If I had a nickel for every time I said “omg I need to get my life together,” I’d be well on my way to retirement. Like, I think that comes out of my mouth at least once a week. Because on any given day, there’s at least something that needs special attention – whether it be my overflowing laundry basket, the current state of my car (#disaster), or how many glasses of wine I had the night before (ha!).
The Struggle is Real
Of all the things I need to “get together” in my life, I think what makes me feel the most illegitimate is the number of times I find myself sitting on the couch after a long day at work eating hummus and pita chips with Chardonnay for dinner – and being totally okay with the fact that I also had that for lunch (minus the wine though! ha) and dinner the night before. And if it’s not hummus, it’s frozen pizza, Nut-Thins (current fave), or pasta with red sauce.
Struggle No. 1: I know nothing about food
The truth is, I’m clueless when it comes to food – in every possible way one could be. Like, not only do I not know what’s healthy and what’s not, but I don’t even know where to start in figuring it all out. It’s just not my thing and never has been. But the older I get, the more I want to learn and be aware of what I’m putting into my body and at least try to eat better. And by “better,” I mean well-balanced and nutritious; I’m not talking about some crazy no-carb initiative or anything (gosh, that would be awful!) I’m thinking more along the lines of this: less random meals, more nutrition, smarter grocery shopping and less Uber Eats charges on my credit card.
Struggle No. 2: I hate the grocery store
My ignorance of all things food is only compounded by the fact that I have little to zero experience when it comes to cooking or preparing meals. I don’t know how I missed this “part” of growing up, but for some reason I never got into cooking – not even a little bit. I eat out almost every single meal and only know how to make like 7 things in the kitchen – and that’s including cereal.
So given all this, it only makes sense that the grocery store is a terrible, scary place for me. Honestly, when I think about venturing to grocery store land, I get nervous and am overwhelmed with dread. I know, I’m being dramatic. But really, I HATE going so much that I’ll do anything to avoid it. It’s actually quite comical. To give you an idea, consider this (typical) situation that is my grocery store experience: struggle to find parking spot, grab cart with broken wheel, stroll around somewhat aimlessly (without list), get overwhelmed, become antsy, settle with some yogurt, wine, Nilla Wafers, and Eggo’s.
Addressing the Struggle
I’ve had too many nights on my couch with the pits chips and hummus situation. I HAVE to do something about this. There’s got to be something I can do to improve my sub-par, nutrition-less situation that I continue to settle for. Honestly, I’m not even trying. I can do better. As such, I’ve decided to do something about it. And like most things I decide to do, I’m going all out. Go big or go home, right?!
As I’ve mentioned, the thought of meal planning and all this “ish” totally overwhelms me – so not my area of expertise. So I decided it was time to get some help. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to make a REAL change – one that I’d actually stick to. And since I’m doing this for myself, I figured it would be worthwhile to document and blog about it in case any of y’all are in the same boat. And from the response I got from my recent “Instagram story” confessions, it looks like plenty of y’all are on the struggle bus as well. Welcome.
Solution: I’m asking for help
What to do when you don’t know what to do? Call in a lifeline. I’m all about asking for help when I know I need it. Good news (for me AND you) is that it just so happens I have a friend who is a food genius! My friend Taylor Fisher is a registered dietitian and has been working in wellness for over 7 years. In other words, she knows all the things about food – how to cook, what’s good for you, when and why to eat what, and all those types of things I wish I knew.
I went to her with my (candid as they may be) concerns/questions such as:
- I need to go the grocery store, but I don’t know what to get. OMG. Help me, please?
- How do you shop for more than one meal without wasting ingredients?
- Can you tell me about meal-planning in a way that’s not going to overwhelm me?
- What’re some examples of meals I can make quickly and then have leftovers for lunch etc.?
Announcement: The BTD 6-Week Meal Plan (Beta-ish)
After much thought and brainstorming, we decided to launch a mini meal plan for 6 weeks on BTD to see how y’all responded. So I’m using the next 6 weeks to test this out and if y’all seem to like it, I’ll start doing this more often and providing similar food-related content for y’all!
Each Friday for the next 6 weeks, I’ll be sharing a grocery shopping list plus 5-7 recipes that you can make with the groceries on that list. Taylor and I worked together to make sure that you’d be able to shop confidently and waste as little time and food as possible.
Who is this Meal Plan for?
Since this all started as a personal problem, the solution is catered to someone like me – single (aka cooking for 1) and super busy and not too-too concerned about all the healthy stuff. I just wanted to eat healthier than I already am. We decided to start VERY simple and make this as pain and hassle free as possible.
Even though the recipes and grocery list are catered to 1 serving, you can easily modify your list to cook or prep for more than one person or to make additional servings for lunch, etc. And this grocery list is not going to necessarily cover EVERY single meal you’ll eat over those 7 days either. Because realistically, do you think you could eat every single dinner from home and have your s*it together enough to pack a lunch every single day? I know that’s impossible for me. So we assumed you’d be eating out a few meals a week and/or have plans that might overlap with some of your meals.
Pantry Staples To Stock Up On (Before We Start)
Before getting into the first grocery list and recipes on Friday, I wanted to list out a few pantry staples that you might want to consider adding to your arsenal before we get started. There are a number of ingredients that really I think should always be in anyone’s kitchen. You may see these in numerous recipes & grocery lists over the next several weeks. But if you already have them in your fridge or pantry, you can already cross them off your list!
- Olive oil (best for salad dressing and finishing dishes)
- Canola oil (best for cooking because it has a higher smoke point – i.e. it can withstand greater heat before losing some of it’s nutrition.
- Dijon mustard (great for sandwiches, salad dressings, sauces, and more)
- Salt & pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Champagne or White Balsamic Vinegar
- White Onion
- Dried spices such as: basil, rosemary, thyme, cumin, chili powder, cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice (in the fall & winter months), Italian Seasoning, etc.
- Low-sodium chicken broth (or low-sodium vegetable broth, if vegetarian)
- Honey (for tea, oatmeal, salad dressing, the base of chicken salads, & more!)
- Can of beans (black beans / garbanzo beans / white beans / etc.)
- Dry rolled oats – great to get from the bulk bin of grocery stores like Central Market. Use for quick oatmeal in the morning, add to pancake mixes, make homemade granola or homemade granola bars.
- Whole-wheat pasta or rice
- Jar of minced garlic – if you don’t want to always have to buy new cloves.
OMG OKAY, WHAT DO Y’ALL THINK!?!
GAHH!! So that’s the announcement! I’m MORE than excited not only for myself (ha!) but also to share this as a free resource for y’all! Please tell me you’re as excited as I am?! Come back to the blog on Friday to see the first batch of recipes and grocery list!
WHO IS DOING IT WITH ME?
Please comment below and so I know if you’re joining the party!!
Kitchen Details – You guys, it’s SO not done – like, I don’t even have bar stools and my faucet is getting switched out today too. I’m going to do a full reveal (I think) eventually once things are more settled, but since I already know some of y’all are going to ask I’ll go ahead and give you sourcing for what you see. The lights are Regina Andrew (love at first sight!), the counter tops are Quartz and the back-splash is Calcutta marble. The hardware is temporary – I didn’t pick it out and I’m changing it next week so I don’t even know what it is. More updates to come!