My kids are back at school so it’s time to get organized with food and meals. And adjust to our new normal: two kids, in two different schools.
Some thoughts on meals for fall. As always, San Diego has hot spells in September and October. So I’m not going full on with soups or stews. I also have to consider activities. Thursdays both kids have an activity from 5:30-6:30 so that’s slow cooker or instant pot day.
Also, with Little D’s late soccer practice on Wednesdays, it will be a free for all: kids make what they want and/or we can have leftovers. Raddish recipes will be reserved for weekends.
Here are some InstantPot Recipes I’m trying out:
Easy Chinese Style Instant Pot Fried Rice
Instant Pot Honey Garlic Chicken (works well in the slow cooker)
Also, speaking of new recipes. I always ask my kids to look up recipes when they want something different. After saying it for who-knows-how-many-times, Big A actually looked up a recipe and made it. Meet our new guacamole that she found at The Salty Marshmallow.
Full disclosure: I did the chopping
I FINALLY tried grocery delivery
I have a confession to make. I don’t enjoy grocery shopping.
We get our food from four different stores and it takes up most of my Sunday. So after talking to a friend about grocery delivery, I decided to try Instacart. Their shoppers hit most of my stores (except Trader Joe’s). I didn’t love the idea of extra cost but I wanted to see if I could save money by being organized and checking prices.
So the week before school started I took the plunge. It took a while to get my order in but once I did I instantly felt calm and went into the kitchen to get prepping for the week. I kept getting notices of where my two shoppers were (at two different stores) and they delivered the groceries right on time.
When the food came, I realized that they use plastic bags from the store (guilt). And while they picked out fine-looking produce, the substitutions they made were not what I wanted (more guilt). It was little things I took for granted like picking out my own garlic (the garlic delivered was strangely smaller than I usually get). Somehow a small order for carrots ended up being HUGE!
I’m sure these mishaps were due to me being a novice online shopper. But I realized I’m not ready to hand over grocery duty to someone else. In fact, the experience pushed me to revamp the way I grocery shop.
So I took my old stocked list and updated it. I also separated items that I can buy monthly and stock up on versus perishable items I get weekly. I took extra time to price out items at Costco, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and Vons. I’m still updating this list based on price and product. I hope to showcase it in my next rotation.
So now the goal is to stock up on pantry, longer-shelf-life items monthly and keep weekly trips short and sweet. Think nuts, canned goods, grains, and dried fruit. I hope to go to just one store on Sundays!! That leaves more time for meal prep.
Will I use grocery delivery again? Probably. But only if it’s one of those weekends (or I’m sick or just getting back from vacation). Overall it taught me that I really do prefer picking out my own food. It’s just my system that needed some help.
Do you use a grocery delivery service?
My morning routine (and the magic 4)
Over the summer I had gotten in a really good morning routine. Doing four things sets my day on the right track. I start with a morning run or other workout to get me in a good mood. I come home and meditate followed by a 5-minute gratitude session (I often listen to this 5-minute youtube video or just list three things I’m grateful for). This helps me focus and remember what’s most important. When I’m done, I sit down and figure out what I want to get done that day. That way, I’m not aimlessly running from thing to thing.
But now that Big A is in middle school, her start time is an hour earlier than what I’m used to– 7:40. Even on the days I can work out, I don’t have time for meditation. And Little D goes to school an hour later, making for a looong morning. Don’t school administrators realize I had the perfect morning routine going on??
So now that we are three weeks in, here’s my plan for salvaging my morning routine:
Sunday: Get as much food prep done to help with making b-fast, lunches, and dinners (this helps the mornings!). This should be possible with my new and improved grocery shopping plan.
We are in the process of getting into a nightly routine to make mornings easier. Having Big A help get her lunch together and pick an outfit the night before is our goal.
Monday: Get up before kids and help them out. Drop Little D off and head to the gym. Meditate in the car and go do weights before the 9:30 HIT class. Do my gratitude session and set to-dos for the day as my computer is getting started.
Tuesday: Get up and meet friends to run. Come back and help get Big A off to school. Little D is often done with breakfast and starts on his to-do’s. This is the time I meditate and do my gratitude session. I tackle to-do’s when turn on the computer.
Wednesday: Get up extra early to write, then help Big A get off. When Little D does to-do’s before school I try to do meditation and grateful prayer (if that fails then to it later). After dropping him off head to 8:30 yoga. Check to-dos before starting.
Thursday: Get up early to run and come back and help Big A. Drive Big A in the middle school carpool. Come back and help Little D get off as he gets a ride this day. Once he leaves, I do meditation, gratitude session, and to-dos.
Friday! I’m still working this out. Depends on how I feel….might allow myself to sleep in and do a class later. Depends on what I have to do etc. It’s my flex day.
I’d love to get all the magic 4 done before my day starts but that’s just not happening! So I’m breaking them up and doing what I can. The good news is middle and high schools in California will be starting later, but that may not go into effect for a few more years.
Do you have (or want) a morning routine? (probably not after reading this — ha!)
How do you respond when your child says their too fat, skinny, short, or tall? My guest post “Worried Your Child is Developing a Poor Body Image? Here’s What to Say (And Not Say)” at 100 Days of Real Food Can Help
You may have heard in the news that diet variety isn’t such a good thing after all. Dietitian Karen Collins helps explains what those headlines about diet variety actually mean.
This article in NY Times Well Family caught my eye. It about using rethinking how parents use rewards and punishments.
Are you tired of those celebrity body after baby stories? Me too! Don’t miss this post “Why I Hate Those ‘Body After Baby’ Stories (and You Should Too)” on Real Mom Nutrition
If I notice a weight change in someone, I don’t say anything. This article “7 Reasons Not to Complement Someone on Weight Loss” explains why.
I could go on and on but I will stop there. It’s Friday after all. Have a great weekend!
Want to create your own dinner rotation? Check out Maryann’s book The Family Dinner Solution.