What a BEAUTIFUL DAY on the Coast of Maine. For many of the kids in our area, school is back in session today! The upperclassmen will head back tomorrow. With that comes fall sports and the craziness of practices, games, homework and hopefully a healthy meal each night.
In our little corner of the world, we are still racing on the weekends as well. I have to squeeze in the time to work on meal plans or I fall into a convenience rut and with that comes unhealthy choices.
I find that when I share my thoughts I can go back and read them over and over when I am searching for inspiration.
Step one is filling in a calendar. I LOVE Cozi Family Calendar. It is computer & electronic device based. I like sitting down at the laptop and plugging EVERYTHING in from practices, games, appointments, community service meetings, my yoga classes, etc. I can set reminders to go to the phone of the family members who need that information. There is a free version I believe, however, use the $29.99 a year (GOLD) membership. With this I get birthday reminders, monthly view options on my smart phone and I can also add my meal plans to the same calendar. I also use Fly Lady much of the time (a housekeeping chore schedule) and the two organizational dreams sync together!
Once I have all of that entered, I plan our meals. According to our calendar it will be rare to have the entire family eat together most of the month. That means I need to plan meals that can stay warm or easily be reheated for the later shift. Also because of time constraints and an active little girl, the more I can make ahead or prep ahead... the better. After planning the meals I make a master grocery shopping list and "attempt" a designated morning or evening (ALONE) to tackle to the grocery shopping. I try my very best to plan around sales, coupons and the freezer full of meats that we have.
So in order to have those healthy options I rely on my crock pot! Have you all fallen to the addiction of PINTEREST yet?? I love it and the recipes that are out there, oh my! So I do use that often and have created quite a stock pile of "pins" that I browse every week when trying to create a new recipe or two. I also search blogs and I absolutely LOVED following Stephanie O'Dea back in 2008 when she tackled an ambitious challenge of using her crock pot every single day for an entire year. (I cannot believe that was 7 years ago) Not every single one of her ideas were edible and they varied from drinks, to snacks, breakfasts, dinners....and her reviews are invaluable. Here is the link to her blog for that year http://www.ayearofslowcooking.com/2009/01/2008-flashback-entire-year-in-order.html give it a look. You can view each day by title and see if anything strikes your fancy.
Other options for inspiration are Facebook pages and Instagram. You can find all kinds of dietary restriction pages as well. Paleo, Whole 30, Gluten Free Living, etc.
Here are a few of my favorite Facebook Pages:
Cupcakes and Kale Chips
Six Sisters Stuff
The Greenbacks Gal
Crock Pot Girl
I hope all of this information has helped! Plan ahead, stay sane. That's the goal!