Let me start with the question you’re probably asking: What new information can I give you about meal planning? Thousands of blogs have covered this. So, what am I bringing to the table (Ha!) that’s different?
Honestly, I can’t really say anything new. I'm just adding the twist of Interstitial Cystitis to meal planning. It only makes sense because when you have IC, food is constantly hanging over your head. The wrong food will mean pain that will knock you off your feet. I'm honestly amazed no one has tackled meal planning with IC.
Don't worry, though. This will be painless and easy. You can even do it with your favorite TV show playing.
First you'll need a few items.
On one side of the whiteboard, write the days of the week. I do that twice. (Friday is missing on mine because each Friday we go out to eat with friends. And if we don't, I default to something easy like breakfast for dinner: eggs, toast, and meat or potatoes.) Next, pick out 14 recipes. Write them down in whatever order you want. Mix them up so you don’t end up eating similar items consecutive days.
Sometimes I meal plan and then on the day, I don’t have the energy to make that dish. Feel free to swap days with another that is less work, but stick to what’s written. The goal of this is to know ahead of time what you’re eating so you can have it on hand.
Now, that you have your plan, you can make your grocery list.
When you’re planning, be mindful of fresh veggies and fruit. You don’t want to buy zucchini when you don’t plan on eating it until the second week. It’ll go bad before then. Of course, there is canning and freezing, but not all produce preserves equally. (A post for another day.)
Grocery list made, look through the coupons and clip. If you’re a Michigander like me and have a Meijers, they have an app with coupons. There is also Coupons.com where you print your own coupons. What I do is search each item and see what there is to clip. Even if I’m not sure I’ll buy that brand (I price check at the store) I still clip it. You never know. (This is optional. Since chronic pain and illness means we need to constantly be mindful of our energy reserves, if you don't have energy to look for coupons, don't worry about it. Just stick with making a meal plan because that will save you energy later by not having to take the time to think about what to make. You already know.)
That’s it. I told you it was easy and painless. Are you ready to give meal planning a shot? Where do you go to find the best coupons? What’s the best deal you’ve ever snagged?
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Artist and writer. IC doesn't define me. Always looking for fun hair colors to try. Lover of Doctor Who and vampires.
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