Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Meal Planning Like a Queen

Planning and preparing nutritious meals should be important in every household. When shopping, I do believe it is wise to buy only what you will need. Meats 1/3 lb per person, vegetables, 1/2 cup each, etc. Plan that as you are planning each days menu. Menu planning is vital and important in staying on top of your budget and honestly, making a home feel more like a home.
Food groups.
Make sure you are getting the following: Fruits 2-4servings, Vegetables 3-5 servings, Protein source  2-3 servings, Dairy 2-3 servings, Grains can be quite a bit 6-11 servings.

I personally try to have a veggie every meal.... a fruit 2 meals - often dessert and a salad or on breakfast, dairy at least two meals etc. Proteins tend to be 1/4 of the meal so each meal just pick one etc.

A healthy plate should be 1/4 protein, 1/4 starch, 1/2 veggies or fruits.

When buying non perishibles, buy larger sizes to keep costs in check. Buy only what you will use in perishibles and clean the fridge out often!
The food groups are key in planning but next, find ways to make it interesting. Color, texture, shape and different combinations should be considered. People do dine with their eyes as well as their tastebuds. Even with a simple dish, get in lots of varied colors. Make it visually enticing. Restuarants do, so should you.

Try new vegetables and fruits, learn new recipes. Get creative with leftovers. Get creative with salads.

Make assorted rolls and sauces. Creativity is the key to keeping it interesting. While the food groups are standard, the ways to entertain and combine them are endless.

One of my favorite shows to watch is Chopped on the food network. You can see that even with the most unappetising of ingredients, you can make a splendid meal. It just takes practice and planning.

Don't put off your meal until just before or you will leave out nutrition and you will have a boring meal. Honestly, plan your meals each night before bed... not just the menu but the nutrition, the table spread, how you are going to make it lovely and nice like a restuarant would.

What items you may need to make ahead of time to ensure the meal is ready on time. I read that one woman makes her salad and dessert and bread dough each am... I find that wise. Also to do the food prep then (slice any onions/etc/etc/etc... then there is absolutely no excuse for not putting it all together that evening.

 At that point it's just as easy as a pre made meal to heat up. Make or plan breakfast the night before. If its an egg casserole, mix it put it in a dish and have it ready. If you are making some kind of rolls or muffins, begin the prep. Be ready so that cooking is enjoyable to you. And KEEP UP ON THE DISHES. No one enjoys cooking in a messy kitchen. You simply won't be happy unless your kitcen is lovely so keep it clean and keep it lovely. Enjoy being in it and enjoy making lovely meals.

So my plan for you.

Plan your menu for the week. Plan the cheapest way to make it for your budget.

 Get creative with the ingredients(special salads desserts etc), Get in all your food groups, and plan your ahead of time food prep... when will you do the early prep so that your meal runs smoothly. It will take a bit of work at first. All of this will but it will become easier that the rewards are so worth it.
Much love Always,

You can do it!



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