Healthy Eating

Meal Planning Calendar

This morning I was preparing for a big day at work.  I pulled out a pair of nice linen slacks that needed ironing to look polished and fashionable.  I considered the extra time I would be using, making myself a few minutes late into the office if I did decide to iron.  I went for it, it would be worth it.  I spent probably 5 minutes ironing the pants, then went to put them on.

Guess what?? THEY WOULDN’T ZIP UP!!!

“Dave!!!” I called – “We need to go jogging tonight!!!” So much for the extra time wasted to look nice.

I feel like, as a new wife, it is my new job to learn how to cook and make dinners interesting.  Any chef would tell you, when you are cooking to make interesting things, forget about the fat content.  Right? WRONG! I think somewhere in my desire to be a better cook, I have forgotten a major detail.

Nutrition.

I need to plan my meals ahead of time with the distinct thought in my head, how can I make vegetables and or salad a major part of this meal?  Planning ahead for meals has been a pain in my side for the first 3 months of our marriage.  That is all about to change.

I found a great blog post online with meal planning calendar templates that you can download. I don’t like deciding what to cook every night so I am having Dave tell me some things he’d like to eat during the week and i am going to write them on the calendar.   My favorite template is the “visual meal planner” that forces you to remember to add a vegetable, salad, start, main dish, etc. to the meal. I forget about the side dishes so we always just end up having canned green beans or corn, not the most healthy or interesting.

http://penniesnpound­s.blogspot.com/2008/0­7/templates-for-meal-­planning.html

(Thanks to Pennies’n’Pounds for the wonderful templates!)

So I am starting this today.  I printed out the 1 page template for the week (planning a whole month at a time seems a little unnecessary to me) and wrote in the meals we are having, filling in ideas of veggies/sides that go with each main dish.  On the back of the sheet, I wrote the grocery list of any items that I don’t currently have at home. I will be stopping at Vons on my way home from work (bringing along my reusable grocery bags of course!).

***Another big plus to adding more vegetables to our our diet, I am anxious for this planning ahead thing to make me feel more in control of the time I have each evening.  If I don’t have dinner in mind ahead of time, I don’t know how much time I’ll have to work with in the evening, which makes me feel like I’ll have none.  That can make me feel pretty bored with life.

After all, it isn’t all about food.

Let me know if you have any other tips!

I want to master this now before I have a few more mouths to feed.  By then I’ll hopefully be a pro 🙂

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