Menu Planning: January 2020

jANUARYIf you have been reading my blog for much time at all, you know I love menu planning. I swear by it actually. I think that menu planning is the most important step to healthier eating. I’m not saying that everything I feed my family is perfect and clean and healthy, but what I am saying is without menu planning, our diet would be worse.

It is so difficult sometimes to go to work, workout, get kids to and from school, deliver kids to all the activities and cook dinner every night. I can’t imagine how much more difficult it would be if I had to stop each day and decide what to have for dinner. In my world, dinners are planned so far in advance that I feel like I never have to think about it. Of course, I do think about it. It is December 30th and I just finished thinking about dinners for the entire month of January. I will start thinking about February dinners later this week and will probably be thinking about the February menu for the whole month of January, but only a few minutes at a time.

Planning dinners for a whole month might seem daunting to some people. Maybe even impossible. It’s not. It might seem unattractive to some people and that’s okay. I want to encourage all of my readers to do some form of meal planning, at least a week at a time. I find it easier to meal plan with a formula. I cook a larger entree on Sunday that can be made over into something else on Wednesday. I do soups or salads on Mondays, slow-cooker creations on Tuesdays, leftovers with dessert on Thursdays, breakfast for dinner on Fridays, and Saturdays change month to month. For January, Saturday is sheet-pan supper night. This type of formula could work for a one-week menu or any other number of weeks at a time. I do not suggest planning for less than one week at a time because that would require multiple trips to the grocery store, which means more money and more time spent on dinners each week.

To get started, feel free to print my menu and use what you like. Change what you don’t like. Also, ease into this by planning only 3 or 4 dinners per week if you’re not used to eating at home every day.

My wish is for you to have a great start to 2020!

Check out the recipes on my January Menu Pinterest board.


The Week Before Christmas

Take care of yourself this season

It’s the week before Christmas. Anyone else feeling worn to a nub? Let me tell you a secret. Taking good care of yourself is the best present you can give to your kids or loved ones. It is so important to your physical and mental health to take a little time for you. That could mean blocking out a few hours to prepare healthy meals and snacks so you don’t overdo it on junk food. It could mean making sure you get 8 hours of sleep each night. It could mean getting your 30-60 minutes of exercise per day.  Whatever it means for you, do it!

There are many times in our lives that we have to say “no” to things. During the holidays, this feels more difficult than at other times but it might be one of the healthiest things you can do. Our kids want us. Our families want us. And we want our kids and families to have wonderful, magical memories of the season. Those memories will not be so wonderful and magical for them if you are not in a good place healthwise. So, do everyone a solid and make sure you are making healthy choices for yourself!

Here are some ideas:

  • Set aside some time to relax and be quiet.
  • Ask for help, or hire it out when possible.
  • Make and stick to a morning routine. Having things done regularly in the morning can make your entire day go better!
  • Choose the things you want to do, skip the things you do not want to do.
  • Limit your time on social media. Comparing your own holiday plans to those of other people could potentially steal the joy from your own activities.