions and the New Basics Cookbook. I’m finally facing up to something that I’ve been avoiding for a very long time.  Many of the issues/confrontations/frustrations in this house are related to food.  Not specifically the kind of food (other than frequent begging for dessert which I don’t offer every day) but What to make for any given meal, and getting it made before everyone is too hungry to think or even get along at all.  I don’t plan ahead, or buy prepped food either, and it sucks for all of us.

I’ve been handed a nicely speedy metabolism that means I pretty well have to eat every 2 or so hours or I get cranky.  My eldest is the same, but Fynn and my husband can go a lot longer without too many repercussions. The simple solution would be to plan meals somewhat ahead of time (at least know in the morning what’s for dinner, and make sure I have the ingredients) and to have plenty of healthy-enough snacks on hand so the boys can help themselves at will.  The mandatory other part of that though is getting myself in the habit of stopping whatever else I’m doing when it’s time to make a meal.  I really really suck at that … I don’t want to stop the productivity roll that’s inevitably started right before the magic moment at which I must stop and cook, or everyone falls apart. 

Familiar with this feeling?? I sure am :)I need to add to my snack repertoire of apples and peanut butter, bananas, carrots, and pickles.  Crackers and cheese is usually an option too.  Most importantly though I think that given how our household rolls, I have to get a better grip on the meals long before it becomes an issue.  I simply have to bite the bullet and plan a bit, at least making a roster of lunch and dinner options at the beginning of the week, preferrably before I go shopping.  I’m very spoiled by the 24/7/365 bodega around the corner that carries G-free stuff, fresh fruit and veggies, and pretty much all the basics.  When I decide at 6 that we’re having tacos for dinner and start speed-thawing the meat, I can send Douglas over to pick up an avocado and some sour cream.  It makes it so easy to leave stuff till the last minute, but it’s not all that budget friendly, nor is it the best source of fruit and veg for us as I really try to avoid sprayed and gmo stuff. 

My sister uses the Plan to Eat software, and she gave me a subscription to try out.  I’ve not spent enough time in it to decide if it works for me yet or not, but as I don’t have internet available in my kitchen, I’m not sure if I can use it well without printing a bunch of stuff every week.  I’ve looked at hotby6 in the past too, but my recipes don’t jive with their collections, and I don’t have any extra room to freeze pre-prepped meals. 

Maybe just sitting down on Saturday mornings with my tea and a stack of recipe books is best?  It’s not like I have a vast repertoire of dishes, nor do I use recipes all the time, but I have to at least flip through the books sometimes to remind myself of what the options are other than spaghetti, tacos, a bazillion kinds of soup, tortilla casserole, and lentils and rice.  It also depends on what’s fresh and easily available this time of year, and what I’m craving at that particular moment.  I sometimes fear that if I plan, I’ll be so not in the mood for what I have on the list when the times comes that I’ll blow it all off.  Silly fear, I know.  I get caught between wanting to fly by the seat of my pants all the time, and needing to plan ahead so we stay sane.  The flying bit is what’s gotten us into this low-blood-sugared mess, and so something needs to change.  Stat. 

Anyone else struggle with this?  Ideas welcomed!