Ten years ago, I started meal planning.
I’m rather surprised at how long I’ve kept it going as I’m inconsistent in other areas of my life. Let’s not talk about exercise, shall we. The planning was prompted by my change in living arrangements, moving in with my now husband (at the time boyfriend). I didn’t want to disrupt the healthy eating habits I’d spent many years establishing, and you could say his cooking repertoire needed some work.
In addition to that I was working full-time in a senior role and for me, figuring out what to cook for dinner, when I got home late, was a chore. I was fortunate my husband was happy to pick up the tools & become a cook-in-training, but as mentioned earlier, his version of healthy was different to mine. Which meant, I still needed to think about and decide on what we were going to eat.
So, come Saturday or Sunday, I’d map out a plan for the week ahead & shop accordingly. And I still do.
I enjoy cooking, but it doesn’t come as naturally to me as putting together an outfit. I’m not one of those cooks that can whip up a Masterchef style dinner from the ‘available’ ingredients in my cupboard. I need a recipe.
I’m more of a weekend cook. I like to take my time, with a glass of wine, and make enough to provide left-overs to stretch to the workdays of the week.
I even became strategic about it once my son was born because I was working a full-time job crammed into 4 days a week. Saturday’s dinner would be Monday’s dinner, Sunday’s dinner would be Tuesday’s dinner and so on. Obvious and very simple, but it worked.
I think by preparing ahead of time, knowing I’d be low on energy arriving home from work, my plan essentially gave me one less thing to think about. It set me up for success (sometimes) and something better than if I hadn’t planned at all. Over time the meals have changed, but the act of deciding on what to eat & shop for in advance has not.
It wasn’t until I started working with Dani Valent, a Thermomix cooking connoisseur (check out her delights at danivalentcooking.com), that I made the connection between food & fashion.
Every day we need to eat, and every day we need to get dressed.
A recipe is like an outfit. There are elements that alone may be simple, but when they come together, they can create something better or even amazing. Meal planning has long been a habit to help busy families eat and live well, why not apply it to a wardrobe.
The light bulb switched on and I’ve been experimenting with the idea ever since. Some may say an outfit plan is removing the creativity from the act of putting together an outfit, an approach that’s too domestic. But I know first-hand, when you’re getting dressed for work in the morning, with a family, there’s minimal time to actually find clothes, let alone be creative. Planning ahead really does let you do more than just put clothes on, it sets you up for something much better.