Sunday, October 9, 2011

Precursor to Monday Menu Plan

I just completed what I'm calling a Menu Framework.  It's a basic outline of what to serve daily so that I get all the nutrients I'm trying to get to heal from adrenal fatigue.  The Too Tired eCourse I've been studying has a list of various foods I need to eat every day.  Rather than wing it and hope that I've consumed all that I should, I made a plan.  Or an outline, more precisely.  Hopefully it's a broad scope of what to have when, with the flexibility to keep meals from becoming mundane.  It's structured enough to take the majority of the work out of the way so that I can just plug in favorite meals or even new recipes when I choose.

It takes into account our commitments away from home so that meals will be simple for those times.  Tuesday night is a good example.  Goober Gus and I like to go to the library in the afternoon to spend time there, and afterwards we go walk with a friend.  That puts us home right at dinner time, with no allowance for prep time.  It's also a night that Tony goes to a men's Bible study.  Sometimes he's hungry before, but most of the time prefers to eat after.  So Tuesday night is soup night.  It can be simmering in the crockpot all day and ready to eat at any time.  It will be accompanied by a salad and either sourdough bread or sourdough crackers.

It reminds me to get more veggies into our diet and makes me think about how.  Our afternoon snack, which prior to now has been very hit or miss, but which I think is vital to consuming enough nutrients and helping to avoid the afternoon crash, is a veggie smoothie and sourdough breadsticks with an olive oil dip.  That came about for two reasons. 
  1. I should get some olive oil every day.  Other than cooking with it on occasion, I don't really get much, so planning to have breadsticks to dip into an olive oil dip will take care of that. 
  2. I need two servings of leafy green vegetables every single day.  I might get two every single month!  So-a veggie smoothie with leafy greens in it will cover one of those servings.
Hopefully it will also remind me of all the herbal remedies I have at my disposal for boosting health.  As I finished this rough framework I realized I could take it a step further and where beef is on the menu every Wednesday, one week could be a casserole, one a grill night, one a roast, or whatever new recipe I want to try calling for beef.  Same thing with Friday ethnic nights.  Our favorite is Mexican, but we could try others as well.  Saturday is pizza night, but that could be altered to be pizza or other Italian meal.  Sundays are leftovers and that serves 2 purposes.  It obviously uses up the leftovers, but also gives me a day off from cooking!

Another habit I want to develop is cooking once and eating twice or more-making a double batch of whatever I'm preparing and freezing the extra for another time.  You know, one of those days where nothing goes right and suddenly it's dinner time and there's nothing prepared (despite having a plan).  I will either be sure to use my glassware that can go from freezer to oven or perhaps buy some disposable aluminum pans for that purpose.  I haven't decided yet.  There's always the option to freeze it in the pan, using a liner of waxed paper, then take it out of the pan and wrap in plastic to return it to the freezer.  At least then the pan would be available to be used.

Now, can I get in the habit of eating a green salad every day?  Funny thing is, I like salads, I just rarely think to eat them!

How about you?  Do you have a plan in place for eating and getting all the good foods in you want to eat?  Do you have a green smoothie recipe you'd like to share?  I need ideas for those!