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Menu Planning tips to help with healthy food #empoweredchoices

 Now that I have prepared my kitchen for success and took note on what I have on hand  it's time to start planning our menu for the week.

Step 2
Menu Planning: (a) use up any leftovers (b) include soon to expire items
(c) research healthy recipes (d) write out your weekly menu

After carefully reviewing my collection of cookbooks and online sources I created a menu.  While creating the menu I pre-determined a few must have's to remember.

1.  Avoid eating from the same protein source on back to back days.  Rotate your protein sources such as beef, chicken and fish each day in order to benefit the most from the increased nutrient availability and variety.

2.  Coordinate your veggies and fruits the using the same method of thought as above. Rotate each day with the using the array of available and seasonal (ideally) the rainbow-esqu produce section offers.  A few of the same is okay but I want to benefit from the variety of nutrients in each on a consistent basis.

 3. Save $$$ but sourcing out local grocery flyers to see where the best sales are for your allowable foods. 

4. Print your menu or use a whiteboard to display your menu in a visible area.  This will help keep you organized, allow you plan for the next day accordingly as well as decreasing the "what's for dinner" questions.

5. Set up a day of the week to prepare ahead of time.  I found washing, cutting and storing my veggies for snacks by making them readily available in the fridge made it easier to stick to my plan.  Sunday's as my day to grocery shop and do my prep work.

Although this is a 30-day challenge I do intend on making and keeping these changes to our lifestyle.  There will be some recipes and foods that we try that won't stick but as a whole it will give myself and hubby the means to be creative with our foods rather than sticking to the same meals that are currently on our weekly menu.

At first menu planning will be time consuming but rest assured that it will get easier as you start increasing your recipe repertoire as well as allowing your creative culinary skills.

TIP: Make enough food to have for lunch leftover

Here's a simple menu you can use to help with your planning.  
Download a copy of this weekly meal plan or right click the image and save. 
NOTE: you must have an updated version of Adobe Acrobat reader installed to download.
What other tips do you have when planning your weekly menu?
Stay tuned for: Grocery shopping tips 
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