Menu Planning

It’s January 4. So far, so good. I’ve made healthy food choices. I’ve exercised. I’m on Day Four of reading the Bible in one year. And now I’m writing. About menu planning.

I discovered menu planning many years ago. At one point, grocery sales circulars determined my little family’s meals for the week. I’d study the newspaper inserts like it was my elementary school’s Scholastic Book Club flyer, and circle the items we’d be eating Sunday through Saturday. With notes at the top of the front page, the ads became my grocery list!

I upgraded to notebook paper about two years ago. I was tired of ordering out or running to Eat-n-Park because I was too exhausted to even think about what I might cook for dinner. It was great to have a list of 30-31 meals…I had a month-at-a-glance of what we could eat. For the most part, I stuck to that plan, unless I did not have the right ingredients in the house or was too lazy to run the two and one-half blocks to our village food market.

And then I discovered Trim Healthy Mama. The THM membership site kills the proverbial two birds with one stone for me. Not only does THM provide healthy meal suggestions and recipes, but the tool helps me to calendarize my meals AND it generates an ingredient list…according the sections in the grocery store.

So now I do my menu planning on Sundays–usually starting with Monday dinner. To make things easy, breakfasts are not exotic–usually a protein shake, fruit smoothy, or veggie and cheese omelet. To make lunches easy, noontime meals are typically leftovers from the night before.

But the easiest part of my menu planning now? My husband does the grocery shopping! The list that THM gives me makes it so easy for him to run through the store, and he knows in what area to find an item. (He is not afraid to ask for help either.)

And if Hubby cannot find a particular item? He always has his cell phone. That’s the reason mobile phones were created, you know…for men who go to grocery stores for their wives. And women who go to hardware stores for their husbands.


Why the Planning?

I. Am. Structured. After a good 30 years or so of making and forgetting resolutions, it hit me yesterday: Planning. Is. My. Thing.

So, if I want to resolve successfully, I need to plan. My annual resolution is to get healthy. (It used to be losing weight. But I’m older now…) But what does that look like? Getting healthy means eating right and exercising. Eating right means preparing meals, and exercise requires making the time for it. And how do I best do either of those things? By planning.

I also need to have more fun this year. With my brother battling Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, I could easily, so easily, fall into depression. It has been a tough road for him these last four months, and our family is traveling it closely with him. I know I need to fill up if I am to pour out. And fun fuels me.  I can find enjoyment in each day, but weeks can pass without incorporating “intentional fun” into my life. So how do I do that? I need to plan for it!

I want to grow closer to the Lord. In January, I’ll celebrate by 35th year of being a Christian. I’ve done tons of devotionals, been in many Bible studies, sat under some incredible teachers…but I have never read through the Bible. I am doing it this year. Because I’m planning for it.

And, finally, I want to write more. We just successfully wrapped a $15,000 fundraiser to help relieve my brother’s medical debt and associated costs. Updating the posts at was therapeutic for a couple of reasons. Firstly, when a loved one has cancer, you can feel absolutely helpless. Facilitating the the GoFundMe page, and telling Davey, Tammi, and Jay’s story helped me to help them. Secondly, I love to write, and it has been ages since I’ve done so consistently.

This blog, Planning to Resolve, will (I hope!) provide a venue for me to plan my resolves–Really. Plan. Them.–and to write more. If you are interested in joining me for the ride, come on! Three times a week, I’ll publish my planning: Health one day, Fun another, and my Bible reading on the third.

At least I’m planning on it.

1 January 2016