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Saturday, January 28, 2012

Planning a healthier menu during the week

I never imagined when I started writing this blog how much fun I would have. This has been a valuable learning experience for me.  With my hectic schedule dinner would typically be whatever healthy menu option I could throw together in the least amount of time.  During the week I am so busy that there is limited time to spend fussing in the kitchen.  I am typically bringing 1 of my 3 kids to an activity and madly rushing to the gym to squeeze in my evening workouts.

My approach has been to research recipe ideas and plan a menu.  Then I spend the weekends in the kitchen experimenting with recipes when I have more free time.  I typically write about my experiences in a blog entry the following week.  I have realized that with a little preparation and planning it is possible to prepare more meals in advance.  I don't want to fall in the trap of eating unhealthy foods because it is what is "easier" or "more convenient". 

I think that much of the difficulties families face is that with both parents working outside the home it is very difficult to find the time to prepare healthier meals.  It is much easier on a busy night to hit the McDonalds drive thru for burgers and fries.  It is important to think about how much better you will feel when you are eating healthier.  Remember that your daily decisions will impact your health in the long run.  I don't want to get old gracefully.  I want to stay young!

Tips on Planning Healthier Meals
  • Decide what meals you would like to prepare for the week
  • Plan a grocery list to include the items you need for those recipes
  • If possible prepare food on the weekends to freeze for later use
  • Stock up on fruits to grab as quick healthy snacks
  • If you need to buy more of an item than is needed for a recipe, try planning additional meals using the same ingredient
  • Focus on a menu that most of your family will enjoy to keep things simple

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