One of the drawbacks of being on such a restrictive diet is that food can become very mundane and boring if you are not careful. Not that there aren’t plenty of options and recipes out there, if one would choose to look, but the key phrase is….you need to look! I often find myself wondering what to fix for dinner, and with kids and school and schedules, I fall back to 4 or 5 “standards.” I’ve been getting…..not bored, just tired, of the good-ol standby’s, and decided to do something about it. I’m not generally a “meal planning” type of gal, but something needed to change, and that was the easiest and best way I could think of changing it up!
So, I’ve decided to plan my weekly meals out, complete with recipes. In doing this, I’m challenging myself to do 2 new main-dish SCD recipes each week, and 2 side-dish recipes. I figure this is something I can handle right now, and I can plan for those “experimental nights” on days where my schedule is not so tiring. The other days I still plan out, but they are the meals I know I can make with my eyes closed. This helps shake things up a bit, as well as with my grocery shopping. I know exactly what I need now when I go to the store or the food bank, and so am not filling my house with unneeded things.
The method I’ve chosen is this: I first print out a calendar for the month. I then decide which two days I can experiment, and look for a main dish for those days. I begin writing each days menu out in the little box on the paper (I write down main dish, vegetable, fruit, and starch for each day). As I come upon a recipe I want to try, I immediately go and print a copy, and paper-clip it to the calendar page. That way, when it is the night I am trying a new recipe, I don’t have to remember which book it came out of and which page, but I can simply flip to it and go. My goal is that, by the end of the month, I will have tried 8-10 new main dish recipes and 8-10 side-dish recipes, and have all the instructions on how to make those right at my fingertips. Then, at the end of the month, I can do through all the recipes and decide if I really liked a recipe or not, and if I did, transfer that recipe to my recipe book.
In doing this, I know I am doing something good for me, and my family. I feel very good about taking care of myself this way. I know that I”m not just stuck to the same old foods day in and day out, but have a chance to play around a bit. Before Crohn’s, I was very comfortable in the kitchen exploring new ways of doing things and trying all sorts of new tastes, and loved all of it! Since the diagnosis, I’ve been very confined in my eating, and I’ve missed being able to “play with my food.” This gives me the chance to try new things, play around with them, and know that I’m feeding healthy stuff to my family at the same time. I figure that even if I just do this for a couple of months, I will have a much larger set of “standard” foods to choose from to escape food boredom. 🙂