Friday, April 24, 2009

Menu Planning Tips

Yeah use her books, my goal is to use one new recipe a week. You may also
want to go through the beginning of her book and note the staples she
keeps on hand. I would write down the ones that look most like what I
would use. For me I use magnetic note pads for the pantry and fridge.
BUT, you could even maybe make something up on the PC that you just check
mark the items as you need them.

Also one more thing I did not mention earlier....... but now I realize
something. A lot of people here must be perfectionist, and SHE's (side
tracked Home Executives). I know I am/was one. For some of us, making a
menu may be harder then it sounds or looks.

Please remember baby steps, don't go whole hog. This is kind of my own
testimony. For years, I had tried menu plans, and menu planning. (you
know I'm sure every diet you have ever went on, always starts out at
least the first week of giving you a menu plan.) Oh my goodness if I made
it through a whole week on a menu plan like that it was a miracle. Then I
heard, over and over again planning ahead is the best policy. I've heard
this with every thing from, my church, and Bible reading, to diet gurus
and how to lose weight. I would always TRY, I would make up shopping
list, and stick to them at the store, I would get home with EVERY thing I
would need for the menu. The next day I would wake up and.........I don't
want to eat that. (even if I was the one who invented the menu, with
things I LOVED!). So I wouldn't eat what was on the menu, even if it
meant going to get other food. And all the good food I had bought would
rot. I was even bad at this as a child, my parents would yell at me,
about wasting the grapes, I had ASKED for!

For about one year and 3 months on Richards plan, I decided meal planning
would just not work for me. Cause I knew no matter how desperately I
wanted to follow a plan my mind had a block and wouldn't let me. So
that's when keeping healthy staples on hand came in to play GREATLY! I
would just keep every thing to whip up a healthy meal in no time in the
pantry/freezer, about 20 minutes before the meal I would go in there and
whip something up. Flying by the seat of my pants. It worked for me and
wasn't too bad. The only thing was, I did find myself saying I was too
tired, or didn't feel like thinking of something new to make, so I would
make the same ole, same ole every day. Mainly JoAnna Lund Sloppy Joe's
lol. I really can't tell you how many times I made those things. And
personally I never got bored of them. In fact, I could still be eating
them today and really not be bored of them. The thing was my weight loss
came to a screeching halt. I went to Hoot camp in LA with Richard
Simmons, I lost 3 pounds over the weekend! 3 pounds in 3 days!!! Sure we
did a lot of exercising but not that much! (3 hours a day, I was doing 2
hours a day at home, so surely one more hour didn't make a 3 pound
difference!). I decided it must of been the different foods I was eating
out there. I wasn't having the same thing day after day, breakfast, lunch
and dinner. I was having something different each meal, each day. So I
decided I needed to do the same at home.

The problem....... I remembered how bad I was at meal planning! Any way,
long story short, I figured out I had a control problem, even if it was
ME who was going to be the one in control! A planned menu was too much
control to give something! For me personally. I had to keep letting
myself know it was ok for ME to be in control of what I ate! It was hard,
but I didn't jump into it all at once! Cause it would have back fired.

First, I would surround myself with all my books and newsletters of
JoAnnas and write down a bunch of recipes I would "like" to give a try.
Then I would each day look at the list-pick out what sounded like I would
like to try that day, and admittedly just go to the store randomly as I
needed something for the next recipe I had chose. (I had always been a
every two week shopper cause that's when my husband gets paid) but for
this transition time, I was going a few times a week! For one or two
items. It was best to send hubby cause he don't get side tracked at the
store coming home with 100 dollars of stuff when sent for 5 dollars
worth!

I gradually worked my way up to where I am now.

This is what I do now. See a few months ago, I was reading all my back
issues of JoAnna Lund Newsletters, and one person said she puts all her
issues together by month. (I was putting them together by year) in
folders. So each month she goes to that months folder and her and her
daughter would pick out recipes from that month's issues (current and
past issues). Well, I immediately rearranged my folders, and now have 12
folders, one for each month, and my newsletters go back to 1999, with a
few 92's and 98's disbursed through out.

Now what I do, is at least one month ahead of time, I go through the next
months newsletters, I write down each recipe I would like to try, and the
extra ingredients not my staples on the side. Till I have a months (or
even more's worth, it's ok if it's more! Use them next year, so you don't
have to go back through ALL the issues again, just the new one!). THEN, I
have a day planner (fly lady calls it a control journal). I bought extra
filler paper for the calendar part. I put one piece of filler paper in
each month of the calendar. Then, I write down ALL those recipes I wanted
to try, (in date, and page #-of the newsletter). I also pick one
other book a month, and pick out two recipes from it to try. This month,
I picked the kids book. Any way...... After I transfer all that to the
filler paper. Then, I look at the calendar, and fill it in with a menu,
based on what I have written on the filler paper. The filler paper has
the extra foods that aren't staples in my home, written out to the side
like this.

January
1999 pg. 4 Snow Balls-dried cranberries

The above I just made up. But, let's pretend, it also calls for flour,
and splenda, and margarine. I don't write any of those down cause those
are all staples I always have.

In my calendar part, I only write the name of the recipe, nothing else
cause there's not enough room. Then, as I make the items on the filler
paper, I erase them. I don't erase things from the calendar, only the
filler paper. This way..... I probably will not get through all the
recipes I wrote down this year, but that leaves more room for the next
issue from next year, and shows me what I have left for next year in
January at the end of the month that I will try. Also don't erase them
till you actually make them. Things come up, and you don't always make
every thing you planned exactly. IE sometimes hubby says let's go out.
I'm not a fuddy duddy who would say I'm on a diet, no I won't go out with
you. I'm flexible enough that things may get pushed to the side that
week, that's ok, I can make them the next day! If I already have the
ingredients bought no big deal. I'm going out with my husband!

Oh yeah I do every thing in pencil!

Another tip, I still don't plan to the TEE! I plan two new recipes a
week, and write them down on Sundays square in the calendar, that don't
really mean I make them on Sunday, just the first time I can that week!
(for instance yesterday was the first day I could make my planned recipes
this week-we were out and about Sunday and Monday, and I was eating left
overs from the freezer, and eating at Whole Foods Deli!) Then I fill in
the rest of the week, still by looking at the filler paper list, and
picking things, as I go. I will say the Sundays food, is usually the
things I have to buy extra stuff for, I fill in the rest of the week,
with recipes that all the ingredients are staples.

Some day I hope to get to where I can let go of enough control to fill in
every day! But, for now, just one day a week is kind of sorta planned!
Later I will get to the point, where two days a week are, and so on. baby
steps. This is life changing things I am doing not a quick fix! And
that's what I have to keep telling myself, and give my self the patience
I would any one else who I loved and deserved it!

Heather

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