Menu Planning: Great for Everyone

Hey Everyone!
I'm continuing on with posts about my lifestyle changes with an approach to menu planning. One of the big contributors to my success so far has been cooking the majority of  meals at home.Whether you are trying to stick to a budget or are trying to change your eating habits; planning out your meals and cooking them at home is a great way of finding success with your goals. 

The process usually starts with sitting down once every two weeks and planning out meals. I usually repeat the first weeks' meals the second week to cut down on groceries, expenses and some work. There are some meals that are repeats every week, while others are rotated in and out depending on what is seasonal. One hint though, if you are repeating one week's recipes and there is an untried recipe, make sure you plan for a back up. Otherwise, you will end up with extra ingredients for a recipe you don't like.

Also, make sure you sketch out your meals with regard to how accomplished you are cooking (ie, if you can barely toast bread you might be better off learning how to cook, say a warm grain salad, as opposed to an elaborate 12 page dish from a new cookbook). Keep it simple and delicious and you will set yourself up for success, not failure.

To help you out with all this cooking, you might want to enlist the help of a spouse, roommate, partner, or another family member to help you out with the cooking a few days a week. It helps a ton, trust me!

Anyway, without further ado, here is an example of a week's worth of menu planning ( keep in mind I am a vegetarian)...

Vegetarian Chili Night

Stirfry ( Spelt Udon Noodles, Tempeh, Frozen Stir Fry Veggies)

Tempeh and Poblano Tacos with
Sprouted Grain Tortilla

New Recipe Night!
Panang Curry with

Spiced Eggplant and Peppers with

Homemade Pizza

Roasted Carrot Soup
Grilled cheese Sandwich

Fruit & 100 calories of Nuts (Almonds, Walnuts, Pistachios)
Hard Boiled Egg & Snackable Veggies (Celery/Carrot sticks, Cherry Tomatoes, etc)
1/8 c dried Fruit & 100 Calories of Nuts ( My usual Pre Workout)

Lowfat/Fat free Cottage Cheese
Coffee with Almond Milk
Cooked Grains with cinnamon, honey, almond milk
Coffee with Almond Milk
Scrambled Eggs with Veggies
Coffee with Almond Milk

With an apple and an orange
Cheese sandwich
With an apple and an orange
Baked potato with cheese and frozen veggies
With an apple and an orange

I then base my grocery list off my menu plan and go from there. I usually, however, also grab a few quick and easy substitutions that don't require much cooking in case a day is super crazy.

Oh, and just in case you were interested...the obligatory before and now shot (I know, I know)....
Photo: A cute couple at GCSS' "A Night To Remember."  How do we look?

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