Importance of Committing to a Menu Plan


Table Full of Planned Dishes

Changing food habits is not a simple topic, nor is it a simple task. Planning, shopping, and executing one's own meals is key to real lifestyle change. Restaurants are a food trap, offering little in quality food, balance, or nutrition, or realistic servings of vegetables with few exceptions.   Cooking for oneself is the only way to eat healthily.  Consciously making the time to have all of the ingredients and components of a meal in the house, all of the time is a tough change to make. 

Committing to a weekly plan, building a menu, and getting all the shopping done are skills all on their own, and cooking is a whole separate undertaking.  But simple and delicious meals are not difficult to execute, and the process of learning how to cook, cook well, and cook in a healthy way is an adventure all unto itself.  It can even save time, and certainly money in the long run, once one gets the hang of it.

What about the grocery shopping time?  To have a healthy diet, it is nearly impossible to eat out exclusively.  Even the salad bar restaurants are rife with bad choices, and walking off with a 2500 calorie salad is easy to do.  Grocery shopping is a necessary commitment, and there are time saving choices that can help minimize time spent shopping. 

The goal is essentially to reduce portion sizes, to add lots and lots of vegetables and whole grains to the diet, and to take processed foods off the menu.  Finding a good “light” cookbook, whether it be at the local bookstore, or on a website, is a great way to do menu planning.  Choosing something like an edamame salad or a wheat berry salad puts a lot of bang on the plate, and keeps well for multiple day in the fridge, freeing up some time.  

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