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DASEEMAN's Photo DASEEMAN Posts: 912
7/21/10 2:08 P

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Thanks so much for all the great ideas. I have been on this team for about a month and still haven't kicked the meal planning into high gear! All your responses have motivated me to do better.

Deb

Iowa, CST

Worry is nothing less than the misuse of your imagination. ~Ed Foreman~

We can not do everything at once but we can do something at once. ~Calvin Coolidge~ American president


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KIMBERRYDUNN's Photo KIMBERRYDUNN Posts: 13
7/21/10 7:57 A

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Thanks for the tips! I'll definitely look into filtering the SparkRecipes!

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JANINEWHITE Posts: 74
7/20/10 9:03 P

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Monday nights are automatically pizza night. We rarely eat out, and Mondays are usually jam packed so we hit Papa Murphy's on the way home. It's my one cheat meal of the week.

This may seem like a weird strategy, but on the weekend I buy whatever (healthy) meat is on a big sale and stick it in the freezer, then I find recipes based on that, and will go back to the store on Tuesday to buy any other items needed for those meals. Sometimes the kids have to come with me, and I tell them what we are making and we play a game of "Where is the broccoli?" or "Where are the grapes?" They are young enough to enjoy it, and they are learning about the names of different and good for you foods.

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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (47,077)
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7/20/10 8:02 P

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Kimberry, Carmstr1 has it pretty right for things for a beginner like yourself to do. Someone on my Cooking for Fast Lives team put it like this: Take a chunk of some kind of meat, add something sweet, then something sour (honey and vinegar, for example, with a couple of chicken breasts) Let it cook for six or seven hours on low, add a vegetable or salad and a baked potato or some garlic bread, and you'll be set to go.

There are soooooo many SparkRecipes out there! Did you know you can search SparkRecipes by how long it takes to make it? Shorter times almost by necessity have fewer ingredients and simpler instructions.
emoticon

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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CARMSTR1's Photo CARMSTR1 SparkPoints: (27,979)
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7/20/10 11:28 A

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Use your crock pot. Anything you cook in the oven you can cook in the CP. Just put alot less liquid in it (at the most 1/2 a cup) - since you will not loose (and will gain) liquids. Get it set up the night before. Put the CP out, plugged in, turned off. Prepare the meats & put in a container in the fridge. Prepare the spices (put in a cup) - you can leave those out on the counter by the CP, prep the veggies - so all you have to do is dump everything in the CP and stir it up, then turn it on. NEVER put cold food in a warmed up crock pot - it will crack the liner.
Use cookbooks (or the recipes on this site). If you can assemble a bycicle or anything mechanical you can follow directions in a cook book.

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KIMBERRYDUNN's Photo KIMBERRYDUNN Posts: 13
7/20/10 10:33 A

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Ok, I'm HOPING that this will help me! I'm not a cook, though I'd love to learn. However, my husband and I are on a tight budget and either I don't have much time to cook anything or we're not home at the same time for dinner. Plus, I don't have many recipes in my possession to choose from that either don't take a lot of time or don't have a TON of ingredients. Please help!!!

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CARMSTR1's Photo CARMSTR1 SparkPoints: (27,979)
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7/19/10 10:35 A

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What I have re-discovered is my George Foreman grill. The night before I take 1 serving of chicken breast (6 or 7 oz), dip it is something, then I found at my grocers this crusting stuff (in the spice aisle). I add some panko, ground nuts and sometimes some parmesan cheese to about a heaping tbsp of the mixture, stir it up well, dip it in the liquid, then the solid mixture and cook for about 5 - 7 mins in my GF grill. Put it in a baggie and make my salad (I mix spinach, greens (like romaine or iceberg), then on the top either baby field greens, sweet leaf or italian mix (no carrots in any of them) and my lunch is ready to go for the next day. The liquid mixture I have used is lime and balsamic vinegar or EVOO, honey and dijon mustard mix. You can use about anything.

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CYCLEGIRL36's Photo CYCLEGIRL36 Posts: 387
7/17/10 5:53 P

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I usually use a few recipes over and over (something with pinto beans, spaghetti, homemade waffles - my hubby makes these every Sunday night) then I only have a few nights that I have to find a new recipe or a recipe I don't use too often. I also try and get meat when its on sale and then make my recipes according to what I have, not the other way around. I alos just started to mark on the calendar first if it's going to be a night I have time to cook, it's going to be a hectic night or if I'm going to be worn out from the day's activities, then plan my meals accordingly. One other thing - I have 1 or 2 healthy frozen items in the freezer for those nights that I am way too crazy to even look at the menu. That way I don't have to go out and pick something up at the first fast food nearby. Hope this helps.

Keep Smiling
Debbie
"Do what you can, with what you have, where you are"


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FERNCREST Posts: 763
7/17/10 10:50 A

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Meal planning can be tricky if you don't know the amount of calories your body needs just to survive. The girls I train give me their weight, height,age and level of activity.... with this information I calculate the amount of calories needed just to survive and then subtract 500 calories to start. They eat every 2-3 hours to keep their metabolism reved up.
The eat:
meal 1- oatmeal, fruit
2 - turkey sandwich or protein drink
3 - eggs whites and brown rice
4 - protein drink and green veggie or turkey
5 - lean protein and green veggie
6 - lean protein and green veggie
7 - protein shake 1 hour before bed
A fruit can be added in anytime before 2:30


HACKERNOW's Photo HACKERNOW Posts: 709
7/17/10 10:23 A

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Making a weekly menu is hard for me. When I do make it up, I find it hard to follow. I'm contantly changing it. I will try harder. I think I will follow SP's menu plan for a week. Does anyone use them?

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CTTAGENT's Photo CTTAGENT Posts: 1,616
7/17/10 1:52 A

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I have tried planning a menu a week ahead, but I find I change my mind about what I feel like eating. So I have changed my approach. I do a printout of a small selection of recipes for main dish, veggies, and dessert/goodie. From there I choose 2 recipes and shop for those ingredients. I have a lot less spoilage of vegetables. I date the recipe and any remarks so I can update the file. Then about once a month, I go into the computer program and print out a different selection of recipes.

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KATHYS1944's Photo KATHYS1944 Posts: 5,416
7/14/10 8:41 A

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Great ideas here. I don't have a problem eating the same thing for a couple of days, my problem is having one helping and saving the rest for another day!

my.sparkpeople.com/KATHYS1944

"Never, never, never, never give up"
Winston Churchill

Kathy from Wisconsin


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FERNCREST Posts: 763
7/14/10 7:09 A

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You need to eat a slow burning carb, like oatmeal or cream of wheat for breakfast, along with a protein. The protein could be egg whites or a protein drink. This fuels you for the day.

EPIPHANYANGEL's Photo EPIPHANYANGEL Posts: 3,145
7/14/10 6:35 A

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I'm in the process of creating a weekly meal plan for the first time. emoticon

I have been looking through WW and slimming world books/magazines and have found so many meals to choose from.

The only problem I'm having is finding breakfast ideas, they are all mostly egg ones. I'm not a great fan of cereals.

DEBBIE

http://the-weigh-to-go.blogspot.com/


http://my-natural-essence.blogspot.com

Just For Today I let go of anger.

Just For Today I do not Worry.

Just For Today I have the attitude of Gratitude

Just For Today I have love and respect for every living thing.

Just For Today I will do my work honestly.

Namaste. Love and Light.



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FERNCREST Posts: 763
7/13/10 9:27 P

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I always grill my chicken cutlets on Sundays, cut up all veggies, and grill them also. Have fish in the freezer and spinach in the fridge ready for the week. It's much easier if you plan what you're going to eat, then you don't even have to think about it. Have slow burning carbs in the morning and a lean protein and veggies after 2:30.

BIGGRLSDONTCRY's Photo BIGGRLSDONTCRY Posts: 15,099
7/13/10 12:40 A

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just wanted to say emoticon karen!! i should have known you'd be on this team! ;)

Edited by: BIGGRLSDONTCRY at: 7/13/2010 (00:40)
*ERICA*

ROLL TIDE ROLL!!!!!

Beyond The Scale -- Autumn Oaks

Getting healhier and happier, AND being able to work from home and not be away from my babies? There is nothing better. :)


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FITNESSFOODIE's Photo FITNESSFOODIE Posts: 3,340
7/12/10 9:25 P

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I usually start with the weekend and plan for any social events. Then fit in 2 vegetarian, 2 chicken and 2 fish, 1 beef entrees. Sometimes we substitute pork for a beef or chicken. In the summer it's mostly grilled, in the winter lots of roasted or baked. We don't do a lot of white carbs - pasta, potato or rice, so I plan 2 vegetables for every meal. Sometimes dinner salad, sometime 2 cooked veg, depends on the entree and time of year. Dessert on Sundays and special occasions.

Meal plan takes me about an hour, grocery list and coupon search another 30 minutes.

Edited by: FITNESSFOODIE at: 7/12/2010 (21:26)
Karen - Seacoast New Hampshire

Do or Do Not. There is No Try. Yoda



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GRANDMAAMIE's Photo GRANDMAAMIE Posts: 44,047
7/11/10 1:24 P

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MEAL PLANNING

M. CHICKEN Enchiladas/SALAD
T. PORK ROAST/WITH VEGGIES
W. BBQ CHICKEN/CORN
T. BREAKFAST BURRITOS FOR DINNER
F. LEFT OVER PORK ROAST

Edited by: GRANDMAAMIE at: 7/11/2010 (13:26)
.•*´¨ ) ¸.•*¨) -:¦:-
(¸.•´(•*¨. ♥.•*¨)
{¸.•´+*+AMIE+*+*+{¸ ;.• .•*¨}.•* .**+* SORRY ABOUT CAPS NOT YELLING VERY POOR EYE SIGHT DIABETIC +++++ HUGGS

Stop living life for what's around the corner and start enjoying the walk down the street.
***************************

NEVER LOOK DOWN AT ANYONE UNLESS YOUR HELPING THEM UP!
****************************

This life is yours. Take the power
to choose what you want to do .


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JENSBLACKBETTY's Photo JENSBLACKBETTY Posts: 14
7/9/10 7:43 A

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Hello all,

I am new here but I wanted to say.....

I take my favorite cookbooks and make full day menus from them, the compile a shopping list. I have a menu template I fill out and post on the fridge so everyone knows whats for dinner! I also do the same for my daycare parents....works better that way!



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SLURAAS's Photo SLURAAS SparkPoints: (10,852)
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Posts: 252
7/5/10 3:37 A

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We have favorite meals. Rotating those favorites helps to save time in planning and preparation. emoticon

God's grace and peace be multiplied.


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SHERRY822's Photo SHERRY822 Posts: 3,737
6/30/10 10:48 P

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I plan my weekly menu by the grocery store ads. They come in the mail the Monday before the sale starts. I check out the ads, and make a list of what I am going to buy, then I check my coupons and put them with the list so I don't forget them. My store also has a rack with some great free resources on it at the entrance. They have a shopping list organized by department, that I put on my fridge and add things to it as I use them up.

Edited by: SHERRY822 at: 6/30/2010 (22:49)
My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart,and my portion for ever.
Psalms 73:26


But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
Philippians 4:13




"If you always do what you've always done,
You're Always Going To Get What You've Always Gotten."



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FITCOFFEEMOM357's Photo FITCOFFEEMOM357 Posts: 2,414
6/24/10 10:45 P

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I have a family of picky eaters.

We do "themed" days mostly because my kids look forward to meals better.

Pasta Sundays
Chicken Mondays
Taco Tuesdays
Wackey Wednesdays (Leftover day)
Thursday (nothing really planned)
Pizza Fridays
BBQ Saturdays



Becky ~ 39 & DH ~ 43
17yrs
Brittney ~ 11yrs
Xander ~ 9yrs
Bailie ~ 6yrs

Faith, Hope, and Love...the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:13

No matter your choice for your journey as long as you are healthy and happy you will get there in His time. ~ by me ^_~


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RXMAMA2's Photo RXMAMA2 Posts: 49
6/24/10 9:48 P

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Just to clarify a previously mentionned website: www.CopyKat.com Don't think I will use it much since I am following a low-fat diet. Most popular restaurants have HUGE amounts of fat in their foods!
emoticon

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WINDSONG~'s Photo WINDSONG~ Posts: 22,455
6/24/10 6:54 A

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Tips? Tricks?

I LOVE to cook and try new things.

When I go to the store I buy one new ingredient and plan a menu around it.

I LOVE new recipes so I do a web or SP search for a new recipe.

I also like to do themes.

Seasonal foods are in my meal plan.

I also go to a thrift store and buy a new cookbook and plan a meal around one of the new recipes.


*~*Marcie*~*

Health is my goal weight loss is my gift .

I am entering into a new Time of My Life and I look forward to the challenges it has in store for me.




NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 29,856
6/13/10 9:05 P

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You are on that web site right now.
I just entered my and DH favorite chicken stew. We use it for camping, I refuse to become a sandwich camper.
I entered the items in to the recipe calculator, i edited it and now i can just change out any item i want to and it will give me the nutrition. And that is how I do it. I will make it exactly as i wrote it and might have to tweak from there but i doubt i will. I really dislike putting chemicals in my body. I am chemically sensitive, plays havoc with medications.
I also refuse to use sweeteners other than the usual sugar , honey etc, I just relax while I am cooking. So glad we are on the same page. Pat in Maine. emoticon

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.

Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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JULIAJEAN2's Photo JULIAJEAN2 Posts: 2,894
6/13/10 8:35 P

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Hi Pat,

I really like Allrecipes.com as well. I get newsletters from various food sites for all types foods. Part of my therapy is in the preparation of the food I eat. It also means that I know what is going into my food and I can pronounce it. I still am working at changing my all time favorites into a healthier version for me, but it is a fun challenge.

Who knows, maybe there will be a site I can find which remakes recipes into a more healthy version. I refuse to give up good flavor though.

Take care. Julia emoticon

Co-leader Spark Metaphysical

Co-leader Passionate People Creating Positive Thoughts

Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you. -Fox Mulder, X-Files


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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 29,856
6/13/10 5:25 P

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Right on, that's what's great about loving to cook.
If you really enjoy it we are so lucky.
I love to cook and I was taught that presentation is the key to satisfactio in cooking. When i plate a meal even just DH and i and he has a comment on how it looks it starts our meal off on a high note.

It is even more important when company eats with us. It takes so little time to garnish or present a meal that looke appetising.
Just look at a picture with no frame to see the difference. I am with you JULIAJEAN2
I love Allrecipes.com they do give good nutrition information too.Another interesting one is KopyKat.com recipes they copy restaurant presentations. I do not use them alot but some friends find it useful.
Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.

Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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JULIAJEAN2's Photo JULIAJEAN2 Posts: 2,894
6/13/10 4:54 P

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I love to cook and look for new recipes. If I find a great recipe to try I print it out and attach it to my refrigerator with two clip magnets. This is right by our dry erase board for the grocery list. If I need new items I write them down on our grocery list.

I have started to include a folder with SP recipes in the kitchen by my cookbooks and when I am stumped for something different then I look through there for some ideas.

We keep a large selection of meat in the freezer packaged in two portion sizes. That has helped me the most. We have chicken, pork loin, roast, beef steaks, turkey burgers, fish, seafood, etc. I usually go with what time I have available at the end of my work day whether I am going to something quick and easy or whether I have the time to create an elaborate meal. I guess that it really helps that I love to cook.

I look at planning and preparing meals as an artistic challenge. I believe that it is not only important to create a healthy meal; one that will not only taste good but will have various colors and textures. The secret is to kick back and enjoy the process of creating healthy food to go along with your healthy lifestyle.

Edited by: JULIAJEAN2 at: 6/13/2010 (16:55)
Co-leader Spark Metaphysical

Co-leader Passionate People Creating Positive Thoughts

Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they're not out to get you. -Fox Mulder, X-Files


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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 29,856
6/9/10 9:07 P

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Lets try Target.com Pat in maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.

Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (47,077)
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6/9/10 9:01 P

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testing, one, two --

organizher.blogspot.com/2010/03/write-n-wi
pe-meal-center.html


Got it to post as a line, DUBLREED, but it gets an error message when you click it.

Edited by: LEAKAY59 at: 6/9/2010 (21:02)
Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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DUBLREED's Photo DUBLREED Posts: 113
6/9/10 4:57 P

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This is a little off-topic, but to help organize meal-planning and shopping, I bought this:

http://organizher.blogspot.com/2010/03/w
rite-n-wipe-meal-center.html

at Target! It's been a convenient way to plan meals and have a running grocery list!

For some reason, when I add it as a link, it doesn't work, so you'll just have to copy and paste the address.

Edited by: DUBLREED at: 6/9/2010 (16:59)
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RFBURWELL's Photo RFBURWELL Posts: 13
6/9/10 3:53 P

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I tend to plan my menu when the grocery store sale flyers come out based on what's on special and what I have on hand. Usually, it's just me but for the next several months my 89 year old mother is living with me. She'll eat just about anything so that's not an issue. Just modified a tortellini soup recipe to use ingredients I had on hand like Morningstar Farms Italian Sausage and we'll have dinner tonight and lunch for the next couple days off that batch. I try to include fish a couple times a week, vegetarian at least one night, chicken another couple nights and limit red meats to once a month. I really want some help using protein rich grains and low fat dairy so I can get double duty out of my intake (i.e.grain/protein, dairy/protein) since I am only 4'11" and need to keep my caloric intake lower than most.

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DONNAGEL1 Posts: 3
6/9/10 10:20 A

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Things I have done.

When the boys were still at home, I had all our meals written on recipe cards, plus a couple "Try something new," And one "Dinner out" I would shuffle the cards and start to draw to give me ideas. It worked well.

Now, with the nest empty and its just the two of us, I prepare two or three meals a week and my husband eats leftovers. We have one night a week (Usually Sat) of 'get your own' and Sundays we have a meals with our sons. Because of the amount of meals in the freezer, I simply decided Chicken, Beef or Pork. Since all the meals in the freezer are prepared and ready to cook I simply stock up on fresh produce and dairy each week. Here is what my week might look like
Sunday - roast (beef)
Monday - leftover roast
Tuesday - Cranberry pork chops,
Wednesday - leftovers
Thursday- Pineapple Chicken, already cut up and in the marinade sauce in the freezer
Friday - leftovers
Saturday - on your own or dinner out

With each meal I add potato/pasta/rice and a veggie/salad. MY husband always dishes two meals up the first night and puts one in the fridge for the next day.



NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 29,856
6/8/10 2:12 P

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I dont think meal planning is just shopping planning you must plan other things too.
Making up menus also helps and besides a cook book a menu section is also helpful. When you plan your menu you can include more nutritous foods to use. You also have to plan your supplies. Items you use often keep on hand try not to run out otherwise you plans will need to change. You can however change your plans at will. I firmly beleive when meals are organised and you know what you have to do you eat out less and save time and money in the long run.
Crock pots, batch cooking and bulk buying can all help to save time and money. Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.

Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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ARIANROSE's Photo ARIANROSE Posts: 99
6/8/10 8:42 A

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My "meal" planning tends to come down to shopping planning more than anything else. There are things that my partner and I adore, and will always need on hand: organic diced tomatoes, spinach, whole wheat pasta, Great Northern Beans, frozen vegetables of all varieties, lowfat "white" and "orange" cheese groups, etc.

When I shop, I try to keep a selection of good grains (whole wheat pasta, brown/wild rice, beans, barley, bread, etc), vegetables (frozen or otherwise), "bases" (low sodium, low fat canned soups, cheese, milk, butter, etc), and meat.

That way, when it comes to dinner, we pick one or two from each, and make ... something. A caserole, or a skillet meal, or something like that. I've been cooking for myself long enough that I can pick four or five things in the kitchen that will taste good together, and then all I have to do is decide how I want to spice it.

Walk in the Light, Dance in the Shadows.
www.inappropriatemetaphor.com
MEKARE9601's Photo MEKARE9601 Posts: 64
6/7/10 9:29 P

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There are 4 of us here to plan for and most of us are picky. Sadly the oldest of the group is worse than the youngest. Anyway. I ask for request and keep staples to make the faves at hand. Then I use the weekly adds to get an idea of whats on sale and go from there. If I see something that is new and looks like at least a couple of us will eat it I'll try it out. I make a menu for the week but if I put roast on Monday and Chicken on Tuesday I'm not so strict that I won't switch them around. The menu is just a guideline so I know what to buy. I may get the stuff for beef and broccoli but make steak sandwiches instead.

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FISHINGLADY66's Photo FISHINGLADY66 Posts: 200,228
6/6/10 2:39 P

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It's hard for me to plan something different for each meal, because it's just hubby and me. So many recipes make several servings, so we eat left overs a lot. I do some batch cooking and freezing, but I have to be careful not to overload the freezer with leftovers. This for me is a challenge.

Irene from Missouri

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"Arriving at one goal is the starting point to another." - John Dewey


 
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PJGABRIEL's Photo PJGABRIEL SparkPoints: (63,505)
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6/6/10 1:59 P

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I set up my meal plans for the next week, but now sticking to it will be the next real challenge.

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government."

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MY_AGREEMENT's Photo MY_AGREEMENT SparkPoints: (43,677)
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6/4/10 11:18 P

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I haven't been planning meals in so long, I had almost forgotten how to do it!! I did today, though, and had a surprisingly short list at the grocery store today. No impulse buys, just the veggies and fruits and staples I needed. Now the challenge -- sticking to the plan!

--Marsha

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EMMABE1's Photo EMMABE1 Posts: 16,633
6/4/10 8:08 P

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Yesterday I spent time planning my menu for this next week and making out a shopping list - then this morning I went out shopping!!
Ooops - shopping list went out the window!!
I got to our local vege barn and they had just had a delivery -
I ended up with Red Cabbage that I will use a make over of my Mums recipe to make a cabbage and apple casserole, and serve it with roast parnips and fennel!! Then there was silverbeet (swiss chard) cheap and Brussles Sprouts - so those will be sauted to make another veg - Sauted Sprouts with Silverbeet and bacon - so thats 2 made over recipes this week - and a heap of veges!!
I'll be busy cooking!!



 
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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (47,077)
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6/4/10 7:38 A

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I sometimes spend up to an hour on Saturday morning just browsing SparkRecipes for the next week. When I'm satisfied with my choices and have cleared the menu with DH, I go to an online site for one of our local grocery stores. You can create your shopping list directly from the site, including all of the week's sale items. Then when I shop I hit three or four different stores, leaving the one I went online to until last. Anywhere I find an item on my list cheaper than the online price, that's where I buy it. With money so tight these days, it's worth the time to me to do the research. And all of the stores are within about a two-mile radius, so the travel time is negligible.

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

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MUMZELLA's Photo MUMZELLA Posts: 823
6/4/10 1:20 A

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I tend to be haphazard. Picking from my list of favorite recipes that are easy to cook. Part of why I'm here is to learn how to organize planning. Thanks for all the good ideas.

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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (47,077)
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6/3/10 7:07 P

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I've been on Spark long enough that I have built up quite a repertoire of favorite recipes. I tend to search for one or two new things a week, trying always to make sure we aren't eating the same base two nights in a row. I have a ton of wonderful crock pot chicken recipes, which are pretty much relegated to Sundays, so we have a lot of chicken on Sunday. Then I try for pasta one night, fish one night, beans/legumes one night and leftovers to fill in. I LOVE SparkRecipes!

Edited by: LEAKAY59 at: 6/3/2010 (19:07)
Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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SHADOZA's Photo SHADOZA SparkPoints: (159,009)
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6/3/10 5:22 P

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I keep a calendar-like spreadsheet on my computer. On another tab, I have a list of meals that we've tried and enjoyed, I pick from the list. We have at least one fresh meal each week. Opposite of the week's menu, I have a grocery list. I fill that out based on what we already have in stock. I print the pages out, staple them together have meals and grocery list on hand for the entire month.

I find recipes on Kraftfoods.com. I look at SparkRecipes sometimes, but there are too many substitutes...something I am not into.







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6/3/10 3:40 P

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I have so many cookbooks that I pick one to use for the month and as a family we all pick out recipes that we want to try.
I love re-vamping them into healthier versions.


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LP2278's Photo LP2278 SparkPoints: (41,190)
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6/3/10 2:58 P

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I have recipes that we have tried and enjoyed in a binder, and I flip through there to see what sounds good for the next week. The ingredients are listed on the recipes, so I just jot down what I need on my shopping list. I try to alternate chicken and beef recipes.

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. ~C.S. Lewis

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DGRAZIA's Photo DGRAZIA SparkPoints: (22,441)
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6/3/10 12:16 P

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Since I am so busy, I also don't rely on a planned schedual. I eat some meals at work, since I am a chef, and I am also allowed to bring home some left over items, like chicken, pork, or beef. My usual shopping list consists of getting my Almond milk, my Greek Yogurt, non fat Ricotta, and Laughing Cow. I go to a Big Lots to get staples, such as artichoke hearts, canned Salmon, Tuna, herring, beans, and any other canned item I can add to a dish quickly.
I start with either whole wheat pasta, or gulten free..and add lots and lots of veggies, and any of the above items. Staples make it easy to make a fast and low fat dish.

Stand up for yourself and for others who are not as strong as you..always take a stand in what you believe to be the truth.


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BOOKAPHILE's Photo BOOKAPHILE Posts: 981
6/3/10 12:06 P

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I use the grocery store ads to direct me to less expensive or seasonal produce and meat and use that as my starting point.

I have been trying out SparkPeople recipes to widen the variety and nutrition of our meals. (and to acquire some new "family favorites.")

I have a group of recipes that are family favorites that are my "fall back" recipes. (some of these are "2 parters" - that is, I'll use half the amount of meat in one recipe and the other half in another on consecutive days.)

This is one of those things that becomes easier with practice and fine tuning to your own family. Good Luck!

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JILLSMYTH Posts: 802
6/3/10 12:04 P

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Because it is just the two of us and most recipes have 6 servings, we really only make two meals a week and eat leftovers the rest of the week so our menu planning is scanty at best.

But when coming up with ideas, first I ask Mark if he is craving anything in particular. Then I think about what we have in the freezer, any meat or sauce or veggies that could be used. Then I remember what we've had lately, did we eat all chicken last week, or beef?

Next I consider any special days coming up. And that is celebrations and days where there is not much time for dinner but also includes scheduled appointments for donating blood. I have lowish iron levels so if I want to be able to donate blood, my meals for the prior week have to be high iron so we are more likely to eat steak and spinach meals the week beforehand.

And then I consider the weather. That casserole may use all the items we have in the freezer but are we really going to want to turn on the oven and eat a hot meal when it's a billion degrees outside?

That sounds like a lot of steps but it's a short process once I'm in it.

Oh, and finding new recipes (which I do all the time) is a great way to decide what to make, try something new!

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REBECCA-LICIOUS Posts: 1,613
6/3/10 11:37 A

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Hey everyone!

I feel like I waste so much time planning meals from week to week. There's got to be an easier way!

I know some people plan using theme nights (Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Chicken Wednesday), but I'm curious about how you guys do it.

Tips? Tricks?

Rebecca

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"I figured, me walking is better than me sitting on the couch. Even if I can't climb a mountain or do 100,000 push-ups, these steps matter, and they're leading somewhere." –Jennifer Hudson


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