Menu Planning

7-tips-to-help-you-plan-your-menu 

 

I’ve got to say it: “Fail to plan, and you plan to fail.”

Here is some of my best stuff from my cookbook Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way…

Eating healthy can feel intimidating, time-consuming, and even impossible.

But take a professional organizer’s advice – fail to plan, and you plan to fail.

Menu planning is one of the big keys to success when it comes to Organizing Yourself and Organizing Your Health – and these 7 tips will make it easy. Check them out:

1. Menu Planner

This menu planner will be your guide to planning all of your meals and healthy snacks. Use it faithfully! Nothing replaces writing down your menu. Similar to writing down your goals, the secret to success with a healthy diet is planning out each snack and meal, and putting it in writing. Whether you use this menu planner or create something of your own, the trick is to know what you’re going to eat ahead of time.

 

MENU-WITH-SNACKS-resized

2. Where to begin? 

We learned in Food Is Your Friend that we need to eat frequently—every 2-3 hours.  This means that as you begin to adopt this new lifestyle, you need to plan for each snack and each meal…because there’s nothing like a hungry belly to derail all of your good intentions.  Your best bet is to develop a strategy and schedule that includes meal planning, grocery shopping, and advanced food preparation.

 3. Pick a Day to Plan

Just as with exercise or other worthy endeavors, menu planning is often nothing more than a good intention if you aren’t committed to a time to create it. Choose a regular time each week and treat it as an appointment. You might consider planning your menu the day before you go shopping.

4.Consider Your Schedule

Be mindful of your schedule as you plan. Pick quick, easy dinner items if you have a busy afternoon. Experiment with a new recipe on a day when you have a few extra hours. Planning realistic recipes that are compatible with your day is a big secret to success in menu planning. And one of my greatest secrets for getting a healthy dinner on the table when you have a busy day? Freezer meals. Click HERE for great freezer meal information and recipes.

 

5. Be Strategic

Think about how you can cook a meal but use it twice. For example, I like to grill each Monday night so that I am well-supplied with cooked chicken for my salads at lunch. I also plan a gourmet salad to go with dinner that night, and plan to use that salad for lunch throughout the week. Look for regular routines you can implement that will support your healthy eating when your schedule gets hectic. See other tips in my post Making it Easy.

 

6. Keep it Fresh

When I began eating this way, I quickly realized that the only way I would successfully make healthy eating a lifestyle was to experiment with a variety of new recipes.  If I had to face the same two or three choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks every day for the rest of my life, “healthy eating” would last about 10 minutes. Commit to trying one or two new recipes a week, like these. You may not fall in love with every recipe you try, but you will find some new healthy staples.

7. Don’t Wing it!

There will come a day when Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way feels as natural and comfortable as your current eating habits…but that day is far in the distance. Without a fresh and exciting menu option, you will find yourself reaching for convenient foods that are not your friend. For now, invest the small amount of time it takes to plan your menu, and reap BIG dividends as you begin to look and feel better.

For more menu planning tips, as well as over 130 healthy recipes, click HERE to check out my new cookbook, “Healthy Eating The Happy Gal Way.”

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