Saturday, May 18, 2013

A "Pinteresting" Idea

     Lately I've been busy using an app on my phone to keep track of everything that I put into my mouth so I can be sure I'm getting the right amount of calories and have come to realize that besides my colorful fruit snacks and jello, my diet is pretty "white." Grits, quinoa flakes, mashed potatoes, almond milk, white bread, crackers, just blah blah bland! All the foods I've listed I really do love and generally tolerate pretty well, but eating the same thing day in and day out gets boring really fast. Not to mention having little variety in the diet can easily lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, although I've been suggested an awesome liquid vitamin to take so that's not a huge concern for me.

     To combat this boring spell, I know I'm going to have to work at expanding my diet through quite a bit of trial and error, which can seem a bit scary and overwhelming so I decided to try and make it a little fun with a "Pinteresting" idea. I've found that when I just snack all day, I'm less likely to make good food choices and tend to be way under my calorie goal so having set times to eat and healthy mini meals preplanned is my new goal. True, some days it will be tough to stick to my planned meals or I may even have to make substitutions based off of how my tummy is feeling, but having a plan of action will help keep me moving towards my main goal of getting out of my food rut and increasing my calorie intake.
     Now, back to this "Pinteresting" idea. I love Pinterest because it is full of great ideas, and when my sister and I ran across this one I knew that it would be perfect. I'm a real arts and crafts kinda girl and decided why should I make my meal plans on a boring piece of paper when I could make my own interactive DIY Meal Planning Board! So off we went to our local Michael's Arts and Craft store, and I'm not going to lie, this was not the cheapest project we've ever done but was totally worth it and turned out great (not sure why the picture is so squashed, it's actually a pretty decent sized board). As I add more foods to my diet, I can make a meal card for it and add it into my food rotation. I know that watching the pile of cards grow is going to be a huge source of motivation for me.


     You can find the basic directions here, but I love how customizable this can be. You can pick any size board and the color and decoration options are endless. Also, it can be set up as a daily meal planner with six pegs for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a few snacks or with seven pegs as a dinner planner for the week. The best part? It so easy to put together! A good pair of scissors, a large picture frame or cork board, some glue, a ruler, and some decorative paper and you're basically good to go.

     Although I plan on using this meal planning board to help me through my GP, meal planning is really a great idea for anyone wanting to be more adventurous with their meals (write meals you want to try on a meal card and have each family member draw one card until your dinners are all planned for the week) or wanting to eat healthier and save some money (with a little careful planning you can have all your meals packed and with you rather than eating fast food on the go). Hopefully this meal planning board can be as useful for you and your family as it will be for me, and if anyone has suggestions for more meal planning ideas feel free to share in the comment section below!

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