Reduce Stress! Plan Meals!

Feeling stressed this morning?  I was - general anxiety right as I sat down to work.  Then I realized why:  I had a training last week and went right to Los Angeles for the weekend with my family.  My fridge is empty, I have a busy week ahead of me, and no idea what I'm feeding my family of five tonight (or any other night this week.) Instead of putting it off and clearing my inbox, I took six minutes to plan our week of meals.  Here's my process:

1.  Grab the mini-spiral notebook I keep on the counter of my kitchen.  Survey contents of my fridge - what needs to be eaten today (answer: kale).

2.  Write down the days of the week down the left-hand side of a fresh sheet.  Underneath each day, make a note of anything that affects meal time.  (Monday:  book club; Tuesday:  violin lesson; etc.)

3.  Two columns:  Meal and Prep.  Grocery List at the bottom (I will tear off and throw in my purse)

4.  Start with what you have.  I decided on kale lasagne for tonight.  I surveyed my pantry and decided I needed cheese & salad fixings.  Added to my list.

5.  Continued with the week.  Each time I decide on a meal, I make sure I have time to prep and include that on my plan.  I also consider lunches - my Monday & Tuesday meals always have leftovers so I know lunches on Tues and Weds are covered.

Here is my finished product: (took me longer to write this post then to create this plan)