19 Oct Why five?
Surely seven would be a more obvious choice for a weekly meal planner…?
That’s what I thought when I started doing this, too. But when I tried it, I found that five is a much better number, and here’s why…
I quickly found that, if I tried to buy the groceries for seven meals, some of the food would be past its best before I’d had a chance to cook it all.
I wish I could buy fresh ingredients every day, but that’s just not feasible with my lifestyle, so five days works out just about right. However, I do find that I have to cook the meals in a different order from the one on the index cards from time to time, because some ingredients keep longer than others.
In short, seven days in advance is just too far ahead to buy fresh ingredients.
A week might be seven days long, but not all days are equal. Weekends are special and the same rules don’t apply. You might want to go away, or eat out, or invite friends over for dinner. The last thing you need is a load of extra food going to waste.
A seven day planner is just too inflexible!
☺ Eating Happy ☺
Remember when I said that eating fresh, home-cooked meals makes you happy?
I based this statement on the results of two academic papers. Sanchez-Villegas’s extensive 10 year study of more than 15,000 people compared the quality of their diet with diagnosed incidences of depression, while Akbarali et al’s research considered how the eating habits of 3,486 people correlated with their mental health.
Both studies found that people who ate fresh, rather than processed, food were less likely to suffer from depression. However, Sanchez-Villegas found that it wasn’t necessary to eat well all the time. She found that the happiest people were those who ate well most of the time. She found no additional benefit to eating well every single day.
So good news – if you want to eat happy, you can stop off for a burger or order in pizza every once in a while, with no regrets.
I hope De La Soul won’t mind if I mis-quote them, but to my mind, “5, that’s the magic number!”