Sometimes it pays to do what you are supposed to do. While waiting for my car to be serviced the other day, I started leafing through professional journals to see if I was missing any important new info. Nothing really big popped up, but I did discover a short article that listed a variety of resources to help people with planning healthy meals. That’s a big question that comes up frequently at Green Mountain at Fox Run — do we really need to plan menus and, if so, help!
The answer to the first question is a resounding yes. Although planning can be very different than many of us think. Instead of the written-in-stone menus that we might be familiar with — you know, Monday at breakfast, lunch or dinner i’ll eat this, Tuesday i’ll eat that, etc… — meal planning can be as simple as putting together a list of foods you know you like, and making sure to keep ingredients for those meals on hand. Of course, it also helps to think about other things that impact whether we get around to putting a meal on the table, like time and energy. So it’s also a good idea to include in our lists quick and easy meals, or dishes that we can make for more than one meal, and freeze or just keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days until we feel like eating it again.
The second question — the how — I just answered to an extent. But I also wanted to share these resources for healthy eating. These are good for people who are trying to achieve healthy weights, manage PCOS, stay on a Type 2 diabetes program for management, or any other the myriad of problems that what we eat has an impact on. Here are some of my favorite resources for healthy menu planning from the article I read:
– Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension — Popularly known as the DASH diet, this plan is about healthy eating for more diet-related problems than high blood pressure (hypertension). The booklet this link takes you to has a lot of info on cutting calories (which regular readers of this blog will know we have a problem with — the focus on calories, not the actual reduction of intake, that is). So just ignore that focus, and instead take in all the good info on healthy eating it contains. You can download a pdf of the booklet, which gives you a week’s worth of menus and easy-to-prepare recipes.
– Cooking with Google — Just type in the ingredients you have on hand into the Google search engine, and it will come back with dozens of recipes for you to try. My favorite — and generally dependable to be good — are from Food Network.
– National Diabetes Education Program Meal Planner — This is a basic primer for people with diabetes, and contains some pretty good sounding recipes, too. If you’re an old hand at planning healthy meals for diabetes, it’s probably too basic for you.
– Cooking Safely in the Microwave Oven — Full of good info to help us do what it says. As far as making it taste good, well, you’re on your own. I know a lot of people swear by cooking in the microwave; I reserve it for heating up and cooking vegetables. So if you have any great-tasting microwave dishes, please, let us know!
Those are just a few resources to get us started. A Google search could probably turn up many more. So happy hunting…and cooking!