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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Dh and I have <a href="http://www.slowmovement.com/downshifting.php" target="_blank">downshifted</a> in our whole life - except for our food. We enjoy going out with friends, and it usually involves dinner. I'm currently combo WAH/WOH PT with my DS in tow (almost 5 months), so almost always I eat lunch out. Even when I'm home working, I'm battling PPD so I just can't come up with the energy to make lunch for myself - and I eat junk I don't have to prepare (like I won't even get out pre-washed carrots). I don't really enjoy cooking, except in spurts, and the whole situation is ridiculous.<br><br>
I need help. We're spending too much money, eating badly, and it's just a general nightmare. I need a kick in the <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/bigeyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bigeyes"> and some tangible ideas.<br><br>
Just as an informational thing, (not that we're even using this because we're eating out so much), we came up with a meal plan schedule. Right now, our schedule for who is in charge of meals is:<br><br>
Sunday - DH<br>
Monday - Family Night Out<br>
Tuesday - Me<br>
Wednesday - Me<br>
Thursday - DH<br>
Friday - Me<br>
Saturday - DH
 

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How do you feel about crock pot cooking? Easy and ready to eat when you are ready for mealtime! I also make a lot of soups that will last a couple days and then bring myself a serving to work to have for lunch. Simple stir frys are easy too. At times I will spend a few hours on the weekend when DD is napping and make a couple things that can be frozen and then pulled out later, for example marinating chicken breasts and freezing in a bag, freezing some of the soup I make, etc. Good luck, I know it's hard!!
 

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This is so hard! I second the suggestion for crockpotting. Something that works really well for me is doubling recipes and freezing half so that my freezer is always stocked with meals when the boys and i have a hard day.<br>
When I was working way back in the day (lol) DH and I would do a modified version of once-a-week cooking. Usually Sunday afternoon or evening, we'd cook a few different things so that there was really minimal cooking to be done during the week--everything just had to be (re)heated.<br><br>
We also rewarded ourselves if we finished all of our leftovers, lol, and didn't buy lunch-- which prevented us from going out in spite of the food in our fridge. I know it sounds very childish, but it worked for us. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment">
 

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i am having the same issues with cooking/eating as you are. i found that joining a CSA was a total lifesaver for us! we joined last year while i was pg in effort to help me eat better and it was really effective. we are going to join again this year for a christmas/chanukah gift.<br>
in this area it costs about $20 a week... it is well worth it... they gave us SO much food we had to only go shopping for little things. it really made us stay home more and cook more/eat out less.<br><br>
i am so looking forward to it!!
 

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I have depression so I know what you mean about not having energy/motivation to cook, and not enjoying cooking very much anyway! I try to do a roast dinner once a week with a whole chicken or whole turkey or big cut of pork or beef...and then I use the leftover meat to make into a meal for the next days dinner too. So that kinda helps cos its like 2 meals using the same thing for the meat. You can make it into a casserole/stew, curry, stir fry.<br><br>
I dunno if that will help you, its just something I have found seems to help me by knowing what at least 2 meals a week will be and they are both healthy meat, potato, veg, gravy type meals...which dd and I both love too. It is kind of a big deal to do a whole roast dinner, I understand that, but you could make it easier by doing less foods with it -thats what I do. Like instead of doing maybe 3 kinds of potato I'll do 2, and instead of 3 diff veggies I'll do 1 or 2, dont bother doing all the trimmings just a basic roast dinner.<br><br>
I dont know how old your dc are, but mine is in school fulltime now, so I find it can REALLY help if I make some of the foods while shes still at school, like mashed potato then just heat it in microwave at dinner time, same with gravy. Peel and chop the veggies keep in fridge so they are ready to throw in the pan. Prepare the meat and get it in the oven just before I go pick her up from school.<br><br>
Oh I also use the extra meat from roasts for sandwiches the next day and you can use the bones to make a soup and freeze it for a quick dinner sometime.<br><br>
Goodluck <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 

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Are you inspired by photos of food, or stories about good food or cooking? I tend to be drawn to books about world travel that involve food. lol Anything by MFK Fisher inspires, but I also love to read the Laurel's Kitchen's intro every now & again. lol <a href="http://www.slashfood.com/2008/04/10/the-new-laurels-kitchen-cookbook-of-the-day/" target="_blank">http://www.slashfood.com/2008/04/10/...ok-of-the-day/</a> I don't much use it as a cookbook, because the recipes are so 70's convoluted, but I still love to have it around, and I love how it's written.<br><br>
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichle is lots of fun, & there are some simple recipes. She was a NYT food critic (now editor of Gourmet Mag) --Garlic and Sapphires is a funny book that chronicles her attempts to keep her identity secret (even though her picture is posted in all the restaurant kitchens in NYC) from chefs and wait staff. It's a great read, and it always gets me going to the market. lol <a href="http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/08/15/002216.php" target="_blank">http://blogcritics.org/archives/2006/08/15/002216.php</a><br><br>
I read a book called Miriam's Kitchen a while back, and I learned a lot about buying and cooking chicken. lol It's not really a cookbook (but it does have recipes), but a book about a DIL learning about her MIL and her own heritage through the food she cooks for her family. <a href="http://www.judaism.com/display.asp?fp=108&sp=26" target="_blank">http://www.judaism.com/display.asp?fp=108&sp=26</a><br><br>
Like Water for Chocolate is another inspirational food book.<br><br>
As for actual recipe books...If you like Itallian food Lydia Bastianich is easy to follow and very chatty & motherly in her books. She explains the whys and hows of Italian cooking, and why not to add oil to pasta water etc. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> She has a PBS cooking show that my 14 year old ds loves. One of her books, Lydia's Family Table is a favorite of his. It has sweet pictures of her grandchildren picking tomatoes in her garden, plus photos of casual family gatherings. Another book, Lydia's Italy, has photos of country fields and markets etc in, well, Italy. lol <a href="http://www.lidiasitaly.com/first-courses" target="_blank">http://www.lidiasitaly.com/first-courses</a><br><br>
Another chef/author I love love is Tyler Florence. <a href="http://food.aol.com/experts/tyler-florence" target="_blank">http://food.aol.com/experts/tyler-florence</a> It's simple food prepared so beautifully and easily. And lots of talk France and open air markets etc. That kind of thing always works for me. lol <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat">:<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/joy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="joy">:<br><br>
There are a million food blogs! <a href="http://www.figandcherry.com/" target="_blank">http://www.figandcherry.com/</a> Here is a mostly vegetarian one: <a href="http://www.101cookbooks.com/" target="_blank">http://www.101cookbooks.com/</a><br><br>
Inspiration is nicer than force.
 

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Hold up, girl. I just looked at your siggy. You have a 4 mos old baby. All bets are off. lol You can read the books as your nurse the baby, but it's realy hard to cook anything at all when you have a new baby!<br><br>
Bagged salads, Amy's frozen foods etc and such are your friends! Not saying you can't get inspired, but I would take it slow there. And learn how to wear the baby on your back, yk, away from the hot olive oil splats. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Since you've got a new baby, PPD, and are WOH, I'd suggest re-working that "meal plan schedule" you've made with DH, at least for the next few months until the PPD is under control. How about he's responsible for <b>all</b> family dinners, except for the night you eat out?<br><br>
It's not "equitable" to split the household chores 50/50 with a baby in the house, not if one parent is with the baby more often and providing all of the baby's food. You're doing more childcare right now, which is as it should be-when the baby is bigger DH can take a bigger role. But, to make things fair, he should pick up more of the slack in other areas of the house.<br><br>
Eating well and depression are inter-related; bad nutrition contributes to depression, and depression makes it hard to prepare healthy foods. Having somebody else take over meal prep, so you can nourish yourself without putting in the energy you don't have, can be a huge factor in recovery. Also, supplements (such as extra B complex and fish oil, in addition to a prenatal multivitamin) can help too- and those don't take much effort to consume each day.
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12407497"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Since you've got a new baby, PPD, and are WOH, I'd suggest re-working that "meal plan schedule" you've made with DH, at least for the next few months until the PPD is under control. How about he's responsible for <b>all</b> family dinners, except for the night you eat out?<br><br>
It's not "equitable" to split the household chores 50/50 with a baby in the house, not if one parent is with the baby more often and providing all of the baby's food. You're doing more childcare right now, which is as it should be-when the baby is bigger DH can take a bigger role. But, to make things fair, he should pick up more of the slack in other areas of the house.<br><br>
Eating well and depression are inter-related; bad nutrition contributes to depression, and depression makes it hard to prepare healthy foods. Having somebody else take over meal prep, so you can nourish yourself without putting in the energy you don't have, can be a huge factor in recovery. Also, supplements (such as extra B complex and fish oil, in addition to a prenatal multivitamin) can help too- and those don't take much effort to consume each day.</div>
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I like the term equitable as you said it. I think people forget that a new mom should be completely out of the loop when you talk about splitting up chores.<br><br>
I would think of a few dishes you really like, and make enough to have a few meals worth, or stash some in the freezer.
 

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I agree! And the good thing here is that you don't have to worry about feeding other kids! You and dh just need a way to feed the two of you right now. However you do that is ok. If it means more frozen or store bought things, that is ok.<br><br>
You can make good choices from a decent deli counter. Even getting prepared foods at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's (if you have those places near you), it's cheaper than eating out. I don't see that eating healthy foods made in a local place is counter productive to your life philosophy. You are supporting your neighbors by supporting where they work. Food is a very social thing and it's ok to eat food other people prepare.<br><br>
And yes, absolutely think about b vitamins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you so much, mommas.<br><br>
DH is always willing to cook, but hates coming up with ideas. On my nights, he does at least 50% of the prep and cooking, which is great.<br><br>
I wish we had a WF or TJ, but we don't. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked"> We did, however, get a Wegman's with a GREAT kosher deli/prepared foods section about 45 minutes away. Haven't been there yet, but we'll be going soon. I may be hitting that up for foods if life stays crazy. (Who am I kidding??)<br><br>
What in terms of vitamins should I be taking? I'm anemic so I'm taking iron, but aside from that and a prenatal, I haven't been taking anything special.
 

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I agree with the other posters--this is the time in your life for easy, easy, easy. THings will change down the road, but easy is the way to go right now.<br><br>
Stuff like:<br>
-scrambled eggs, toast, fruit (already cut up, from the store)<br>
-beans and rice topped with salsa and cheese (canned beans, jar salsa, preshredded cheese)<br>
-we have a brand of frozen fish we like that is preseasoned. Throw it in the oven. Add microwaved frozen vegetables and a baked potato. Great meal.<br>
-Salad in a bag. Top with some sort of easy protein (canned beans, above mentioned frozen fish, frozen popcorn shrimp <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> , chicken breast). Bottled dressing.<br>
-Stuff like that.
 

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Supplements: fish oil and B-complex (B-100 is the same thing as 2 B-50s, except that they both have equal amounts of folic acid, so taking 2 B-50s gives you double the folic acid of taking one B-100 daily). Since you're already taking the prenatal, I'd go with a B-50 complex plus fish or cod liver oil daily. Both of those are perfectly safe for nursing moms and babies.<br><br>
Meal plans: Maybe try one of those Flylady meal plans where you get menus, shopping lists, and recipes emailed to you once a week? Or make up your own and repeat it every week or every 2 weeks (or use a free sample menu and repeat every week.) I personally recomend a 2-week meal plan so you don't get quite as sick of the foods (although I have yet to actually implement this in my own family! New food restrictions seem to keep popping up in my family and it's getting harder to find meals we can all eat.)<br><br>
If you ever make it to that Wegmans, buy a whole bunch of stuff and freeze it!<br><br>
It's a shame you don't live on Long Island, or we could have a cooking party in my kosher kitchen while DD2 plays with your little one and DD1, you, and me make food for both our families.
 

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Have you thought about trying once a month cooking? ie. a BIG cooking day, then freeze everything. Write out a schedule, and then defrost one thing a day.<br><br>
I have no idea if you eat meat, but here is an example of what I mean:<br><br>
chili (x4 meals)<br>
spaghetti sauce (x4 meals)<br>
enchiladas (x4 meals)<br>
chicken & corn chowder (x4 meals)<br>
bean soup (x 4 meals)<br>
pizza dough (x4 meals)<br><br>
I picked these because they kidda go together - lots have overlapping ingredients. Send DH to the store with a list. You can hang with the baby while he cooks. When he cooks each thing, he cooks enough for FOUR meals. Bag it all up for the freezer.<br><br>
Now after one (albeit brutal) day of cooking, you have an entire MONTH of food. You only need to shop for any fresh toppings - sour cream, cheese, etc. Monday - chili, Tuesday - spaghetti, Wednesday - enchiladas, Thursday - chowder, Friday - bean soup, Saturday - eat out, Sunday - pizza.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Ruthla</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12408501"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Supplements: fish oil and B-complex (B-100 is the same thing as 2 B-50s, except that they both have equal amounts of folic acid, so taking 2 B-50s gives you double the folic acid of taking one B-100 daily). Since you're already taking the prenatal, I'd go with a B-50 complex plus fish or cod liver oil daily. Both of those are perfectly safe for nursing moms and babies.<br><br>
Meal plans: Maybe try one of those Flylady meal plans where you get menus, shopping lists, and recipes emailed to you once a week? Or make up your own and repeat it every week or every 2 weeks (or use a free sample menu and repeat every week.) I personally recomend a 2-week meal plan so you don't get quite as sick of the foods (although I have yet to actually implement this in my own family! New food restrictions seem to keep popping up in my family and it's getting harder to find meals we can all eat.)<br><br>
If you ever make it to that Wegmans, buy a whole bunch of stuff and freeze it!<br><br>
It's a shame you don't live on Long Island, or we could have a cooking party in my kosher kitchen while DD2 plays with your little one and DD1, you, and me make food for both our families.</div>
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I think I'm going to go to Wegman's tonight or tomorrow and stock up. DH is going to kill me, but <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shrug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shrug">. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I'll definitely take your advice on the B-50 and fish oil. What's the best way to take fish oil? Grin and bear it?<br><br>
Oh, what I'd give to live in an orthodox community on Long Island. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/shy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="innocent"> I'll get up there someday.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>beka1977</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/12408677"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Have you thought about trying once a month cooking? ie. a BIG cooking day, then freeze everything. Write out a schedule, and then defrost one thing a day.<br><br>
I have no idea if you eat meat, but here is an example of what I mean:<br><br>
chili (x4 meals)<br>
spaghetti sauce (x4 meals)<br>
enchiladas (x4 meals)<br>
chicken & corn chowder (x4 meals)<br>
bean soup (x 4 meals)<br>
pizza dough (x4 meals)<br><br>
I picked these because they kidda go together - lots have overlapping ingredients. Send DH to the store with a list. You can hang with the baby while he cooks. When he cooks each thing, he cooks enough for FOUR meals. Bag it all up for the freezer.<br><br>
Now after one (albeit brutal) day of cooking, you have an entire MONTH of food. You only need to shop for any fresh toppings - sour cream, cheese, etc. Monday - chili, Tuesday - spaghetti, Wednesday - enchiladas, Thursday - chowder, Friday - bean soup, Saturday - eat out, Sunday - pizza.</div>
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You know, we do that for some things, but not for everything. Maybe we need to utilize that method a bit more. Good idea!
 

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Could you splurge on a cooking class date instead of dinner one night? The Kitchen Kapers near me has cooking classes, and they have couples' classes. You pay a fee and get the class, plus a several course dinner. I'm sure kitchen stores in other areas would do it too.<br><br><a href="http://www.kitchenkapers.com/cookingclasses.html#couples" target="_blank">http://www.kitchenkapers.com/cooking...s.html#couples</a><br><br>
Oh, just saw how Toby is still a wee one. Not sure how long you're willing to leave him, and if you have a trustworthy caregiver.<br><br>
By the way, I wholeheartedly agree with everything the other mamas said. I've had depression in my life, and it runs in my family. You <i>must</i> ask for help. It's a vicious cycle: the worse you eat and the less you exercise, the worse you feel. But of course, when you feel bad, the last thing you want to do is cook good food and exercise!
 
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