When we decide to improve our diet, we often imagine ourselves cheerfully cooking, and enjoying fresh, healthy food that we have prepared for ourselves and our loved ones. The problem is that often these ideas also remain in our heads, IF we’re not smart about it.
So how can you make your plans stick?
Three words. PLANNING. PLANNING. PLANNING. Many people say that planning is boring and that it limits us, we’re not so spontaneous anymore. I believe it’s quite the opposite. Planning meals is one of the most liberating tricks when we try to live healthier. Planning allows us to simply forget about food for that day or week and we don’t need to think about the next meal. There is no dilemma about what will be on the table on Friday afternoon, because we have already determined this at the beginning of the week, and we can focus our thoughts elsewhere and are thus much more productive throughout the day.
Therefore – NO EXCUSES.
Dedicate a few hours in the end of the week for planning meals. For me this is Friday, since I like to do all my grocery shopping at the local market on a Saturday morning. If you buy everything you need for the coming week in one go, you get an extra bonus – you avoid the temptations in the form of freshly baked bread or delicious chocolate, plus you save a lot of time during the week – no need to go to the stores at all (two for the price of one, that’s an offer you TRULY can’t refuse 😉 )
You have NO IDEA what to cook?
First check your refrigerator and the freezer – do not be like my mom, who has endless amounts of food stored in three freezers and never uses them, because she simply never remembers it 😉. It’s very likely that at least one thing hidden in there is almost due, or you might find a long forgotten peace of rabbit at the bottom of the freezer.
Then think about what is currently in the season – take advantage of the fact that there is still plenty of veggies to get before fall strikes!
Also, if you’re like me and like checking the mail from all your grocers, you can see if there’s anything that you like discounted in the next few days. Is there a recipe you’ve been thinking of testing? Great, why not this week?!
You can now begin creating the menu for the week. HOWEVER – be realistic / realistic. If you know that you eat out 3 times a week, do not plan to bring lunch to work or even plan to skip it. If you know that you REALLY don’t like fish, then don’t plan a huge tuna salad on a Monday night.
Realistically evaluate how your week will go – if you dine out, check the menu beforehand, and write in the menu what you will choose. If you’ll taking food to work, consider which meals will survive such a trip.
What about the upcoming week?
If you LOVE experimenting and searching through recipes, create a folder on your desktop and throw in anything you find that inspires you. This way, you will build your personal idea bank that will help you decided on meals for the coming week.
HOWEVER – where does it say that you need to keep on changing the mealy?? If you’re a simple & easy going person, just repeat the menu in the next week. A good solution might be to write a menu for 2 weeks and then repeat it just once. This way the food will be diverse enough, but you’ll have almost no work.
TRUST ME - planning of the menu is one of the greatest tricks that will help you keep the promises you have made to yourself. It's much less exhausting and time-consuming than it may seem at first - in fact, it's quite the contrary - it saves us a lot of time and energy.
How are you planning your weekly menu? If you have any extra tricks up your sleeve, share them below!