Menu Help for the Productively Inclined

Whole foods feed the brain.  You are a creative (whether your art is math, sitting on your front porch, writing, or plumbing), you use your brain to make the most of your life.  Feeding it junk, rots it.  Do you want your years to be full of struggling?  Or do you want to give your brain and body a fighting chance at health and prosperity? There has been some discussion about how whole food nutrition being difficult for those that are busy and on the road often.  I want to acknowledge that is absolutely true, but with some planning and preparation, it can be done.  So I wanted to offer my two cents to those who would like a helping hand with these things.

A sample menu in my house looks like this:

Breakfast:

Dates, tomatoes, cucumbers, green onions, yogurt, pita bread, natural cheeses, olives, and milk (for those still growing bones:))

Lunch:

Usually soups and sandwiches with hummus, yogurt, cheese, and veggies.  If I am feeling like a nice mommy, it may be natural pb and j.  Or leftovers from the night before.

Dinner:

This is when we have our big meal.  Usually a stew of some kind, shrimp, fish, spaghetti, tuna, eggs, boiled eggs and potatoes, chicken.

Since I have started on a regular work schedule, I will start trying to cook the night before (just as I would if I were working outside the home).  And for those of you that noticed, the foods I mentioned are from the Mediterranean diet.  We try to stick to these foods because they are the heart healthiest, easiest, and most delicious foods for US.

But anything whole, made at home will be wonderful. 

During the course of the week, we have one meatless day (usually lentils of some kind), two red meat days (one stew beef, one ground), one fish day, one shrimp day,  and one chicken day.  And I set those days so that the two red meats are spaced apart and rice dishes are spaced apart. And salads are an every day event.  In addition, snacks are ALWAYS fruits, veggies, and/or nuts/seeds.

If the kids come and say, "I want a snack."  I say, "Go choose whatever fruit you want."  We need 5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day...that means EVERY meal and EVERY snack should incorporate them.

If you find that there is too much involved in packing and carrying lunches or cooking meals, you can always patronize those places that cook whole foods, i.e. sit down joints...not fast food...like Italian, Mediterranean, Greek, or even Mexican restaurants.

Get in the habit

Routines make everything easier.  But, you have to MAKE them routine before they are.  Take the next MONTH and push yourself to cook three nights a week (and cook enough to have leftovers for lunches).  (Sounds like preparation for a jamming 2012, by the way!)  If you are married, let your spouse help with some of the night time duties...if they're willing.  What you are doing is setting a good example for your family while making yourselves healthy and more productive.

Your brain and body need clean food to operate at their best.  Now, we have to find the best ways to get them what they need.

The key is to find what works for YOUR family

I will be implementing a new agenda next week so that I can cook and clean at night and write in the day.  It will be a challenge (and I am NOT driving 50 miles to and from work, so I can't claim that my time is going to be as difficult as some ;), but my productivity is at stake and I want to make the MOST of it by putting in the good stuff so I can get the good stuff out.

(Leanne Ely has a menu mailer that does the planning AND grocery lists for you, in case ready made menus are your thing :))  What does your menu look like this week?  Let me know in the comments:)

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