Share the Love

As you know, I’ve had babies. Five times.  And whether you’ve had one, or five, or maybe even none but have ever gotten sick to the point that you’re bedridden for at least a few days, then you know what it’s like to be trying to figure out how to care for your household when you can’t DO anything.

It’s tough.

The very best thing, the biggest help I ever had, was having friends bring over prepared meals for my family.  Just knowing that we had  dinner already done took a huge weight off my mind, and I will always seek to do the same type of thing for others when the need arises.

I recently received some sad news of a friend passing away.  Another friend was coordinating help for the family, and what I saw was an amazing tool that I know will come in handy for so many people. It’s called Take Them a Meal. It’s a scheduling tool for coordinating meals for any family.  I was glad to see such a thing, and know that it would have come in handy; I’m sure I’ll find a way to utilize it in the future.

And then I got to thinking.  If having meals brought was such a tremendous help when I was sick, or after I’d had a baby….why not share that kind of help other times? I don’t know about you, but I would LOVE to have a dinner brought to us even on a regular old normal day, just to make my life easier.   And if I feel that way, then others must also.

I often wonder what I can do to give a gift or bless others, when my resources are  limited.  Well, this is something that I can do. Despite my lack of time or money, I know that I can make double or triple batches of something that I am already making, to give to a friend. (I also recommend freezing for your own use later on).

With this in mind, I decided to make a double batch of challah dough this morning.  The dough was so big as it rose that it went above the rim of my largest mixing bowl!  And I’m off in a few minutes to deliver a freshly baked whole wheat challah to a neighbor, just to say “thank you for being a friend.”

So much of the time I feel overwhelmed and needy, unable to give and too often asking for something to be given to me.  I need to remember that I also have the ability to give back; I just need to figure out how.

What can you do for someone else today?

Baking Soda Works for Me!

Yesterday I shared my new quest for a more simplistic lifestyle.  In doing so, I’m not only massively decluttering, flylady style to get rid of “extra” stuff, but I’m trying to go greener, cleaner, and all-around more purposeful. FamilyNatural style.

One of the ideas I’d been tossing around my head for awhile was going “no poo,” meaning not using traditional shampoo. I have begun that endeavor and will post about that soon (update: here’s the post), but the reason I bring it up now is that in doing so, I employ what is quickly becoming my new good friend: sodium bicarbonate AKA baking soda.

I’d also been thinking about toothpaste and wanting to make my own less expensive, all natural alternative, and also am using my new good friend: baking soda.

I’m seeing a trend here.

Just thinking of the things I won’t need to buy or store (because I can use baking soda instead) makes me feel inspired in an “I’m headed for a simpler life” – kind – of – a – way.

Here’s a great article listing 40 uses for baking soda. I can’t wait to try more of them out.

And as far as the toothpaste thing, all I did was mix some baking soda with a little sea salt. I dip my moistened brush in and use. It’s definitely salty tasting, but boy, does my mouth feel clean afterward! As soon as I can get my hands on some mint oil, I’ll add that in.

I like the looks of this recipe from Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey, 2007) By Stephanie Tourles.

INGREDIENTS
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground
1 drop peppermint, spearmint, sweet orange, clove, or cinnamon bark essential oil
A few drops tap water

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix them thoroughly with a toothbrush, your finger, or a small spoon until a smooth, thick paste forms. The paste shouldn’t be too runny; it has to stay on your toothbrush.

Dip your toothbrush into the paste and use as you would regular commercial toothpaste.

Baking Soda is one of those things that definitely works for me. What’s your favorite way to use it?

What Do You NEED?

Have you seen these tiny houses?

I have 5 children, 2 dogs, and a cat.  I grew up as an only child (own bedroom) with plenty of space to call my own.  Sure, I shared bedrooms in college, but for the most part I’ve had tons of space, always.

I’ve lived with boxes that I never unpacked from the last move, and then moved again.  Boxes of things that hadn’t been opened for years.

I’ve held on to shoes I never wear since they’re uncomfortable, because, well, I already have them, so…why not?

Why not is because the clutter taketh us over…..it’s time to simplify.

No more owning things we don’t use or don’t want.  No more shoving things just anywhere because they don’t have a place they belong.  You’ve heard of “living intentionally?”  Well, I want to own intentionally.

I want to be a family that will have no problem living in a small house (like this family) or, better yet, be mobile.  I’d love to be able to easily transport all of our belongings easily, and for us to be comfortable sleeping on our sleeping bags wherever we go, whether we’re indoors or in tents.

I recently stopped using shampoo (more on this in another post).  I’m the guinea pig, but I hope to get the rest of the family on the program once I get the hang of it.  Besides being better for our health (and our finances), think of the simplicity of being able to use only household products (like baking soda, apple cider vinegar, and eggs) for our hair and not needing to buy or store (or move, if we’re traveling) shampoo, conditioner, and hair gel.  Less stuff, simpler life.

I’m planning to get a Kindle soon and then we can have books we like to refer to and re-read every so often on one little device, and not need to store (or carry, if we’re mobile) so many books! We LOVE books. But do we really need to OWN so many of them?

Less stuff, simpler life.

I know we’re too many people to fit into one of these. But looking at these pictures is inspiring to me.  To me, this says: SIMPLICITY.

What changes have you made, or would you like to make, to simplify your life?

Meal Plan for the week of May 2, 2011

I’ve been sort of out of the planning mode lately, but that’s got to stop. Especially while gearing up for major life changes (like moving), I need all the brain space I can get, and I can’t afford to waste energy trying to figure out what’s for dinner each day. Plus, I need to make sure we use up the food in the house before we leave it and not let it go to waste.  In case you aren’t sure why you’d take time to plan your meals, you can read my enlightening explanation here.

Otherwise, on we go:

Monday- Pancake dinner with fresh peaches and bananas

Tuesday – Tuna Noodle Casserole (with various veggies thrown in)

Wednesday – Moroccan Chickpeas with Red Sauce, couscous, salad

Thursday – Mexican Casserole (in honor of Cinco de Mayo)

Friday – baked fish of some kind, steamed green beans, rice, challah, brownies for dessert

Saturday – quick and easy granola with fresh cashew milk  for breakfast, this new lentil soup recipe & salad for dinner

Sunday – some kind of hotdog casserole (I have a bunch to use up), salad. Hmm…just realized it’s Mother’s Day

Monday – (Israeli independence day) -BBQ burgers, fresh coleslaw, potato wedges

Check out other menu plans at Organizing Junkie Hope you have a fantastic week!

The Not So Happy Meal

You may have heard about the recent ban in San Fransisco on restaurants offering children’s toys along with meals containing too much fat and sugar. If not, you can read more about that here.  The main offender in this is McDonald’s with their famous Happy Meal. The ruling says that a restaurant may offer a toy as long as the meal contains fewer than 600 calories.

I’m sure many of you enjoyed these toys as a child, as I did. Although we didn’t go often, it was a treat once in a while, and let’s face it: the toys are FUN. The problem is that our society as a whole, especially children, is becoming more and more obese and developing conditions which kill (like type 2 diabetes).

For many who are counting our pennies more carefully these days, McDonald’s provides a cheaper way to fill the belly at a place that kids love.  The problem is that THE FOOD THERE WILL KILL YOU IF YOU MAKE IT A REGULAR PART OF YOUR DIET.

Was that a little strong? Oh. Good.

Have you ever seen the movie documentary Super Size Me? It’s very interesting. It’s all about McDonald’s and follows a man who commits to eat there every day for a period of time, documenting his health changes as they occur. Here’s the beginning of it:

This ban is a good thing. Your children being enticed to eat at McDonald’s by the toys they receive there only helps them to become addicts at an early age. After that, the warm fuzzy feelings will be overtaken by the actual, physical addiction that occurs when high amounts of hydrogenated fats, processed sugars, flavor enhancers (MSG and other excitotoxins) are consumed.

Did you realize that these foods are addictive? Not from just this but any fast food restaurant, as well as packaged “junk” foods you buy at the grocery store and then serve at home? Your body was not designed to eat these chemicals and so will crave them again instead of what would be a naturally healthful choice.

I’m glad this law was passed. Unfortunately, though, it really is up to parents to change how they feed their kids for it to do any real good.

I understand the temptation to save money and time by going to the golden arches. I really do. I’d like to leave you with some thoughts on these two points.

  1. You aren’t really saving money. What I mean is, the “food” you get there is not really food. It does not satisfy your body’s need for nutrients. Your brain will tell your body it needs to eat again soon (that is, as soon as the chemicals from the food wear off), and the sicknesses you will encounter will cost far more than a more expensive real food meal would.  An apple and a handful of raw nuts would be far more nutritious (think: cost-efficient) than a happy meal and probably cost even less.
  2. You can prepare a home cooked meal without too much time involved with a little bit of planning ahead.  If you work full time and arrive home with no time to prepare, you can prep ahead and leave your crock pot doing the work for you before you leave in the morning. There are many resources to help you plan meals; you can read FamilyNatural’s post about menu planning here. An apple and a handful of raw nuts would be even faster to prepare than taking a trip through the drive through.

Are you seeing a trend here?

Remember, it’s up to you to train your children’s taste buds. However you teach them to eat, they will likely continue to do as they grow. My children are very happy having smoothies for breakfast, salads and whole grains, beans, etc. They are also very happy when they get a hamburger. If I gave them a choice of fast food, they would take it. But they are perfectly happy and MUCH healthier without that option.

Other related posts:

Here’s my post on How Chicken Nuggets are Made

and a chart showing Everything You Need to Know About Fast Food

The Finish Line? Adventures In Detoxing.

We have come to the end of our 21 day family-wide detox. It’s crazy how time flies, even during a time like this one when you’re looking forward to the end. I suppose working to raise 5 kids, homeschooling 2 and keeping a handle on the house will keep anyone busy enough to make time seem to speed by.

As I mentioned when I laid out our Detox Plan, my Hubby was going to do a 21 day intensive detox, while the kids and I participated in a more gentle one. The protocol for the one I’m on lasts much longer- at least 2 months, and it doesn’t actually include any diet modification. It’s just supplements that I continue to take that help my body rid itself of the stored toxins.  We decided to add a major diet modification during the 21 day period that my husband was doing his; that way we’d be doing similar things at the same time.  Of course, the more raw and the less junk I eat, the better my body will be able to use the special stuff I’m putting in, and not have its energy diverted to deal with new toxins. We also decided that the kids would take the supplements for only the 21 days.

So now, we’ve come to the finish line. Or have we?

My body is still getting toxins out. I can tell. I have certain body signals that show up usually only when I’ve been eating a lot of junk, and they’re here now. Or rather, they never went away. I know that my diet has been exceptionally clean in my choice of food, so they should be gone, but they’re not. Which is proof to me that my body is cleaning itself up, but is not finished.

Now that we’ve come to the goal of our 21 day detox, what do we do? Just cross the finish line and go gorge ourselves?

Not exactly.

If there’s one thing I’ve seen over the past several years of learning to manage a household, it’s the importance of establishing habits. Flylady teaches you to practice one habit each day for one month. And the habits repeat each year. You’ve heard that it takes 21 days to make a habit; there is much wisdom in the concept of focusing on one thing till you “own it” and not move on until it becomes part of who you are and what you do.

These are the healthy habits I plan for our family to continue. They are nothing new or revolutionary, but we’ve been practicing them for the past 21 days so I’ve seen that it is possible to do them.

  1. Serve a salad with dinner MOST NIGHTS instead of only a couple of nights a week. When the main course is cooked, there must be some raw. No exceptions.
  2. Grind fresh flour and make bread myself. I’ve always known it’s better to do this, but my lack of time, paired with how quickly we went through a loaf of bread, I thought made this completely impractical. So I would make bread once in a while but certainly not every week and definitely not for daily consumption of sandwiches. Now that we’ve gone through this purposeful plan of cleaning up our bodies, I want to make sure we fill it with things that will be useful and life-giving, and not gunk it up with “fillers”. So, I’m going to make bread. At least twice a week. I did it for the past 2 weeks, and it really wasn’t that hard or time consuming. We only had a little at a time, which allowed it to last much longer. That brings me to number 3.
  3. Eat less bread. It is easy to get into the mindset that eating a sandwich is the best thing to do for lunch, especially when you are packing a lunch to send with a child to school. But I’ve re-evaluated that idea. Two whole slices of (store-bought whole wheat) bread is a lot for one meal, especially for a little body, especially when it’s repeated several times throughout the week. In fact, I realized that most of the calories and tummy space of the entire meal was made up bread. Bread that didn’t have much nutrition in it, either, because it was not made with freshly ground flour. No more “bread with every meal”, especially since I need to make it all myself. One slice with some veggies or a salad is plenty, and many meals are complete without it. It’s really just a habit.
  4. Find non-food “treats”. I give my kids a “treat” every Friday. Since we’ve always restricted “bad” sugar, it became the tradition that their treat took the form of  real candy, pudding, etc. But during these past 3 weeks, it was not an option. We talked about shifting our focus off of food as a treat. This past week, they each got to pick a special activity to do, something I hadn’t made the time to allow on regular days. One of them wanted to play with play-dough, and so on. I’m not saying we’ll never allow candy, but changing the definition of a treat is important.

So, while we may be crossing the finish line of our official detox time, we’re not stopping the race entirely.   We have established some valuable habits and I hope to add to them, one babystep at a time.

What new healthy habits have you/will you start to practice?

Back To School

We start school tomorrow. As in, I begin to school at home my two oldest sons (7&6) while the 4 year old goes to preschool (to help him learn Hebrew) and the 2 1/2 & 1 year old are here. At home. While we do school and prep food and keep house and….OK, I’m tired now.

I get one question frequently. It comes both from moms with fewer children than I have and also from moms who don’t have their kids home during the day.

How do you do it? I can barely manage with my ( fill in appropriate number of children or situation).

Well, I’ll tell you. I don’t know. But, I do have a secret weapon, or rather, two of them.

The first one you may have heard me mention before. It is Flylady.net. Flylady gives lots of very helpful and totally do-able tips and tricks to help you stay on top of your housework and even make it sorta fun.

The second is Managers Of Their Homes.  This book shows you how to make a daily schedule, especially for homeschooling. It has lots of real-life schedules from many families of all different sizes and ages of kids to see for example and is filled with practical advice. It’s the first book I’ve found of its kind and has been extremely helpful.

Some main tips I’ve picked up from these sources include:

  1. Use a timer set for not more than 15 minutes to get a job done. Make it a race and see the progress.
  2. Get kids involved with meal prep. I have an assigned dinner helper for each week day.
  3. Assign play times and play partners in 1/2 hr blocks of time. This helps them build relationships and keeps them busy while you do school one on one or tend to another task.
  4. Have your daily schedule be the same each day. A certain block of time might have a rotating activity but it always happens at the same time each day or on that day each week.
  5. When you get off schedule for any reason, do not try to catch up. Just jump in where you are!
  6. Do not let the schedule or routine ruin the time. It’s there to help you, not to boss you around!

I have my daily schedule for this school year created. Will it work? I have no idea. But we’ll find out soon enough!

Now, off to that lesson planning…


How Chicken Nuggets Are Made

Jamie Oliver did an experiment for his Food Revolution in which he shows children how their beloved chicken nuggets are actually made, hoping to sufficiently gross them out and help them to choose differently once they know the truth. Sadly, the American children were still happy to eat the monstrosity he created. In contrast, the British children he’d practiced on previously were unwilling to eat once they knew the truth. Maybe the fluoride in our water and the drugs for the ADHD have made our children so completely stupid that they cannot make good choices. Pathetic. Watch for yourself to have an idea how these nuggets get made; it’s interesting, in a disgusting sort of way.

What difference does it make what you eat? Parts is parts, after all. Right?

And, now for some writing.  This article explains exactly how those things are made, at the end is a recipe for making your own healthier nuggets. I’m not sure I’d use the cornflakes, but whole wheat breadcrumbs would work fine.

Chicken Nuggets
By Leanne Ely, C.N.C.

Admittedly, it doesn’t take much to get my nutritional feathers ruffled. I’ve seen a lot of things that have made me crazy over the years and you’ve heard me harp on them—from “healthy” whole wheat donuts to artificial sweeteners, Olestra and acrylimide. I’ve sang the siren’s song about good nutrition and what I believe too, to be common sense nutrition. Why would we drink something, in the name of quenching our thirst, that looks like toilet bowl cleaner or antifreeze?

Anyway, today I stop singing and start sounding the alarm. We absolutely must stop the madness that is fast food. We absolutely must stop the madness and the obesity and the rise in degenerative diseases. We are raising an unhealthy generation because we feed this junk to our kids! PLEASE STOP!

I know there are attempts at some fast food places to do better. As Oprah says, “When you know better, you do better.” Well, today you are going to know better about chicken nuggets, because today, I am going to tell you all I know about them.

First, McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets contain 38 ingredients. Yes, THIRTY EIGHT ingredients! Some of those ingredients are things you wouldn’t give to your DOG. Some of those things, you could use to start a fire—well, almost. Tertiary butylhydroquinone (TBHQ) is a derivative of petroleum that is sprayed on the nugget or in the box that holds the nugget to keep it fresh. TBHQ is also a derivative of butane, also known as lighter fluid. It is furthermore a suspected carcinogen—cancer-causing agent.

The batter is set in shortening (hydrogenated oils) and in turn, it is cooked in partially hydrogenated oils at the restaurant. Some of the additives in there are antifoaming agents, emulsifiers, leavening agents, preservatives, fillers and binders. Sounds yummy, doesn’t it? Something you’d want to feed your kids?

The nuggets themselves contain 53% chicken. You wanna know what that 53% chicken is? I promise you it isn’t nice white chicken breasts! If you find those nuggets spongy and watery it’s because the chicken meat and skin is ground into a slurry, binders and fillers are added, plus lots of water, then formed into neat little nuggets.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ILL. Why do we manufacture stuff like this and then call it food? Where’s the value in it?

Please, for the children’s sake and for your own health’s sake, let’s stop this craziness with the food. It’s time to get back to basics and only eat food that is 100% identifiable. If you don’t know exactly what went into what you’re eating, you’re making a mistake. Our bodies do not need to contend with more pollution than what is already in our environment.

Here’s a quick and easy alternative to chicken nuggets:

Crunchy Honey Mustard Chicken Fingers
Serves 4

1 pound chicken tenders
1/4 cup honey, warmed
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 cup corn flakes, crushed

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a small bowl, mix mustard and honey together. In another bowl, place the crushed corn flakes.

In assembly line fashion, dip the chicken tender in the mustard mixture, then roll in the corn flakes and place on the cooked sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, or when cooked through

Copyright (C) 2010 www.savingdinner.com Leanne Ely, CNC All rights reserved

A Different Kind Of Body Clutter

I recently shared that we live on a poisoned planet, and the environment plus our living habits (especially our diets) are slowly poisoning US. Adding a yuck factor to our bodies that leave us feeling sluggish,  and generally unwell, and are actually beginning disease processes that we may not find out about for years.

So, what can we do about this?

In Flylady terms, we need to declutter. We already know about clutter in our houses. It just grows and grows as we bring it in, and ends up preventing us from enjoying our homes.  I’ve also heard the Flylady refer to two different types of body clutter: excess weight and clutter between your ears, or “stinkin’ thinkin‘ ”

I suggest that there is another type of Body Clutter: Toxins. They’re not just theoretical; they’re very real. And to make your body work right so that you can feel well and enjoy your life better, you need to get them out. You need to declutter. You need to DETOX.

Sounds like a huge big deal that’s only for health nuts, right? Well, it might sound that way, but it’s not. It’s actually very easy to do, and you can do it too, just by taking some babysteps.

How do you know if you need to detox?

Do you:

  • *get headaches (they may be common, but they’re not normal!)
  • *feel tired even when you’ve gotten what should be enough sleep
  • *get “indigestion” (constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating, heartburn, etc.)
  • *have allergies
  • *get sick more than a couple of times a year
  • *have a general feeling of blah for no apparent reason
  • *live on the same poisoned planet that I do 🙂

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, then read on. Steps to declutter your toxins are coming up.

My entire family and I are going to do a detox program beginning next week (August 15) for 21 days.  It will involve taking certain supplements (that are completely natural and safe for us all-even the little guys) and modifying our diets to assist our bodies to do what they already know how to do: take out the garbage. I’ll share more details  of our plans in an upcoming post.

But what about YOU? Do you feel that maybe, just maybe, you could use a little bit of “body de-cluttering?” Even without taking supplements, you could make great changes.

Detoxing is not an “all or nothing” kind of thing. Any little step you take will help you.

Commit to ONE of these for three weeks beginning on August 15, 2010:

  1. Say NO to soda and/or coffee, and drink ONLY WATER.  Leanne Ely of Saving Dinner posted a great “No Soda for Me” essay on her Facebook page. If you still don’t believe that soda’s bad for you, read my post on What Happens To Your Body Within An Hour of Drinking a Coke. Note: “drinking water”  means drinking 1/2 your body weight in ounces of WATER each day (not juice, crystal light, or anything else.
  2. Say NO to artificial sweeteners, MSG, and/or high fructose corn syrup. You can read my post on Aspartame’s New Name and why corn syrup is NOT a sweet surprise.
  3. Say NO to processed grains. This means only WHOLE wheat bread, pasta, whole grain rice.  For more info on why whole wheat is important, see Is Wonderbread Making You Sterile?
  4. Say NO to meat of any kind more than 3 times total in one week. Or cut it down to once. Or not at all. In other words, how ever much meat you are eating now, eat much LESS of it. Wondering what you’ll serve for dinner? Check out some of my non-meat recipes including beans.
  5. Say NO to dairy. Or cut it down dramatically. Whatever would be a big change for you; none is best if you want to be able to see how you feel without it. Why? Read my post on milk and how to get your calcium from other places. And don’t forget: you can make your own almond milk anytime!
  6. Say NO to processed sugar. This includes white and brown sugar and also honey if it’s pasteurized. What does that leave you with? Raw honey, sucanat, or stevia. Dried dates and raisins can be used to sweeten, but try getting along without indulging that sweet tooth. And yes…this means no chocolate! Unless you can get chocolate without sugar. If so, then go for it! 🙂
  7. Say NO to animal products. In other words, go vegan. Avoid all meats, milk/cheese and eggs. Eat only things that might have been growing in the Garden of Eden, hopefully in a form close to their original.
  8. Say NO to cooked foods. Go for LIVE foods that still have their enzymes in them. If you do this, your body will absolutely jump for joy, and the level of healing and detoxing it can accomplish will soar.  I’ve mentioned going more raw in these posts: When Your Child Is Unwell: Attitudes Toward Illness and Sick And Tired of Feeling Sick And Tired. If going completely raw is not something you’d consider, try it for two or at least one meal each day.

Do any ONE of these for 21 days (3 weeks), and you will notice changes!

Choose the one that works for YOU.

I can’t wait to see how great our family feels after our detox. Join us.

Make a commitment to ONE of the above choices for 3 weeks. Which one is right for you? Leave a comment. Accountability is very powerful, and I’d love for us to share this journey together.



What’s for Dinner? Day 27 of Babystep Challenge To A Peaceful Home

What’s For Dinner?

Do those words fill you with dread? What about when it’s 5 o’clock and you still have no idea what the answer is as you’re standing in front of the refrigerator just hoping something will assemble itself and jump out at you? Now do you feel stressed out?

At this point, many of us would feel tempted to pick up a phone and order in. Or tell the kids to hop in the car for a “treat”. These choices will cost LOTS more money and give you much less nutrition, and much more chemicals and fat. Which you know you don’t want to do.

3 Reasons to Make a Menu Plan

1. Save Your Brain

I don’t know about you, but my brain is……hibernating. It started with my first pregnancy. You know: Pregnancy Brain. And then it was New Mommy Brain. And then it was Living With Little Children Brain, then more Pregnancy Brain, and so on. So while I used to consider myself an intelligent, thinking person, that person has been sliiiiippppiiing away, and I want to conserve whatever intelligence I have left so that I might be able to write coherent blog posts. In other words, the fewer decisions I must make on a daily basis, the better! It’s much easier to decide in one sitting what we will be having for dinner each night than to have to do it every day. And in doing so, I can plan to actually have the ingredients when I go to make the meal. Who would’ve thunk it?

2. Save Your Money

    We’d all like to save money and use it for more important things. When you eat out, you spend MUCH more money than you do when you eat home. When you buy last minute items at the corner convenience store, you also spend much more money than you would for those same items at the supermarket, if you’d known you would want them. And when you buy random things at the grocery store, things spoil because you don’t have a plan to use them. What a waste!

    3. Eat More Healthfully

      When you make your own food at home, you are (hopefully) not going to fill it with MSG and other poisonous preservatives. You can be sure that convenience foods are toxic to your bodies, and with a little bit of planning, you can avoid these and know you are helping your family to be healthier. And it’s really easy!

      So Here’s What You Need To Do.

      1. Pick an amount of time you’d like to plan. I usually do 1 or 2 weeks at a time, but if you’re new to this and it seems too much, try 3 days.
      2. Write down a dinner meal for each of the days you are planning for. Dinner is the most important meal to plan, so focus on that meal first. Remember to include side dishes.
      3. On your shopping list, write down each of the ingredients you’ll need to make your meal. $5dinner.com has some nice printable planning sheets for menus and grocery lists.
      4. Go shopping and save money because you’re not buying things you don’t need or won’t use.

      It really is that simple.

      And if you really don’t want to do all of this, you can go to SavingDinner.com and buy their menus, complete with grocery lists. They’re very inexpensive and will still save you lots of time and money.

      What’s For Dinner is the theme of Day 27 of the Flylady’s babysteps. I’m so glad I’ve made this a habit because it’s really helped me. I even aspire to plan a whole month at a time and get into more freezer cooking….but I’m not there yet. One step at a time!

      I usually post my weekly menu on Mondays. Doing this has helped me be accountable for getting it done. I love linking up to others’ menus; if you post one, let me know!

      Do you menu plan? Why or why not? How long? I want to know what works for you.