Our Camping Kitchen

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Meal Planning

Once upon a time, I had an iron stomach and believed in eating whatever you want.  Then, I became a mom and woke up. I began looking at food the way it was intended... as fuel for your body. I knew that healthy eating meant a healthy person, it was just that with all the current convenience and packaged foods, I didn't fully understand what healthy eating was. Before Kaeden was a year, I had transformed our meal and eating habits. After researching, we decreased gluten, eliminated HFCS, refined grains and refided sugar . We eat a diet high in fruit, vegetables, with moderate meat and grain intake and small amounts of dairy products. As I began to convert our family from many of the unhealthy foods and habits, our health and well being reflected the change. I have another blog, Spiritualfeast, that focuses on Spiritual matters, and at one point wanted to make it an all inclusive blog. Yet, Spiritual feast which lacked a real, devoted audience was my prototype, my rough draft of blogs. The Golden Gypsies is my master piece, or at least the beginnings of my master piece. So, I figured here it would reach more people and hopefully help more people improve their health by eating well.

One of the tools I use to make life easier is a meal planner. It helps me ensure a balanced meal, day, week. I have been menu planning for about a year on paper. I found a great template that you can download, print and fill out from The Project girl. This method was great before when space was unlimited, but now it's a totally different story. I don't really have room for any binders so electronic files that only take up virtual space are perfect. I can access it when I need it, and it disappears into internet world when I don't.

The format from The Project Girl required me to plan meals and make supermarket trips by the week, so for convenience and peace of mind I changed it to two weeks. My favorite thing about using a template like this is you can save your menu, copy and paste to another menu or reuse entirely. No more racking your brain for what to cook, after the initial process of course!
Another plus of my new template is that I can make notes about what days I need to pull double prep duty. I can put a little code on Monday to remind me to chop veggies for Monday and Wednesday's meal. This helps us eat healthy without keeping me chained to my kitchen. It also cuts down on waste or food spoiling because it ensures that half tomato or cucumber doesn't get sent to the crisper to die.

I wanted to expand my blog to encompass the whole picture of my family's transformation and journey. Cooking in a house is very different from cooking in a RV. Well, not all that different except the space. provide some kind of inspiration to others to get their meals, fridge, pantry and shopping trip in order so here are my meals for April 2012. Also, below is the blank template in case you would like to give this method a try. Feel free to tweak it to fit your life/style/personality.

For those of you who are my friends and/or part of the Fulttime Families Group on FB, thanks for your suggestions, I did use some and others I saved for later:)

Here is April 8-21 meals and shopping list: Spreadsheet

Here is the blank template:  Spreadsheet

Happy planning, shopping, cooking and eating :)

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