Here it is July 25th.
Do you know why today is great?
Because it is only 5 short months away from Christmas.
I love Christmas!
I love the music (I listen to Christmas music from October to January).
I love the decorations (I have 2 trees, 6 boxes of decorations, and I live in a 2 bedroom apartment).
I love the food (cranberries, chocolate, cinnamon, ham, mashed potatoes, cookies, soups, breads).
But mostly it is about family and tradition.
Last year I ended up going home to Connecticut for just three days for Christmas.
We did some traditions the same, made some new ones (like calling my sister-in-law in Australia),
and some have been left behind.
It was wonderful and as I think about Christmas this year I want to be sure to have the food traditions I love even though I won't be going home.
I know I cannot possibly make everything at once, nor do I want to.
I have to make a menu planner, that is the only way I will make the things I want. <--- That thought made me realize that this is true about my day to day eating habits.
I love to make new and interesting things,
but I certainly don't make them as often as I would like because I don't plan for it!
So I am making a "5-months-til-Christmas" resolution.
I am recommitting to meal planning!
It is the only way I will put to use all the flagged pages in my stacks of cooking magazines.
So, where to begin?
I asked myself the following questions:
1) How far ahead do I want to plan/shop?
2) Do I plan for every day?
3) Where do I plan?
4) What do I plan?
5) HOW DO I STICK TO IT?
Then I figured out some answers.
Q1) How far ahead do I want to plan/shop?
A1) I am a planner.
I like to know what I am doing roughly two weeks in advance. So, I figure if I plan my schedule two weeks in advance, I can schedule my menu two weeks in advance. This schedule is also conducive to the every two week paycheck schedule.
Q2) Do I plan for every day?
A2) Yes and no.
Yes, I need to have a plan for every day. No, that plan does not have to be a new recipe. I can schedule days to eat out, order in, eat at a friend's house, or have leftovers, I can even schedule a day to "wing it".
Q3) Where do I plan?
A3) I found this great editable PDF monthly meal planner online at http://www.noordinarymomentsblog.com/2012/01/monthly-menu-planner-editable-pdf.html. I really like it, but I hate to print off things I am only going to throw away. I suppose I could make a binder of recipes with notes on them, but I figure I can do that fairly easily on my computer. So I am trying out different methods, as long as they are computer friendly.
Q4) What do I plan?
A4) When I was home this past month I ate at a very balanced table.
I have a father that is traditional "meat and potatoes with a side of vegetables" eater. My mother is diabetic and likes to have lots of options on the table. We always had a lean protein on the table, a carb, and at least 2 vegetable options. I decided to try to follow that model; protein, carb, and vegetable. Plus, I have a goal to plan lunches too.
Q5) HOW DO I STICK TO IT?
A5) I think the first step is to be kind to myself in not feeling like I am bound to the menu or a failure because I have strayed from it for a day. I also have taken a screen shot of the menu and uploaded it to my phone to be in sight regularly. That same picture is my desktop wallpaper.
I am looking forward to trying this!!!!
|The notes on days with no numbers are breakfast, lunch, and other cooking notes.|
The letters in parentheses indicate where this recipe is coming from.
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