Archive for the ‘Menus & Mealtimes’

Mindful Eating

Mini #118
by Rhonda Miga

For as long as I have had children, I have been a fast eater, otherwise, I would not have eaten. Lately, I have also been an emotional eater. Put these two components together and it is a recipe for disaster. Fast eating often leads to overeating because we consume too much food before our brains receive the message to STOP eating. Fast eating while you are emotionally stressed can often lead to unsatisfied overeating. This habit can make a person unhealthy both mentally and physically! In this Mini I will share how awareness and knowledge can help us make decisions that support our mental and physical health. Through the use of exercises and worksheets, you’ll learn practical strategies to implement mindful eating in your own household.

Priority Planning Workshop

Mini #115 - April Featured Mini

One of the ways to maximize your time in the Make Today Matter program, and your time in general, is through a routine of Priority Planning. While it takes a little time, this planning is key to helping us stay on track throughout the month. Done thoroughly, this planning allows us to stay focused in  spite of adversity and to focus on what truly matters.  Priority Planning also reduces stress and helps us manage our time better. The five steps of Priority Planning can be accessed by all MTM Members in Phase II by following the link in the blue “quick links” menu. This Mini is an additional workshop that provides an audio version of each of the five steps, and also provides a location to share and encourage one another with our plans!

Make Ahead Meals

Mini #110 Make Ahead Meals: Tips, Recipes and a How-To Plan for creating 7-10 days of storage-friendly, tasty meals in one day

Perhaps you have heard of “bulk cooking”, “cooking for the freezer,” or “once a month cooking,” but have been hesitant to try it. This Mini gives you a great opportunity to learn about this cooking technique. With a little planning and some bulk cooking knowledge, you can greatly reduce nightly meal preparation! This Mini offers tips for freezing, a step-by-step approach, and sample recipes with freezing and reheating instructions. (Opens March 6)

Life Profiler Mini * Featured Mini

Mini Makeover #105

If you are ready to do an in-depth analysis of your strengths and weaknesses to help you “go beyond the Snapshot” then this is the Mini for you! Brook developed the Life Profiler Mini to help people pinpoint what specific steps they can take to improve life areas of concern. The Profiler includes over 200 questions and can be downloaded in Microsoft Excel format. After answering the questions, you will be able to see how well you score in 17 different life areas as well as learn what MTM solutions and strategies can help you improve! This is a great in-depth review to do once or twice per year.

Hosting a Cookie Exchange & Stress-Free Entertaining

Mini #98
15 pages

In this Mini we explore how to host a cookie exchange along with Stress-Free Party Tips & Ideas for entertaining during the holiday season. We start out by exploring 8 holiday theme parties and practical strategies to make entertaining stress-free. You’ll discover free resources to manage invitation lists, how to plan the right amount of appetizers, and more. Then we turn our attention to planning a cookie exchange. A cookie exchange is a gathering where each guest prepares a designated number of their favorite cookies prior to the gathering. The day of the gathering, each guest receives a dozen of the each attendee’s cookies, and gives each attendee a dozen of
their own. Recipes are also attached so that your family can add new holiday favorites to your repertoire. Typically, at the gathering, the cookies are sampled, stories
are shared, and fun is to be had by all. The cookie exchange is a great way to have some fun holiday time with the girls, have many cookie types without preparing each one on your own, and enjoy the stories and recipes of others.

Celebrate Thanksgiving

Mini #97
14 pages
*November Featured Mini *

Note: If you are taking the 10 Weeks of Christmas course you will receive the information in this Mini in the week’s prior to Thanksgiving. If you are not taking that course and would like to visit and choose CLASSES or visit the Member Link in the Library for your exclusive MTM Discount.

When I was younger, I was not nearly as enthusiastic about Thanksgiving as I am today. When I was younger, I thought Thanksgiving paled in comparison to the fanfare and excitement of hristmas (and my birthday, which falls in December). As I became a young woman, Thanksgiving soon became one of my favorite holidays. An entire day edicated to being thankful and celebrating the joys in our life!

I don’t know about you, but I have made a few observations. (1) A lot of people like to complain – they almost seem addicted to complaining, chaos or negativity.
(2) Often we are too busy to just “stop” and be thankful! (3) Being thankful around the actual Christmas celebration, can be more challenging because there is so
much going on!

Having a day devoted to gratitude, without the stressors of presents, high expectations, and the like, is a welcome relief. It reminds us all to STOP and
celebrate what is here. In this Mini we will explore ways to celebrate thankfulness throughout the month, activities and ideas, ways to involve children, a Thanksgiving Menu and shopping list, and a thanksgiving prep-checklist.

Creating Your Holiday Notebook

Mini #93

A holiday notebook can be a great organizer, celebration enhancer and stress-reducer over the holiday season. Each year you can organize and plan your holiday celebrations in a notebook, creating a quick-reference guide for common holiday tasks, activities and plans such as: sending cards, entertaining, gift ideas/sizes/likes, recipes, favorite stores (best deals), games and entertainment, favorite memories and more.

In this Mini you are provided templates for building your holiday notebook and tips for using each template.

NOTE: If you plan to take the 10 Weeks of Christmas Course (starting October 12) you will receive this information throughout the 10 week course.

Coupon Collecting - Spend Smart

Mini #90
Available 9/3/09

In Mini #85 we completed a Master Spending Diary to help consolidate information and begin taking control of spending. In this Mini we will work with your Master Spending Diary to find the best deals, clip smart, and organize coupons. You will also learn some “coupon collecting secrets”–such as manufactuerer’s coupon lists, printable online coupons, online-swaps and more.

Since this Mini refers to terminology from #85, it is strongly recommended you complete #85 first, or in conjunction, or you will not have the tools to make the most of this Mini.

Shop Smart: Building a Master Spending Diary

Mini #085

One of the best steps we can take to save money is to learn to shop smart on life’s essentials. Most often when we think of curbing our spending we look to extraneous purchases or luxury items. While there is no harm in evaluating those habits, it is important not to overlook the everyday necessities to make sure we are getting the most bang for our buck.  A master spending diary can help us

  • purchase smart
  • take advantage of sales
  • look for better alternatives
  • avoid over-buying
  • avoid excess trips because we “ran out”
  • find out which store has the best deal

In this Mini you’ll complete a template to create your Master Spending Diary.

Creating an Heirloom Cookbook

Mini #80

When we look back through our passed down family recipe boxes and scribbled-notes, we discover a journal about our families—a history of tastes and times, evolving over the years. This history evolves around the kitchen table, and for fancier occasions in the dining room.

Our mother’s scratched-out-recipes, better ones added; coveted recipes from dear friends and inherited ones from generations passed; notes written in the margin, all lovingly adjusted and prepared—to bring health and pleasure and well-being to our families three times a day, every day, every year. Then our additions become added in those margins; the cycle begins again with a new “biography” built in the kitchen and brought to the table.

This Mini focuses on combining favorite recipes and memories from family members to create an Heirloom Cookbook. This makes a wonderful keepsake and gift. Ideas for gathering recipes and stories are offered along with templates for building your cookbook.

Mastering Meal Planning (multiple versions available)

Mini Number #023 - When cooking for one (or two)
While you receive the workbook all at once, it is recommended you spread out the exercises following the four-week outline in the workbook

Mini Number #024 - When cooking for three or more
While you receive the workbook all at once, it is recommended you spread out the exercises following the four-week outline in the workbook. (Includes my all new technique for getting the family on board with meal planning! Tested and proven in my home last month!)

As family members inquire “What’s for dinner?” meals can quickly become a source of stress. If we are working on personal health goals not having a prepared meal plan can be detrimental as we make last-minute decisions based on what we have on-hand. Whether we are cooking for 1 or 10 lack of preparation can also be costly as we opt for convenient solutions or do not plan menus to optimize what we have on hand.

A study done by PACE consulting titled revealed the average stay-at-home mother spends a little over 17 hours per week focused solely on meal preparation. The average full-time working mother spends around 10 hours (the difference is often that full-time working mothers are more likely to pick up carryout on the way home). Whether it is 10 hours or 20 hours—that is a lot of time to spend on meals-in fact that is a part time job as a chef!

This Mini-Makeover guides you step-by-step through easily preparing master menus and shopping lists so by the Mini’s end you will be prepared with a quick and easy meal system and never wonder “What’s for dinner?” again.


Menus and Mealtimes Reminder

I wanted to post a quick reminder in this section that all Make Today Matter Members receive three weekly recipes plans per month. You can choose from 2, 4 or 6 servings. These dinner plans come complete with shopping lists. Check the calendar for availability dates. You can access these Menus by following the Menus and Mealtimes link in your member area.


Creating a Recipe Library

Mini Number #19
Note: In May the first of a two-part Mini on building your own meal plans will be available. This is a great primer to prepare for that Mini!

Quick question: How many recipes do you have in your house? This includes recipes in magazines, cookbooks, recipe cards, printouts-any and every recipe. Take a wild guess. Another question: How many different recipes on average do you cook per month? Take your total number of recipes and divide it by the number of recipes you cook per month. (For example if I have about 2,000 recipes and make an average of fifteen different recipes each month, then my answer is 133… meaning I have enough recipes for the next 133 months… that is eleven years worth… if I don’t add anymore during the next eleven years!) Between you and me I don’t think I will cook them all, in fact in the average cookbook my family only likes about twenty-percent of the recipes (unless of course, I am the author J). This Mini takes you step-by-step through creating a recipe library by pruning your collection to create a customized cookbook.