by Amy Medling, founder of PCOS Diva
The first step to a healthy eating plan is menu planning. It may sound like a daunting process, but planning a weekly menu and shopping list usually takes me only about 20-30 minutes or so. This is time well spent to make it easier to stay true to your healthy PCOS eating plan.
- Look at your calendar for the week. Usually on the weekends, I sit down with a cup of tea and my refrigerator notepad which lists the days of the week in columns on 81/2 x 11 paper. I use the notepad to write down the activities for the week and then I can begin planning menus. When I am finished I post the menu plan on the frig so my family knows what’s for dinner. I plan my meals around the amount of time I have to prepare them during the day and whether we have a lot of time to sit and eat around the table. For example, if my son has a 5:30 soccer game Wednesday evening, then I know that I should probably plan a simple dinner that can even be taken to the soccer field. On Thursday, I know that I am out all day volunteering at school, so I am going to put dinner in the crock-pot before I leave. You get the drift. I typically don’t plan breakfast and lunch. In later blogs, I will share my rotation of typical breakfast and lunch items that I eat. It takes the guesswork out because I always have these items on hand. So when I am meal planning, I typically just focus on dinner.
- Check out items you have on hand. Before I start planning the meals for the week, I take inventory of what I have on hand in the pantry and the frig/freezer.
- See what is on sale in the grocery store flyers. Also take a look at the grocery store flyers to see what items are on sale for the week.
- Make a shopping list. I have a generic list that I generated on the computer with items I usually need every week. When you have all your menus planned for the week you can then add items to your generic list so you can make this week’s recipes.
- Shop strategically. Shop on a day that works best for you. I typically shop on Monday and then pick up fresh produce and any items I might need for the weekend again on Friday. Be flexible with your list too: If you were planning on having summer squash on Monday but the asparagus looks beautiful then go with it.
- Rate your menus. In my house we have a 4 star rating system. After each meal my husband and kids rate the meal. I will keep the 4 and 3 star meals on file to use in future menu plans. Building a collection of 4-star meals will make menu planning easier. Next time I’ll share with you where I find the recipes for my weekly menu plans.