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NOVA3A's Photo NOVA3A SparkPoints: (14,728)
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4/3/11 7:03 P

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Isn't Life wonderful when we all work together. to learn Thank you Sparkpeople for bringing us all together & giving these challenges to teach us. emoticon

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DOWNDAY's Photo DOWNDAY Posts: 66
4/1/11 5:43 P

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Hey ladies!
Reading these posts, it's easy to see so many struggles out there! So glad we all have a lot of the same ones! Sparkpeople is the place for help. I didn't get serious about eating healthy until my kids were grown. I kinda feel bad now, that I didn't teach them what I have learned over the years by making healthier choices then! My daughter still lives with us for now, so I have a few challenges from her & my husband when it comes to certain foods. Neither one will eat whole wheat bread. Bless their hearts tho, they have come around to letting me do certain things healthy. Here are a few things I have done over the years to work in some healthy!

If I use flour (mostly whole wheat, some 1/2 & 1/2) in recipes, I add wheat germ.

I don't believe in fake sweeteners so I don't use them, or buy anything with them wherever possible. I use organic sugar! I also usually use less than a recipe calls for. My husband & daughter both have a sweet tooth, but I managed to find healthy ways to calm that for them.

I make fruit smoothies, without sugar (fruit is sweet enough), maybe add one scoop of fat free frozen yogurt, coconut milk & 100% juice (any kind you like).

I switched our butter to Smart Balance & decreased the amount I use
.
I buy frozen fruit & vege's in winter especially.

I do not deep fry anymore. I use mostly Virgin Olive Oil to lightly fry something.
Barilla whole wheat pasta's are a winner in my house, the only one I found we all like!

I very rarely use box sides anymore. That one was hard for me, trying to come up with different sides without opening a box was difficult! I still use potatoes, sweet whenever I can.

When I make a meal with fattening products (mayo etc..) I use a healthier version where I can & less of it than usual. If I can't use less, I eat less, more vege's instead!

My husband loves chocolate, so I buy him 72% Cacao bars of dark chocolate & he has a little square after supper for his sinful pleasure. Godiva he says is best! Since he eats a little each day, it is good for him.

I hope these ideas helped, it's hard to remember them all, you have to experiment, I think as long as I cook, I will be experimenting & learning!


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SOUNDERSGIRL's Photo SOUNDERSGIRL Posts: 27
3/29/11 11:42 P

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WorkingYellow, thank you for the referral to relishrelish.com and the trial code! I am meal planning for the first time and this should really help me.

Edited by: SOUNDERSGIRL at: 3/29/2011 (23:44)
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KATIRLYNN1234's Photo KATIRLYNN1234 SparkPoints: (14,477)
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3/29/11 7:47 A

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Thank you Prana Dancer. I have checked out the site and think it will be very useful to me!

PRANA_DANCER's Photo PRANA_DANCER SparkPoints: (36,915)
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3/28/11 4:51 P

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KATIRLYNN1234,

Try www.supercook.com . Put in the ingredients you have in your kitchen and it will tell you what you can make with them. In general, if you have healthy ingredients, it will return healthy recipes. But you should always use your own judgement. :)

Your happiness is up to you. Whatever happened in your life to make you who you are up until the point you realize this is irrelevant. It is your responsibility now to take control and change your life to be what you want it to be.

Energy and persistence conquer all things. Make time, not excuses.


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KATIRLYNN1234's Photo KATIRLYNN1234 SparkPoints: (14,477)
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3/28/11 8:03 A

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Hi everyone,
To make it easier on myself for weekly planning, I decided to assign each day a certain type of food. Such as Monday chicken, Tuesday crockpot or bbq meat, Wed pasta, Thursday leftovers, Friday-seafood and still thinking for Sat & Sun. I'm not the best cook in the world and would be interested in finding some easy healthy recipes. I do like heavy on the vegtables and little to no processed foods. Has anyone come across some good easy recipes?

KHELIA's Photo KHELIA SparkPoints: (4,992)
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3/27/11 6:15 P

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My goal for this week is to make a meal plannning again.
And to find another two favourites
emoticon

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KHELIA's Photo KHELIA SparkPoints: (4,992)
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3/27/11 6:13 P

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Twistygirl - theres a lot of good vegan sites with tons of healthy receipes.
Check them out - you surely will find some interesting new stuff emoticon

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LAUREN972's Photo LAUREN972 SparkPoints: (3,583)
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3/23/11 5:58 P

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Hi ! I'm new on the Challenge. I try something like meal planner on Excel (Microsoft Office). Each day, I put new foods by category. Like that I take less time to do my meal planner for the week. Or sometimes, when I want to do a good cook, I wrote on google 3 or 2 ingredient and find a reciepe.

emoticon too.
With Love Lauren from France

Live your dream, don't dream your life !

SW : 145.3 kg (320)
CW : 143.4 kg (316 lbs)
GW : 62 kg


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DANCNGRL's Photo DANCNGRL SparkPoints: (37,023)
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3/16/11 9:56 P

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Can you eat soy?

My goals:
- Lose 5 pounds



"Tomorrow's success begins today."

"If you say you can you can, but if you say you can't your right!" ~anonymous


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TWISTYGIRL's Photo TWISTYGIRL Posts: 142
3/13/11 5:22 P

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This so hard for me, I am so unorganized this takes a lot of patience something I don't have a lot of. I can't eat wheat, dairy, eggs, Oats or corn, The only meat I eat is chicken. Trying to put a menu together requires a lot of thought I feel like I'm tying to put Humpty Dumpty's egg back together again. emoticon

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LONGHORNHONEY Posts: 462
3/8/11 11:25 A

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I know the feeling. I live by myself so cooking a lot with a lot of left overs is a pain especially if you don't like eating the same thing every day. For me that isn't a problem because I will cook a bunch of food and then eat the leftovers but since that isn't the case let me give you some suggestions. Have you tried picking a few meats that you like - say chicken or fish - and buying that then mixing them up with different veggies? I used to do that and it was pretty easy. I would get the meat and then grab a different variety of veggies that were on sale or sounded good. It gave me a basic starting point but allowed me to mix it up. Also you could look at different recipes that have similar items, cut the amount of the recipe you actually cook and use the similar items in different recipes (hope that made sense.....). It is hard but it is worth it in the end.

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TCHRONTHEMOVE's Photo TCHRONTHEMOVE Posts: 651
3/6/11 3:53 P

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I always read the recipes and any that look interesting I save in my favorites. This way when I am planning meals I can refer back to them. It also prevents me from having to think of meals. When I"m stumped I look at my saved favorites and pick one to try.

Susan


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DANCNGRL's Photo DANCNGRL SparkPoints: (37,023)
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3/5/11 5:53 P

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Do you get the recipes in your email? Although I don't like the sound of all of them, I try any that sound interesting. Sometimes they also make me think of other dishes I would want to make. Also when I go out to eat, I like to makeover items I eat out.

Good luck!

My goals:
- Lose 5 pounds



"Tomorrow's success begins today."

"If you say you can you can, but if you say you can't your right!" ~anonymous


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JKARI22's Photo JKARI22 SparkPoints: (430)
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3/5/11 4:38 P

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Hi everyone :) My name is Jenna and I'm new to this site! I was kind of wondering the same thing about knowing what to cook every week. I'm 18 and I live with my boyfriend so I don't have too much cooking experience Lol :) My boyfriend is not on this diet plan with me lol he refuses so I just have to worry about feeding myself which is nice!
so anyway... Any suggestions of where to look, Or what things are the best to make I would appreciate very much!!
Thanks :)

portfolio.mcnallysmith.edu/jennakari

this is my profile for my singing career!


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NASCARGRL67's Photo NASCARGRL67 Posts: 275
3/1/11 12:28 P

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Renee,

I don't have picky kids or husband, however my meal planning efforts have been less than effective. My wonderful husband actually gave me a very wonderful (and appropiate) Valentine's day gift this year!!! It was The Comfort Food Diet Cookbook from A Taste of Home and in it are 6 weeks worth of meal plans (and the recipes are included)!!! So if you had something like that, then you can just switch out the meals your family will eat and forget the ones they won't (and it will take the work out of meal planning)! I have absolutely loved it (this is my third week of using it)!!! So easy and so stress-free!

You can sign up on the website as well and get the first week's worth of menus!!! Here is the link... http://www.tasteofhome.com/Healthy-Cooking
-Magazine/Comfort-Food-Diet-One-Week-F
ree-Trial

Have a great day!!!

~Susan~

"It's not about getting through it, it's about getting something out of it" ~ Bob Harper

"Success is not Perfection. Success is Progress in the right direction" ~ Anonymous



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RENEE1179's Photo RENEE1179 Posts: 53
2/28/11 8:37 P

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Thanks ladies...I'm going to keep trying! emoticon

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TCHRONTHEMOVE's Photo TCHRONTHEMOVE Posts: 651
2/28/11 2:42 P

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You might also find it less overwhelming if you try to switch gradually to healthier cooking. One or two nights a week, maybe make an "old standby" that you know the family loves, but maybe isn't as healthy. This way you are gradually introducing new meals. You might also look for ways to make those standbys more healthy. There are lots of ideas on this site to make over things like Macaroni and Cheese, for example. Good luck,and keep on working at it!

Susan


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RASMUSSEN5's Photo RASMUSSEN5 SparkPoints: (23,913)
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2/28/11 9:33 A

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RENEE1179-I am having the same issue. My kids and husband are very picky eaters. It makes trying new recipes difficult. I also feel extremely overwhelmed trying to plan our weeks worth of meals so I am going to start with planning just a couple days at a time. Hopefully I can work up to a weeks worth!

*~* Charity *~*

BLC #21 Co-Captain of the Courageous Copper Cougars

BLC #20 Co-Captain of the Courageous Copper Cougars

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RENEE1179's Photo RENEE1179 Posts: 53
2/27/11 5:40 P

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Help!!! I already feel overwhelmed trying to plan dinners for the week! Between picky kids & husband I don't know where to start. Maybe I should just plan for a couple days.

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DOTSHE's Photo DOTSHE Posts: 394
2/26/11 12:31 P

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CALIFORNIA BLACK BEAN BURGERS

1can (15 ounces) black beans with cumin and chili spices, undrained

1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, undrained

1 cup plain dry bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup yellow cornmeal

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

5 hamburger buns, toasted

1 tablespoon mayonnaise or salad dressing

1 1/4 cups shredded lettuce

3 tablespoons thick-and-chunky salsa





1. Place beans in food processor or blender. Cover and process until slightly mashed; remove from food processor. Mix beans, chilies, bread crumbs and egg. Shape mixture into 5 patties, each about 1/2 inch thick. Coat each patty with cornmeal.
2. Heat oil in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Cook patties in oil 10 to 15 minutes, turning once, until crisp and thoroughly cooked on both sides.
3. Spread bottom halves of buns with mayonnaise. Top with lettuce, patties, salsa and tops of buns.

http://www.meals.com/Meals-Tools/Activity-
Calorie-Calculator.aspx

When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us."
– Helen Keller


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SALEX52's Photo SALEX52 Posts: 4,118
2/23/11 1:25 P

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I don't work on Fridays, so I use that day to plan the next week Saturday through Friday. I often try to cook something in volume over the weekend that can be frozen--this frees us up during the week for at least one night. I usually pick a favorite cookbook and go through it and find up to 7 things I'd like to try. We are practicing Meatless Mondays (I'd be happy to have more meatless dinners, but DH would not). So, here's what we look like this week:
Saturday: Lamb chops, brussels sprouts with mustard, salad
Sunday: Seared duck breast with cherries, braised fennel, salad
Monday: Herbed baked eggs, english muffin, roasted asparagus, arugula salad
Tuesday: Roast chicken (we ate breast meat), broccoli, roasted potato
Wednesday: Leftover chicken (dark meat), roasted cauliflower, salad
Thursday: Fish (depends on what's fresh), salad, sweet potato "fries"
Friday: Okay, I admit it, I didn't pick something for Friday, so it will probably be something from the freezer.

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JSENDER's Photo JSENDER SparkPoints: (9,991)
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2/23/11 2:00 A

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I always look at our schedule to see how much time we have to cook and eat, and what is going on in our lives. I also look at the weather. If it's super cold and snowing out, I'm not going to BBQ something outside but maybe make a stew. As well, if it's nice outside and a little warmer I might have something lighter and spicier.

This week's menu:

Sunday: Enchiladas, rice
Monday: BBQ Crock chicken, baked potato wedges, broccoli
Tuesday: Lettuce Wraps
Wednesday Shepherd's Pie,
Thursday: Chicken Parmigiana, couscous, broccoli
Friday: Beef Stew
Saturday: Herb Grilled Chicken, potatoes, broccoli
Sunday: Clam Chowder

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KATIBUG49's Photo KATIBUG49 Posts: 2,790
2/16/11 1:54 P

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I always plan the menus for the childcare I run but I forget to do ours. I do find it a lot easier on the grocery bill if I make a list & plan menus before I go. I just forget to set down & do it, since it's only the two of us here. So one of my goals is to get back to the menu planning for us.

Be the best you can be every day!

Central Time Zone
TCHRONTHEMOVE's Photo TCHRONTHEMOVE Posts: 651
2/15/11 6:23 P

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I have just recently started planning weekly menus. I love it! My DH loves that I don't ask him what he wants for dinner over breakfast! I love that we aren't wandering around the produce market and grocery store saying, "should we get this for this week?" I make a list that I post on the fridge, allowing for whatever activities are going on that week. From there, I look at what items I need and make my list. My hubby will check online for some of the ads at local stores so we can take advantage of sales. We've been doing this for about a month, and it's working out great! It has also prevented us from ordering out because we forgot to take dinner out of the freezer. The list on the fridge is my reminder in the morning.

Susan


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SBEHNKE2's Photo SBEHNKE2 SparkPoints: (6,828)
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2/9/11 8:48 P

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I plan a menu based on the activities for the week.

Two of my kids have swim lessons on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, so my family eats with my mom one night and my mother-in-law the other night.

Wednesday is always pizza night (my middle child has speech therapy and we all get home late, so we need a quick easy meal).

Mondays and Fridays are work days, so I cook a meal but keep it simple (recipes that take no more than 30 minutes to prepare).

Saturdays and Sundays are my days to do extravagant meals - I try new recipes or make dishes that require more preparation.

It's not a perfect system, but it works for our family. I have discovered that, while eating healthy is important, I also have to consider the demands on my family and factor what time I have available and what I can do in that time frame.

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JENRYAN9278's Photo JENRYAN9278 Posts: 285
2/7/11 1:55 P

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I used to plan them and then would get out of it. Then tried to do it again. Oh my.. I am so tired of that never ending question of what to do for dinner. LOL So I have planned out my menu from now till next Tuesday. i have a trip planned for next wednesday through the weekend so i won't be here to cook. So I have done that and got my kitchen organized can't wait to see what is in store for me next week! :)

Taking this journey one day at a time.
www.bobjenjack.blogspot.com


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FLOYDSMOM's Photo FLOYDSMOM Posts: 121
2/6/11 2:45 P

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How do I plan a menu?
Well, first, is there anything DH or I want to have during the week. Next, exactly what is my work schedule (varies a little). Then I get out the cookbooks and or look at the recipes on SparkPeople. Make a list of what I don't have, and decide if the cost at this time is worth it or not.


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MS_BEHAVIN's Photo MS_BEHAVIN SparkPoints: (16,304)
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2/6/11 2:29 P

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I do something similar

1. What needs to be used up
2. Block off days we won't be home (rare - we usually eat at home)
3. Try to think of what vegetables and/or grains (lentils, barley, brown rice, etc.) we will cook
4. Choose a variety of proteins including one vegetarian meal - even if my hubby adds a piece of ham to the garden burger :)

I almost always take my lunch, so even though it's just the two of us now, we cook more to plan for leftovers. I also try to cook one big item that I can freeze some extras - especially when cooking beans or other items that take a while.

We are members in a CSA and raise our own beef and pork. Fish and chicken comes from the store.

"When given a choice between two evils, I always pick the one I haven't done before." Mae West


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RILLAJADE1 SparkPoints: (4,098)
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2/6/11 2:02 P

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my meal planning process goes like this:
1. what ingredients are in the fridge that need to be used up?
2. what is on sale / do i have coupons for this week?
3. block off days I know we won't be home
4. choose a meal featuring each chicken, beef/turkey, pork, pasta. if there are more days, plan for leftovers or meat-free meals.

Each week I aim to try at least one new recipe, and at least one "health" recipe. Slowly I am building my "healthy" recipe repertoire and hope to build up an arsenal of them, replacing and healthifying other bad-for-you favorites :)

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LNXLADY's Photo LNXLADY Posts: 78
2/6/11 1:13 P

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I plan for the week and shop once a week. For almost a year now, I've been using an online service called Plan to Eat. I import recipes from other websites or type in my own. I choose from the recipes what I want to cook for each day and that gets put on it's planner and the ingredients automatically get added to a shopping list. I add any other incidentals I might need and print my grocery list and my menu for the week. This has been a life saver for me! It's so nice to know what I am going to cook in advance, and know I haven't forgotten any ingredients since they are added automatically. And if I need more servings for my family, I just tell it how many servings of a recipe I want to make and it recalculates all the amounts for me. I don't like to shop and I don't like to cook but my family depends on me an having a plan is a huge help.

ALBEAUMONT1's Photo ALBEAUMONT1 Posts: 149
2/6/11 9:31 A

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I just finished week 1 too. We already menu plan, and years ago revamped our grocery lists keeping to healthy food. No junk food in the house. We renovated the kitchen a year ago, so between that and downsizing, there isn't much left to get rid of. However, there was the bottom drawer with stuff that I went through again and managed to find a few gadgets and utensils that I'll probably never need that are going to the church's garage sale. This isn't kitchen related, but I got a new bathroom scale that is digital. The old one wasn't, and depending on how I shifted my weight, I could get a more favourable reading. Best Wishes on week 2 to all.

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SBEHNKE2's Photo SBEHNKE2 SparkPoints: (6,828)
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2/5/11 6:17 P

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I also plan for the week - usually on Wednesday or Thursday, I create a menu for the week. Some of it is based on what is on sale at the grocery store, some based on what is left in the freezer (my family buys meat in bulk from a local "mom and pop" grocery with the best deli around)!

I try new or more complicated recipes on the weekend and keep meals during the work week simple and quick!

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LILMAHOGANY's Photo LILMAHOGANY SparkPoints: (5,322)
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2/5/11 7:08 A

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I plan for the week. I sit down with my paper and recipe books and pick as many recipes that use as many of the same ingredients as possible. I also try to cook something new to expand my cooking skils. It sounds like a chore but I actually enjoy it like I enjoy planning the monthly budget. I know is weired

Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, Good afternoon good evening and goodnight
The Truman Show


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BECKYR16's Photo BECKYR16 SparkPoints: (22,492)
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1/31/11 8:11 A

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I'm only cooking for me, so it makes things a little easier.

I usually sit down and fold a sheet of paper in half (in my location in Japan they don't recycle, so I use the backside so I'm wasting a bit less before throwing the page away).

After that, one half becomes my grocery list. The other half becomes my meal planning side. On the meal planning side, I make a grid usually for 8 days Sunday-Sunday. I usually shop on my home from church or my weekend adventures.

After the grid is done, I block out the days on which I won't be cooking and note the ones where I am busier in the evenings.

Then I usually try to plan to make two 4-serving meals. Which usually results in food for dinners, a lunch or two and a couple of containers into the freezer - for my I can't be bothered to cook nights. This also works well because they don't build up so fast that the food in the freezer isn't good when I get to it.

As I plan, I make my grocery list. It works great and since I started tracking with spark people and knowing I couldn't get too many healthy foods in my tiny supermarket in town, I had to shop while away.

Hope that helps!

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ONENESSMOM's Photo ONENESSMOM Posts: 364
1/30/11 11:24 P

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My husband gets paid every other week so I menu plan for 2 weeks at a time.
We go out to eat on Payday and then go grocery shopping for the 2 weeks on our way home. This is usually the only time we go out to eat. We do go out to eat occasionally if friends or family ask us to, for holidays like Mother's Day, or if something unexpected (like a funeral or someone being put in the hospital) happens. I go back to the store only for things like milk, produce, and something we ate up faster then expected.
Since plans can change and I hate writing in my planner only to erase it rather then planning exactly what meal we are going to eat each night I plan 13 to 15 meals and then choose one each morning according to our plans that day and what we ate the night before. I usually have the last 2 to 5 days pretty well planned out ahead of time. Any meals I don't use become the start for the next pay period's meal planning.

Each pay period I ask my family if there's anything in particular they want for the next 2 weeks. Once I have there suggestions I fill in the rest. I pick meals to balance out the proteins at least a little making sure we have at least 1 or 2 meatless meals, 1 or two fish dishes, no more then 7 poultry, no more then 6 beef and usually at least 1 pork dish. Since my family likes a variety of things I usually include 1 Italian meal, 1 oriental meal, 1 Mexican meal and 1 homemade version of fast food (burgers, hot dogs, pizza, etc) I try to include at least 3 easy to make meals and 1 or 2 crockpot meals a pay period to use on hectic days or days we are away from the house. I also try to include at least 1 new recipe and each pay period.
I know this sort of free form planning isn't for everyone but it works very well for us.



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HEALTHYGRAMMY49's Photo HEALTHYGRAMMY49 Posts: 14,052
1/28/11 6:08 A

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Hi everyone, I started SP 1/21/11 and signed up for the Healthy Cooking Challenge 1/25/11...so I am very new at all of this. Please be patient with me. lol.

Week 1 Action Plan: My meal plans are recorded and printed for the coming week. Below is a sample of what my meals plans look like:

1/25 Breakfast: Kashi Go Lean Cereal w/ Triple Berries, Ground Flax, NF Milk
Lunch: Smoked Turkey Breast, Laughing Cow Light Garlic & Herb Cheese Wedges on 100% W/W Sandwich Thins, 1/2 Banana
Dinner: Texas Style Chili w/Kidney Beans, 1/8 avocado, 6 Broccoli Spears
Snacks: 6 oz Light & Fit NF Caramel Delight Yogurt, 2 Walnut Halves, 2 squares Trader Joe's Simply Lite SF Chocolate Bar

I adapted my family chili recipe to fit into my new healthy lifestyle by switching the coarse ground beef for lean ground turkey and adding the kidney beans. Yum!

I plan to go through my pantry and fridge tomorrow and "clean house". I have already gone through my freezer.

I look forward to learning from you all.

I Can Do It! ... YOU Can Do It! ... WE Can Do It!
Blessings, Bev
LET'S LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE FOR A LIFETIME!

2014 Summer 5% Challenge
Teddy Bear Team
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CONNIEF9 Posts: 173
1/26/11 5:02 P

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I have been doing some meals out of a book called wise cooking, notice they suggest dried onions, over fresh.I like to do at least one fish meal a week.I have completed my challenges for the first week. but cant find the box to check it off.

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DANCNGRL's Photo DANCNGRL SparkPoints: (37,023)
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1/26/11 9:11 A

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I love making an eggplant, tomato, and mozzarella salad with a honey balsamic dressing. Let me know if you would like the recipe. I also like using soy meat to make tacos with. Enjoy!

My goals:
- Lose 5 pounds



"Tomorrow's success begins today."

"If you say you can you can, but if you say you can't your right!" ~anonymous


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POLKADOT3770 Posts: 1
1/25/11 11:04 P

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I'm looking into meatless recipes. This week I'm looking into bean recipes. Not only are bean recipes cheaper, but they have tons of fiber and other great benefits. I'm excited to test out my black bean, tomato, and mozzarella salad recipe this week.

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FIT_FOR_LIFE85's Photo FIT_FOR_LIFE85 Posts: 362
1/22/11 11:09 P

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There are some great ideas out there! Thanks for sharing everybody! I love the idea of picking one cookbook and cooking through it for a month, maybe I'll try that! emoticon
I'm definitely trying to be more organized about planning meals ahead for me and my fiancé. Since it's just the two of us, we almost always have leftovers so two-three meals a week are usually enough. This week was pretty good, but by the time I picked out what I wanted to make, it was getting to be pretty late for dinner so I'll need to be better about that! emoticon

Noga

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MISSYGEEN's Photo MISSYGEEN SparkPoints: (23,065)
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1/22/11 9:23 P

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Goals this week:
Accomplished all of the tracked goals. I cleaned my kitchen but reorganizing will take some time. cabinet by cabinet.

Dancngrl I love Hungry Girl too but have not been able to see the show.



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ADREAMA's Photo ADREAMA Posts: 293
1/16/11 11:16 P

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I live alone too and I have to plan my meals or I will fall into the "havent got anything to eat/out of the freezer so anything goes" trap.
My bfasts are standard -porridge yoghurt and linseed and blueberries added.
I have a great vege patch going and its summer, so I make up a batch of salad mix with a couple of types of lettuce, spring onion, chopped parsley and lemon balm.
So for easy lunches and dinners, I throw a handful of salad mix on the plate,add some extra chopped tomatoes or whatever, and a protein of some sort depending on where I am - I have to think about my whereabouts for the week when planning so I have the right kitchen equipment available to do the planned meal.
When I shop, I buy the bulk packs of meats and then portion them up and freeze them with the date and weight on them. I also always buy two chickens to roast that day - i then have loads of 75gm packets of roast chicken in the freezer for my lunches, and I make stock with the bones rather than using the store bought, higher sodium stocks. As spinach becomes ready in the garden I will steam it and puree it, for the freezer in cups size portions so I can turn it in to spinach soup, or Spinach Saag when it takes my fancy. In short, planning ahead saves time and money in the long run..but you all already knew that Im sure

If it is meant to be it is up to me!

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.
- Marian Wright Edelman




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SHELBSYD's Photo SHELBSYD SparkPoints: (33,981)
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1/16/11 10:07 P

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I bought a dry and erase board for my kitchen, so i write the menu for the week on it. It's makes grocery shopping easy, tracking in advance and I don't need to think, what to make tonight!!! Plus my family will know too!!!

http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=2920
58183222

peanutbutterandpeppers.com/


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PENNYNC SparkPoints: (3,890)
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1/14/11 11:02 A

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I have started using Springpad. It is a web based organiser / note taker etc. The thing I like is that you can "clip" on line recipes.
So far working ok.
I have a ton of cookbooks that I need to start looking through

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DANCNGRL's Photo DANCNGRL SparkPoints: (37,023)
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1/14/11 8:13 A

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Judibi - Have you seen the new show on Cooking Channel by Lisa from Hungry Girl? I haven't watched yet because I don't get the cooking channel but her recipes are always healthy!

My goals:
- Lose 5 pounds



"Tomorrow's success begins today."

"If you say you can you can, but if you say you can't your right!" ~anonymous


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LISA8381's Photo LISA8381 Posts: 57
1/13/11 8:13 P

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Some good ideas for menu planning. I use to be pretty good with this sometime ago, however, since I have returned back to school and have recently gotten divorced, it's seems so much harder for me to do. I like some of the ideas here about starting with 3 days a week then 4 and so on. LOVE THAT! I do use my crockpot often. It's great for making homemade sauce too! I'll have to check out the SP recipes. I thought I'd ask my kids what their favorite meals are that I make and see if there are lighter versions out there to try out. Thanks everyone for your help!

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams"

Eleanor Roosevelt


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1/12/11 10:40 A

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I love browsing through my cookbooks, and am always looking for new and different ways to prepare a meal.

I also love watching certain chefs on 'The Cooking Channel' and love Rachel Ray's idea of cooking for several night at one time.
I typically shop once a week, for the essentials...milk, eggs, bread, etc; and pick up what fruits and veggies look good for each week. I love salads, and try different things to put in them.

Am looking forward to getting more organized with my shopping list and meal planning, so I know in advance what I need to do...

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TANYA37's Photo TANYA37 Posts: 184
1/11/11 12:26 P

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For several months have planned meals for two weeks at a time. I look at the grocery adds to see what is on sale and incorporate those items into our meals. Everyone in the house is responsible for thinking of 2 meals that will be made and eaten. Those meals are written on index cards and hung on the refrigerator. When I wake up in the morning, I can see at a glance exactly what we are eating for dinner that night and if something needs to be taken out of the freezer. And since all of the ingredients were on my shopping list, no need to run to the grocery store for that "one last thing".

I typically grocery shop every two weeks. The exceptions are fruit, veggies and of course the staples that you always seem to run out of (milk, eggs, bread). This has worked so well for us! It takes about 30-45 minutes of palnning every other week. There was one 2 week block when I didn' get it done and it was absolutely horrible!

I keep a list on our computer of meals that we like and don't like along with a list of recipes that we would like to try. Everyone is responsible for choosing meals and giving feedback on recipes.

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LUCKY-13's Photo LUCKY-13 Posts: 11,837
1/10/11 1:23 A

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I like to use index cards and list things that go together, for example, I might write "Vegetarian Chili" at the top of the card, and then list other things that go well with it, like veggie dogs or veggie burgers, rice, and even burritos.

If there's something we like with a certain combo and I don't always have it at home, I can also make notes to make sure I get it (reduced-fat sour cream would be an example).

Life's an adventure ... take it one step at a time and don't underestimate yourself! You're capable of more than you think you are! How do I know this? You're still here aren't you? That means you haven't given up!


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