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Oct. 27, 2010
The Menu Planning Notebook: How to Effectively Plan Your Meals
We've been hard at work on our next CLIFCast Podcast, and the topic of discussion is menu planning. I was actually shocked to find out that most of my Clif Bar coworkers head to the grocery store to load up without a plan or even a list.

Maybe it's just because I am one of those working full-time moms – the type that can’t remember anything and hates facing the daunting question of “What’s for dinner?” unprepared. But this dietitian loves having a plan and a list!

The Menu Planning Notebook: How to Effectively Plan Your Meals

This past Sunday morning I was busy practicing what I preach, planning the week’s worth of meals ahead of time, making a list, going grocery shopping and doing as much soux chef-type prep as I could muscle.

I have a new system in place that seems to be working so far that I would like to share with you. It called the Menu Planning Notebook. Each Saturday or Sunday morning my husband and I pull out the spiral ring notebook and a pen (no app, wi-fi or charge required), where we decide what we want for dinner Sunday through Saturday. We talk about who is doing what on what night of the week and correlate that with our suggestions.

For example, if one of us plans to work late or has a class to go to, then we may opt for the tomato soup and BLT option. Once we've decided what we'll make each night (or night before, in my case) we proceed to make a grocery list that also includes our staples for breakfast, lunch and snacks. All systems GO!

Planning ahead is easier said than done and frankly, it doesn’t happen every weekend. It is just something to aspire to do. I am all for trading off menu planning time for opportunities to do something more fun.

But the fact is if you plan, the week goes smoother and you'll probably make healthier choices. If you don’t plan you won’t starve, especially if you have your trusty CLIF BAR to grab or can visit Kali’s Kitchen, our new on-site café. But not everyone's that lucky!
Posted by:
Tara, the RD
Food Matters, Podcasts

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