I am no stranger to planning my menus: in fact, I usually do it monthly to take advantage of what Safeway calls 10% Tuesday. I try and get everything I need for the freezer (including meat) and the pantry for the whole month on the first Tuesday. Safeway offers 10% off the entire grocery bill, including sales and coupons.
This month, however, we were away for 10% Tuesday, so I need to create a menu plan--and use up what we have in the freezer.
I also want to include two vegetables with each evening meal.
Here are our dinner plans for this week:
Balsamic Chicken with cabbage and carrot salad.
boiled potato, cooked spinach and acorn squash
Pork with apple and onion
steamed green and yellow beans
steamed broccoli, beets
corn (it's a grain (or starch), not a vegetable)
roasted sweet potato and zucchini
Chicken and Peppers
Spinach and Tomato Salad
Cucumber and Tomato salad
Rotisserie Chicken (from the grocery store)
Homemade potato salad
Red Barn Corn and Bean Salad
From these plans I'll be able to plan the rest of my eating day. Let's take Tuesday as an example.
These are the daily servings recommended by the Mayo Clinic Diet for 1400 calories:
Grains (and Starches): 5
Protein and Dairy: 4
Firstly, 3 ounces of pork, trimmed of fat = 1 "protein and dairy" portion.
apples = 1 fruit
Onion, carrots, green and yellow beans = 3 portions of vegetables
It's all browned in olive oil (finished with braising in chicken broth) = 1 fat.
So, for lunch and breakfast I'm left with
Lunch will be a whole wheat wrap with 2 oz of Montreal Smoked meat with shredded carrots, mushroom and tomato with and 1 tablespoon of hummus for a spread: 2 grain, 1 veg, 1 fat and 1 P&D leaving me with
Breakfast will be Oatmeal with 1/2 a diced apple and 2 tablespoons of raisins and 1/4 cup of yogurt. (1 grain, 1 1/2 fruit, 1/2 P&D.)
Left for snacks:
Fruit: 1 1/2
P&D: 1 1/2
1 1/2 oz of cheese with crackers (4 Dar Vida = 1 grain)
1/4 cantaloupe with either 1/3 cup cottage cheese or 1/4 cup yogurt.
Now, that will be a good eatin' day!
I'm really not sure I'll be able to plan in this much detail for a whole month. On second thought, it's not really necessary as breakfast and lunch will consist mostly of fresh produce, anyway. I can still plan and shop for that weekly--as I do now.
Still, I think that, for now, I will make my food plan for the day the night before--and not do it for a whole week all at once. Maybe in time.