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Recipe for healthier eating

I’m not big on new year resolutions so, for the most part, tend not to make them. That’s why I am calling my latest endeavour not a resolution, but rather a work in progress that started to go into effect last fall.
Quite simply, I am trying to make a weekly meal plan and stick to it. Easier said than done. You see, I live by my lonesome. I can eat when I want, where I want and what I want seven days a week. When grocery shopping I have no list. I merely pluck foodstuffs here and there. Whatever tickles my fancy at the time.
I can see doctors and dieticians recoiling in horror. Fret not. For the most part I eat sensibly, although I am prone to prepackaged meals. Microwave them for five minutes and you have instant curries, stir fries, even beef bourguignon. They’re fast, they’re easy and most are quite good. In other words, the makers of these foodstuffs know their market.
Most of us realize, though, these microwavable meals are not as good for us as the real deal. We also know that a lot of these meals, although not as instant, can be prepared in pretty short order.
That is, if we took the time, which I aspire to do.
Helping me on my way to weekly meal planning is a new recipe box I got for Christmas. I am transcribing all fave foods from my past onto new recipe cards.
I had forgotten about some of the family gems. For example, old instructions for cooking what was called Scottish Style Beef – spiced beef, as it is known today. The recipe was clacked out on a typewriter and quaintly concludes, “Carve into thin slices and enjoy!”
Other recipes in the old box were cut from magazines with every intention of making them. I’d see stunning photos of  stunning meals and stow them away for a future meal. Looking at them today, I wonder what was I thinking? Good idea at the time, but many of those delicious-looking meals are not going to happen.
Anyway, transcribing away, I realize many of my recipes taste better and are better for me than processed meals.
However, as the saying goes: action, not words. Towards that end on Sundays I have been charting out my daily meals. For the most part it is going quite well.
There has been slippage, though, especially when time is of the essence, like on production days. Go home and have a salad or go to the restaurant just down the street and have a  grilled  bacon and cheese sandwich?  Most know the answer to that one.  That said, this has been happening less frequently. Consumption of processed foods is down considerably. Preparation and consumption of home cooking up considerably.
What’s for dinner tonight? Not sure. No meal plan. Went out for dinner Sunday.   cclark@guelphtribune.ca

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