Monday, October 10, 2011

MPM: Grow the Process (because Ice Cream is not a health food)

Ask me how my week went? I dare you!

It didn't. I didn't get healthy, I didn't exercise, I didn't exactly stay on menu. I didn't get a month's worth of menus planned, I made dessert, then it was Thanksgiving and there was gravy and pie and more gravy...

Photo couresty of Blackstone Images
Table centre piece created by me!

I don't want to use the "F" word so soon into this game but I must... I, with grace and fashion and no regard for the promises I made myself and my family,


But it's a new week and although I don't feel any more inspired to get moving, I'm going to keep forging ahead and keep trying. I don't want to quit and the super flashy failure, I hope, will work to keep my plodding ahead!

October 10 to 17

Monday Pizza Party (thanks, Honey!)
Tuesday Tortellini with Marinara
Wednesday Oklahoma Crockpot Steak Soup
Thursday Open Faced Chicken Club Burgers
Friday ???
Saturday Taco Night
Sunday Turkey breast roast with crockpot stuffing, mashed potatoes & gravy

I have to admit this menu plan likely had less thought than what I wore today... It isn't that I don't care - I do - but I've painted myself into a corner and I don't know how to get out... I need to get healthier and provide more nutritiously balanced meals for my family and I need to get our grocery budget under control.

I have menu planned for the better part of 20 years but since changing jobs in 2010 and cascading down into a deep depression, I have just lost all motivation and desire so I think it is time to review my strategy, discard what isn't working and try to adopt some new things that I can use and commit too. After discussing with my husband, he suggests that I take a slow approach - as I tend to be a "jump in with two feet" kind of person only to be distracted and disappointed and don't keep it up.

So where does an unmotivated, troubled person go for menu planning advice? Well, to the hostest with the mostest, Laura over at the Organizing Junkie.

When I found her site early in 2009, I thought it was like I'd died and gone to Heaven. More than 200 people were sharing the meal plans each week and it was easy to cruise from site-to-site and "steal" meal ideas. As I got more involved, I started to realize I could plan smarter so I started developing a "tool box" of tricks of my very own. It included a printable menu planner with grocery list which later evolved to an electronic spread sheet. I've started trying to develop a family-friendly meal planning board game and have even gone so far as to develop and create my own recipes, engaging my husband as chief food photographer and my son as my Sous Chef (I've yet to meet another three year old who can wield a kitchen knife with such finesse).

But, like many things in my life, as I get busy, distracted and/or depressed, everything shuts down around me. For a few things, I press on through sheer determination but that isn't working for me anymore, so I'm seeking out something new... A Plan. A real plan I can build and execute and more importantly, maintain.

The Internet is a resource like none other. Most of everything you can think of is online and available to you 24 hours a day. If you've thought of it, likely, someone else has too and has posted it. So, I've started my search for the

1. Plan my menu before Sunday night and more importantly, not on MONDAY!
2. Include one meal in which vegetables are the "feature dish"
3. Develop a recipe selection criteria
4. Add (at least) one new meal/recipe per month
5. Divide three of the seven nights into a set theme: beef, soup, sandwiches, etc

There is a lot more I could be doing but I know me well enough to know when to stop... And like the "to do" list pictured below, I can tell you I'm fairly good at adding one new meal/recipe per month already, so I can almost cross that one off my list!

Photo Courtesy of 22 Words

Any more tips for me...??? I am certainly "Organizationally Challenged" but I'm trying! For more great meal ideas, menu tips, hints, tricks and inspiration, please check out all of the people posting at Menu Plan Monday and for more great Crockpot ideas, check out Dining with Debbie, I'm linked up with her too!

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