NEW HABIT: Create a 12 week menu plan & recipe flashcards.
Two days ago I wrote about my frustrations with my menu plan or lack there of and the disappointment in those I’ve tried. I have had 48 hours to think about what it is I need to successfully overcome all my disorganisation and confusion about what to eat, to be healthy and lose weight.
This is my plan broken down into manageable tasks:
Use up or throw out unwanted food
Clean and organise kitchen cupboards
Create a 12 week meal plan with recipes that are mostly healthy, enjoyable and easy to prepare using my favourite food diary
Create recipe cards so creating shopping lists is easy
Have a list of staple foods used regularly and keep replenished
Follow the 12 week menu plan and at the second cycle, improve the recipes or meals if I am not losing weight or they are too challenging to execute
I am taking this approach because my world of food is just the same as all the other areas of my life I’m trying to improve. It just takes the creation of good habits to sustain success.
“I will use up or throw away unwanted food. I will clean and organise the kitchen. I will create a 12 week meal plan. For each recipe I will create a flashcard with the ingredients. I will use these to quickly write my shopping list”
Just over a week ago I decided to join the gym and follow the vegan diet from the book, “The 28-Day Vegan Plan: Kickstart a plant-based lifestyle in just one month” by Kim-Julie Hansen. I was very excited because I hate making shopping lists and menu plans but this book had it all laid out for me. My youngest son and I have just managed the first week but I have to express how very disappointed I am in the book. Firstly, the ingredients in the shopping list don’t match the actual ingredients needed in the recipes, so I had too much of a lot of things. Secondly, some of the portions are over the top and excessively large. On one of the prep days it asked me to cook 200g of brown rice but it made sooooo much rice there was no way we would get through it. Thirdly, the meals are just not that great. Either tasteless or not tasting great. I can’t believe the kale salad recipe doesn’t request you rub anything into the kale to break it down first. Lastly, the prep is a nightmare. If the food tasted good, it may be worth it but a lot of the meals are just boring, dry or a bit rank. This is not a good book to endorse Veganism. I know there are plenty of delicious plant-based meals out there.
I have joined the gym for over a week and have been really embracing almost daily activity. The diet has also proved very awkward to follow now I’m busy with the gym. I’m spending way to much time faffing in the kitchen and making a big mess for quite nasty meals. Today was the first day I felt all my habits were getting on top of me. I never quite got all the housework done at the weekend, I still had 3 more chairs to build for my dining set and then there is all the pressure to prep lunches, meals and breakfasts.
It’s really important I feel back in control of my habits so tomorrow I am prioritising finishing the weekend chores, bringing the house back in order and completing all my habits, especially my evening beauty regimen which keeps being abandoned due to time restraints.
After that, I’ll enforce a new diet plan. I want to create my own personal 12-week plan, based on the things we like and the recipes I know are easy. I should also mention that after a week of gym and a vegan diet I gained 1lb. I just couldn’t believe it. It may be I have to count calories to lose this stubborn weight.
I want to print out a 12-week food diary and fill it with all the meals we know and love. Making meals regular just like my habits. I want to return to my recipe flashcards too. Write out my favourite recipes on them a long with the needed ingredients.
My path to perfection is all about me getting fitter, prettier, more organised and having a home I can be proud of.
In a month, I’m having 7 people round for dinner and my 4 seater table is just not going to do. As my life improves, and I enjoy it more, I like to imagine myself entertaining guests a bit more enthusiastically. This has triggered me to deciding it is time to get a new, bigger table and six chairs. Besides, I have a kitchen now that can accommodate it. I currently have a small table with benches from John Lewis. It’s very nice and we have had it for about 10 years. I’ve now sold it and purchased a new extendable table from Ikea. It can sit 4 or 6 and even 8 at a push. It took me all yesterday to build it and now my hands are sore from the screwdriver.
Today was my fourth trip to the True Food Cooperative. On my previous trips I have started buying Personal Care, Kitchen Household Items and Cleaning Products. This week I bought any of these items I’ve started using (because I always want back up) and started looking at the Packet Foods I need in my diet. The loose foods like grains and nuts I will probably save for my next visit on 16th March.
Here’s what I bought based on what I will be needing on my plant-based diet:
So I need all these foods for my plant-based diet followed in the book above but the products shown in these pictures are all from a food cooperative who only stock the most ethical brands and are a non-profit organisation. This is the future of grocery shopping if we are to sustain a growing population. I’m gradually moving all my shopping over from the big 5 supermarkets to the local cooperative. I’ll only be left with fresh food that I need to get from the supermarket because that will take more hard work to transition from. I even topped up my toilet roll for the third time and replenished the cleaning products I’ve started to use. Now I have two bottles of everything I can take one empty bottle back to use at the filling station.
NEW HABIT: Always have paper and cartridges for the printer and budget for it
Using a printer can be quite a costly affair especially when one does not budget for the expensive ink cartridges. At around £80 a pop, it always comes as a nasty surprise when I have to replace a spent one. Also, I never have one ready when it runs out so there are occasions when important documents can’t be printed in time. This new habit is about always having spare cartridges at the ready. The trigger is, as soon as a new one goes in, it’s time to order the next one. That way, there will never be an occasion that we can’t print. I will also be budgeting the £80 so when the time comes to order, I have the greens ready. I did try to save money by buying boot leg cartridges but my printer does not like them and keeps telling me I’m out of ink. I’ve surrendered to only giving it what it wants. The company I buy from is CartridgeSave.com and they offer a recycling service so I can send my spent cartridges back to them for free. They are also cheaper than the high street and post almost next day.
Paper is also required for the printer and that’s something I run out of too and then the kids can’t print their homework. I’ve decided I should also always have a spare pack so when I open a new pack, it means it is time to buy another. I’ve also decided to start getting my printer paper from True Food because they offer an ethically made product.
“I will always have spare printer paper & ink cartridges at the ready. I will recycle the spent ones and ethically source the paper. I will budget £80 for cartridges”
TASK: Tidy understairs cupboard and gather together all eBay items to sell
It’s day 100 on the path to perfection. I’m so pleased and proud with myself for keeping up the effort for this long. The last time I went on this venture, I think I made it to 130-140 days. This time, I’m in it for the long haul and there will be no surrender.
At the weekend I spontaneously decided to tidy up the cupboard under the stairs and get all my eBay items together. I guess the motivation was the need to get money onto my PayPal to fund the Liz Earle products I’m slowly depending on.
It was a real mess to start with. Everything in there had just been thrown on top of one another.
I pulled everything out and organised everything for selling on eBay I in the corner of my kitchen, in the vain hope it will be a constant reminder to get on with creating the listings.
With the eBay items out of the way, I could really think hard about what I might like to put back in the cupboard. For a long time now, I’ve wished to have the vacuum cleaner in there instead of in the kitchen or around the house.
It looks so much better now and I did manage to get the vacuum cleaner in there. There’s now just that, the ironing board & iron, shopping bags and some shoes. Now I just have to get on with selling the rest of the stuff on eBay.
Doing the washing up in the morning before I go to work was one of the first habits I introduced when I started this blog about being on the path to perfection. It started well at first but after a while I’ve ended up just emptying and filling the dishwasher. It still makes a huge difference and keeps me on top of things but as long as that is all I do, I still end up with pans, chopping boards and wooden spoons sitting on the side and that could go on for a week. So I’ve decided to introduce the habit of doing all the washing up in the evening after dinner. As I will have more time, I can make sure the pans and boards are washed up too so by the morning there should only a few glasses and plates to pop into the dishwasher.
“I will do All the washing up every day after dinner. There should be nothing left on the side when I finish’