Our little bundle of joy was four weeks old yesterday – I can’t believe that in four short weeks our world has completely turned upside down (and I can’t believe that I am still alive on so little sleep!). As a self-confessed control freak, I do find the lack of structure a challenge, but want to embrace the pleasure of watching this human we created grow and thrive, so am trying to go with the flow. Reading books about how to be a good parent either scare me or make me feel inadequate, so I think it’s best just to go with my instincts … plus this blog has been keeping me sane in the wee hours.
I can regain some control in the kitchen though, so have decided this is a good time to re-introduce my weekly meal plans. If nothing else it should help save me some cash as I won’t be spending so much money ad hoc in the supermarket, and can plan my weekly Ocado shop instead.
I need to fit preparing a meal into my day: I have been trying to get out and about every day with Ioan, to enjoy some fresh air (as the weather has been pretty decent) and meet up with friends and meet new mums. There is an added bonus of going out: Ioan immediately falls asleep in the pram and will have a lovely long daytime nap – the only other time he sleeps so well during the day is when he is curled up, clinging to my chest (which is rather lovely, except when I am busting for the loo!), or having a cuddle with one of the friends and family who come to visit him (he particularly loves my brother).
Because I lost a lot of blood during labour, I am still taking iron tablets. Anyone who has taken these brutes will know they cause digestive problems (to put it delicately) so plenty of fresh fruit, veg and fibre are essential. I have also been having a weekly steak (rare and bloody, which I missed so much during pregnancy) with spinach or kale to further increase my iron levels.
Breastfeeding a hungry baby means I really need to eat regularly and healthily to make sure I have the energy to feed Ioan what he needs, and that’s another challenge. Feeding, changing (nothing can prepare you for the nappies!) and winding Ioan can be a never-ending task – when he has finally let loose a big burp, he’s made room for more food and wants to start again. This means that with Andrew back at work and Ioan and me home alone, I sometimes don’t get to grab some food and juice until after midday (after a broken night’s sleep and regular breastfeeding) – I need to do better so that I don’t end up reaching for the biscuits.
I still have a well stocked freezer from my maternity leave which will massively help with my meal planning. I have also recently received some products to review for the blog, including a new range of Special K cereal, which I think will make breakfast easier for me: cereal topped with greek yoghurt and fruit is quick and easy. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks what I think of the new Special K range.
To start to work on losing my pregnancy weight, I need to cut back on bread, so instead of the toast I have recently been relying on, I’ll start having salad for lunch, topped with smoked salmon, or ham and eggs, or beetroot and goats cheese (my plan is to make packed lunches for Andrew and me so I don’t have to worry about preparing my lunch when Ioan is screaming for me).
Dinners are planned as follows:
- Monday – meat free Monday’s are back, much to Andrew’s disgust. I have fancied some gnocchi for a while, and hoped to make my own, but realistically will buy a packet … to have with tomato and basil sauce, with lashings of melted cheese.
- Tuesday – when I was doing Weightwatches, I found a weekly stirfry was a great way to eat plenty of veggies but save on calories – I have so many different types of noodles in the cupboard to eat my way through. Beef stirfry will help bump up my iron levels, and I received some of this umami paste from Clearspring which I am keen to try.
- Wednesday – I was off curries all through my pregnancy, but I thought I’d give one a try this week (mild, considering the breastfeeding). I was thinking a thai green chicken curry or lamb massoman one could be the order of the day, served with brown rice. I pack my curries with plenty of veggies including aubergine and tomatoes.
- Thursday – a freezer meal is what’s needed today: chicken and chorizo stew. Depending on how my boy behaves, I might make some cheese dumplings to bake on top of the stew, like a cobbler.
- Friday – fish and chips to start the bank holiday weekend! But a homemade version to try and be slightly healthy …
- Saturday – I don’t think we’ll be venturing too far over the bank holiday weekend, so I’d like to make some pizzas – this wholemeal pizza base is a tasty one.
- Sunday – I think I could manage to cook a roast dinner today, but maybe something relatively simple like pork chops rather than a full on joint of meat.
I’ll tell you next week whether I actually managed to make any of this ambitious menu!