Bringing It All Together

Ingredients that went into the best lamb burgers I’ve ever had.

I’ve been absent a few days because time is fleeting around this place. The weekend blew in and out faster than a blink. Mondays are the worst for me because it’s back to work and back to class – along with all the normal things I have to do in a day. Like mother a child. And clean stuff up. Always cleaning stuff up after humans and dogs alike.

Thankfully, I have been doing both meal planning and meal prep. Both of those actions are highly recommended for people doing the Whole30. In fact, there are thousands of blog posts and equally as many, if not more, Pinterest pins celebrating the weekly ritual of meal planning and prep. It is worth doing if you’re committed to making it through the 30 day program.

I won’t glamorize the experience, though. My meal prep usually happens in spare seconds when I am squinting at Pinterest looking for interesting, easy meals for weeknights. I usually race through pins, thumbing as quickly as possible through the list to avoid my son seeing my phone and wanting to play Peekaboo Barn for the thousandth and first time that hour.

Once meal ideas cease, we move on to grocery list and pantry comparison. Do I need that new jar of pumpkin pie spice or will I now own twenty aged versions of it from which I only used a teaspoon total? Yikes, that lettuce is gross and needs to go. How do we still have that weird canned fish my husband swore he’d eat all of when he insisted I buy some after he read about it in an Alton Brown cookbook? (It is an awesome cookbook, by the way. Link is an Amazon affiliate.)

After cleaning out the fridge and figuring out what we don’t already have in stock, then I have to create the weekly grocery list. We would normally shout our needs to Alexa, but lately the list it too long to add them all at once by voice. So, it’s been either by hand or an old-fashioned paper list.

This step obviously precedes the great shopping excursion, whereby I take our son to the store with me. This is usually not a big deal. He’s pleasant 99.999% of the time and he seems to enjoy looking at everything at the grocery store. Women also love to stop and dote on him. He’s a pretty cute little dude and loves to act like a little flirt with his stinker smiles and waves. So, no problem there, except another hour has flown by and now we’re on our way home.

Groceries have to be unpacked, sorted, and washed for prep. I’ll then spend the next two to three hours on my feet in the kitchen making hard boiled eggs, bacon, a breakfast bake, chopping fruits and vegetables, and making the Sunday soup (it’s fall, we do #soupsunday). My feet will ache and I will have exhausted myself trying to keep an eye on my son, chase away the dogs, clean the kitchen while prepping the food, and cooking meals to save precious minutes and seconds during the week so I don’t cave on the program.

Meal planning and prep. So time consuming.

But, they are worth it. I haven’t felt discouraged for eight days. Even when we walked into Willoughby Brewing Company – home of a famously-delicious peanut butter porter – I was able to keep my bearings and order a spinach salad with no cheese, salmon, and oil and vinegar dressing and not cave to drinking all the beers! Allllll the beerrrrss! I very much wanted to, but because I worked so hard and done so well, it wouldn’t have been worth throwing the work out the door for a beer (or several beers) that I’ve already had before.

So, yeah. Worth it.


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