Sunday, February 28, 2010

Meal PLANNING Worksheet

Adapting Diane's worksheet for my weekly meal planning.
(Click image to enlarge).

Planning. Planning. Planning.

The need for planning has been repeated over and over throughout the many blogs I've read. Successful people say that planning is one of the biggest contributors to aiding them to achieve their goals. It helps avoid hasty, unhealthy, expensive decisions when you are hungry/bored/emotionally drained/(your reason here).

The more I learn about nutrition, the more I realize the meals I was making at home needed an overhaul. Sometimes...a lot, actually...I didn't even make time to prepare the meals and would opt for fast-food. I wish I could say that happened once a week, but sadly, it had become almost daily. Why? Because I had not planned. I usually winged-it. And usually the wings came with pizza.

Before I began my own blog, I poured myself into Diane's blog Fit to the Finish. There, amongst inspiration, I found a meal planning worksheet (click there for a blank, printable version of the above). I printed four sheets and put them in a binder. It's taken some time, but I have almost 4 weeks of meal-planning and healthier recipes my family actually likes.

I really like it. Preparation has become easier. I'm saving money, time, calories (as long as I stop buying those *&%$ eclairs and creme horns...old habits die hard). I'm feeding my family more nutritionally-dense foods. Cooking isn't as overwhelming as before. I look forward to it, and as I become used to the recipes, I can teach my kids. And I hope it helps me to stop my binge habit.

Other changes I've made:
Sundays: I try not to cook at all. I prepare a slow-cooker meal Saturday and put it into the fridge until Sunday morning where I transfer it to the heating unit. When we come home from church, we have a meal ready, and it's there the rest of the day if anyone is hungry.

For lunches and dinner: I make enough for dinner, too, then all I have to do is reheat and maybe add a salad or veggie. I'm usually wiped-out by dinner time and busy doing other things with the kids. I think this new approach will be very helpful.

This journey is one step at a time. I have a lot of muck to undo (like portion control). With these changes to my family's meals I hope to nourish us all and replace bad habits with good. That's the plan, anyway.


  1. i'm a huge planner! yes, it is a bit ocd but when you plan what you are eating, it is actually freeing. when you get hungry, you take a look at your food plan. no need to 'think' and that takes away pressure imo.
    i'm so glad that it is working for you and your family!

  2. This journey is one step at a time. Yup Gina & I love the steps you are taking! It is all about planning in food & exercise.

    This is not a race.. it is a life long journey! You can do it!

  3. Planning is huge and if we don't do it, we become larger (huger!!) (not a real word).

  4. You are right, one step at a time. And I like the idea of planning meals. I need to get on that bandwagon! :)

  5. I agree, planning meals ahead and just being more organized makes HUGE difference in how my day or week goes! I love your Sunday meals! We always have homeade pizza for Sunday dinner (I make the dough early in the morning and let it rise all day on the counter for when we get home)

  6. Sounds like a great plan for your meals.

    I write out a menu of dinners each week to shop for. It certainly helps to know that I have what I need each night to prepare a meal. I just keep general stuff for breakfast and then for me for lunch while my kids are all at school and eating there.

  7. Planning has helped me tremendously in sticking to my weight-loss plan! I used an online tracker at SparkPeople to log my food. Usually I will enter everything at the very beginning of the day, and that serves as encouragement for me to stick to my plan :).

  8. I plan a lot and it does make a big difference. I don't see anything wrong with having similiar things for lunch and dinner. Makes your life easier! I don't "cook" for lunch, but definitely do for dinner.

  9. I followed you from Diane's site I was reading her fat acceptance entry and saw your comment.
    I just wanted to let you know that the last thing you said really jumped out at me in a good way.
    "If you love something, you take care of it."
    I think I needed to see that today. :)

  10. Sounds as tho' you're getting a handle on this thing! Good for you.

  11. Sounds like you got a great plan worked out! I love the worksheet you used. This is a huge problem for me too, I don't plan ahead of time and we end up eating whatever I can get together at the last minute.