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Lessons on living a rhythmic life.
Go with the flow of nature, from the turning of the seasons to your menstrual cycles.
Practical household tips for spiritual people;
because balance is good, messes get old, and we aren't all Susie Homemaker Perfect.


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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Simple way to make meal planning easier

I make weekly menus and shopping lists. I highly recommend this for everyone who wants an orderly home, especially when they are very busy and have a large household.

There's a very simple way to make this easier. What I usually hear people say are two things:

1. I don't have time.
2. I don't know what to make.

We can knock both of these issues out at the same time, in the same way. The best way to do this is to get your family involved. The most common reason why we don't have time is family.

There are multiple reasons why this is the best thing for you to do. First off, let's look at the statistics. People with families tend to be healthier. Not only that, but the more time spent with family, the healthier both mentally and physically people are. So getting your family to do something together can help their health as well as yours.

This is an excellent learning opportunity for children, too. They learn how to prepare shopping lists, how to designate time, and how to eat nutritionally through planning.

Also, it's important to remember that food is a requirement for life. So if you are going to be living, you're going to be eating. Let's pass on to our children the legacy of having healthy food in the house.

A huge side benefit of this is that you will decrease the likelihood of getting junk food into the house. When you go to the store with a list, you're less likely to wander aimlessly and follow the dictates of your taste buds.

So prepare a weekly menu and shopping list. Then have a place in your kitchen for your family to write down things that you need for next week's list. For example, if you run low on ketchup this week, you can write it on the list. That's something you're not likely to write down if you decide to have hamburgers on Tuesday.

Then, here's the key to making it all come together. During the week, as you go about your day, you're likely to come up with something you'd like to eat. You are out and about, and you smell a restaurant. This makes you realize how much you're craving some yummy fried chicken.

This is a perfect opportunity to sit down a few days later with your kids and look together on the internet to find some baked chicken alternatives to the less-healthy fried chicken. This is time well spent, because you're together, and you're teaching them healthy choices.

But here's the thing. By Saturday when you do your shopping list, what if you've forgotten, and here you sit once more, wondering what the heck to make for a whole entire week!

That's where my secret box trick comes in. It's the food dreamers' box. We'll talk next time about making a Dreamer's Shelf, and that's where your food dreamer box will be.

Use a small, pretty box and label it "Food Dreamer Box," and put it on the Dreamers' Shelf. Then, when you get a craving, or your husband does, or your kids do... you'll write your craving down, and drop it in the box.

Then come Saturday, you can pull out the FDB and check out what your family has been craving this week. If you have left-over dreams, date them, and try to take them before the next week's dreams.

In this simple way, you acknowledge the desires of your family. You get them involved.

And you don't have to wonder, "What am I going to make for dinner tonight?"

So by the simple expedient of a Dreamers' Box, you can begin to pull together the necessary ingredients to make food less of a daily grinding chore. You will make shopping easier and less stressful. You will make it less likely that you'll fill your cabinet with junk food.

And last but not least, you will have assistance in taking care of this very important need on your family's part.

~ Livin' the Rhythm with Kimberly Weston

1 comment:

  1. wow! I LOVE this idea, especially now that our rhythm is changing as we head into fall. We spend the whole summer on "coast" and just eat straight from the garden and don't spend much time or effort planning anything. As soon as school starts up again, that means planning school lunches and weeknight meals. The box is a great idea for us.