Welcome to Mimi’s Monday Menus!
Tucked in this little corner of Amazing Mimi, you’ll find an archive of all of my previous menus, chock full of ideas and links to recipes that fit a low-carb/keto lifestyle. Why do I make a menu every Monday?
The Importance of Menu Planning
Early on in our journey to lose weight and become healthier people, the mister and I discovered something interesting. If we didn’t plan what we were going to eat, we often wasted time, money, and our health. Can a meal plan really mean that much?
You bet it can!
We used to eat out almost every night. I’m not joking. I am not precisely fond of cooking. It takes time away from things I would rather be doing, like eating. And then there were the times when I would get ambitious. I’d say “I’m going to make that cool new recipe that I’ve had pinned for six months.” We’d get all the ingredients for it. Then they would sit in the fridge while the moment of my motivation drained away. So we were wasting money on groceries and eating out.
Having a weekly menu alleviates this problem. We budget what we’re going to spend and limit the nights we eat out. We also waste less food, because we plan what we’re going to cook. Having it written down helps me to stay on task when it comes to cooking on the days I’m supposed to.
You might think you are saving time by running out to grab food from a drive-thru every night. But are you really? Strangely, I’ve discovered that I have more time on the nights when we cook at home! On our nights out, I’ve clocked our trips. Since we try to include an errand or two if they come up, we almost never arrive home before 6 pm. We usually finish eating around 6:30 or so. This means our exercises don’t get finished until nearly 7.
That’s really cutting into some me time, right there. I’m not saying that I’m going to cook every night. But I DO realize the benefit and I can’t complain that I don’t have time to cook a good meal.
Crock Pots Save Even More Time
A lot of nights when I’m cooking at home, it’s something that we’ve tossed in the crockpot. Sometimes it’s a casserole I can put together in the morning and put in the oven when I get home. Rarely do we eat any later than 5:30. If we do, we get our exercises out of the way while the food is in the oven. So we’re still usually done with dinner and exercise by the time we’d be getting home if we’d gone out.
Another benefit to the menu is that I don’t have to spend time throughout the week wondering what I want to eat that night. We used to have the “Where do you want to go?” conversation almost every night. It got old. Now, we know where we are going, and I usually have a good idea of what I want before we even get in the car.
Saving Our Health
We knew when we opted to start losing weight and eating better that we just were not going to be able to eat out as much. Aside from the massive amounts of calories, there is the sodium, the added sugar, the fat, and the dreaded carb counts. It is entirely possible to eat healthy when you eat fast food. However, we all know that when you control what goes into your food, you’re more likely to use better ingredients.
The longer we’ve worked with using a menu, the more our tastes have begun to change, the more I’m enjoying cooking, and the more excited we get over our food. It’s no longer just the same old, same old from a drive-thru menu. Now, we have true variety and an abundance of new flavors to choose from.
This article on planning from WebMD is a great explanation of the whys and hows of menu and day planning for greater weight loss success. Plan Your Day to Lose Weight
Don’t Just Plan It, Track It
The mister and I started tracking our food intake well over a year ago. It was one of the most pivotal decisions we made for our weight management. Consider it a journey. A meal plan is your roadmap. A good meal tracker is like the lines on the road. They keep you headed in the right direction. And you know that if you swerve over them, then you might be headed for trouble.
Are you ready to start on your plan?
Please feel welcome to pick through my menus. Try what you think you might like and toss what you don’t.
Also, if you’re interested in making your own weekly dinner menu, I have a handy printable here:
On the left, there is enough room to write out your main and side dishes, along with any relevant links to recipes. On the right, there is a handy shopping list to ensure you are able to get all of your ingredients in one trip.