Times are tough. There is a lot on our "plate" and we all juggling. This journey is an effort to take better care of myself and has not been easy. I realise it is not simply just about the food. I knew this going in, that it would take time and consistent planning and prioritising myself higher up on the to do list than I would normally find comfortable. It was definitely easier in the beginning. Month 2 is tougher.
Let's start with the food. That has been good. Learning about new ingredients, trying new things has been great. Suppers are less monotonous and more varied. It does help that I know this lifestyle is helping my family too. The costs are still inline with the budget, and not more than our normal monthly food costs.
So why has it been tough?
Staying on top of all the planning is a lot. From planning to shopping to cooking. Sometimes I have just felt tired of it. But then I realise how much I am enjoying the meals, because I am not eating just because, or quickly but being intentional and deliberate, mindful. It has also forced me to have a lunch hour. I can get busy and use that slot for a last minute add on, but I have started to be better at setting that time aside, which has helped me not overwork and burnout.
I reached a slump where despite the work I was not seeing any results, its been slow. I have not have any dramatic change, so it is expected that it has been easier to feel defeated. That is where I have felt the benefit of my dietician coach, Sumarie. She has remained positive and constant, helping me with any questions and keeping an encouraging "can do" attitude. The value of peers cannot be underestimated. A community and support system makes a huge difference. It has kept me motivated and I have started feeling more positive again.
So many of you have asked for a platform to recipe share, for months really. Jason and I have spoken about ways to do this. Today, as if meant to be, Jay got a message from an old camper requesting some kind of "support group", as staying on any healthy living path alone is a challenge. I have felt this vividly lately, so having put some thought into it I came up with "Inside of Out" WhatsApp group. It will be a great place to share the recipes, tips and tricks, encouragement and support to each other.
So what have I learnt this month?
Smoothies are still awesome and not a fad, with the summer weather nearing I look forward to experimenting with recipes.
Wholewheat grains and foods are excellent at filling you up and keeping you full for long
Cutting back in cheese was not fun for me, so I have enjoyed using mature chedder and parmesan cheese in very small quantities. This maximises taste in small quantities
I thought this journey would be expensive, but in truth, many expensive items are used sparingly and last longer, and the new ingredients have lasted long, such as wraps, wholewheat ingredients, etc
The work it takes to planning is decreasing as I now have a pantry of items that are part of my daily habits.
I don't like tinned beans and lentils etc, so I have done a bulk shop at "Yellow Submarine" in Ottery with dried ingredients costing 1/4 price. I use my pressure cooker to cook them quick and store them in the fridge as needed and use them in my weeks planning.
Beans are actually easy to use in vegetarian option "meatballs" and patties. My kids love them!
My kids are happy with with the changes, although some needing adjustments :)
I am still living well and not starving or denying myself any occasional treat.
This is a happy, sustainable way to live
So there we have it, 8 weeks later. Next camp I will conclude this blog about this journey but the journey will continue, and so will our support group!