February 24, 2016

12-Minute Diet and Meal Planner (Revisited)

The 12-Minute Series was originally posted in 2012.

We’ve decided to republish it integrally because we believe it can still help as everyone aspires to make things better.

Let’s hope it stirs up the discussion and stimulates you to change the world 12-Minute at a time!

This article was originally posted on August 12, 2012

When it comes down to food, the 12-Minute Way can be quite useful to help you manage your diet and plan your meals. 

There’s more to it than the common dozen eggs.

Because approximately 40% of food goes to waste in America, an incredible opportunity for improvement exists in the vast food domain, an opportunity to save precious resources and money.

But also an opportunity to reduce stress and free up some of your schedule because, day after day, food preparation can sometimes be pretty hectic and time consuming.

Try to Relieve Pressure from Your Tight Schedule

Invest a little time on planning your meals, you will greatly benefit from it.

One general measure that can be taken is to try to relieve pressure on moments your schedule is tight.

For instance, just thinking about what you’re going to have for dinner can be pretty taxing after a long busy day at work. Wouldn’t it be great if dinner was almost ready when you got home? A bit of planning and preparing what you can in advance will do the trick here.

If you’re always in a rush in the morning, take 12-Minute to prepare lunches the night before. By opposition, if you’re an early riser, you’ll probably have plenty of time to prepare them before leaving for work in the morning.

It’s not always a necessity to cook just before each meal. For instance, you could prepare recipes in the evening, being less hungry and rushed.

You know you’re going to be peculiarly pressed for time for dinner tonight, take 12-Minute to set the table and prepare as much as possible in the morning.

The 12-Meal Weekly Menu

We recommend planning your meals on a weekly basis.

In fact, using a 12-Meal Weekly Menu can be a breeze. You could plan for lunch and dinner on weekdays and only dinner on weekends. Although breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, it’s relatively simple to prepare and it doesn’t necessarily require thorough planning.

Once a week, take time to write down your menu and grocery list.  

Post you weekly menu on the fridge so the entire family can refer to it. Using small post-it notes allows switching meals quickly in case of last-minute chance of plans. Remember that an effective plan can always adapt to ever changing circumstances.

Cook bigger batches of your favorite recipes and freeze extra portions.

Keep a list of available frozen meals at hand in the kitchen, especially if you have a big freezer somewhere else in your house like in the basement.

For this, we like to list each batch on a post-it and associate a number that we write on each portion. That way, it’s simple to find it later and cross off the number on the post-it when a portion is used.

Make a list of your 12 favorite recipes for each season. It should inspire you when planning time comes around again.

But don’t get lost in your routine, try something different from time to time.

Save on Groceries and Avoid Wasting

Groceries constitute an important part of your budget with ample potential for savings.
So here are some 12-Minute Tips to save a big chunk on grocery shopping.

Always shop with a list and stick mainly to it.

Put up your grocery list and plan your meals according to your 12-Meal Weekly Menu.
But just what you need to cook your weekly recipes.

Master buying in bulk; make sure you avoid overstocking.

Try to go to the grocery store more often, buy fresher products and eat them right away. On their way back from work every day, some people like to make a quick 12-Minute Grocery Stop.

Avoid wasting as much as possible.
At least once a week, try using one older item from your kitchen or basement cupboard.

Keep a list of frozen foods / meals and make sure you eat them before they go bad.
Stop grocery shopping 12 days before you go away on vacation, cook and reduce what you have stored. Or at least limit your grocery buying to fresh products like fruits and vegetables.

Keep a list of products you often buy to verify if special prices are really worth it. Smart phones offer a convenient way to gather information in that matter.

Setting Sensible Goals and Objectives

As for everything else, you can set-up significant and attainable goals in a refreshing 12-Minute Way for your grocery savings or your diet.

Everybody can save some major money in the long-run by trimming down their grocery expenses by 12%. Try to attain this ambitious objective within a 12-Week Span and maintain it through the next 12 months.

Then, maybe you could reward yourself by going on a nice trip or buying something you desire with half the money you saved. To remain sensible, the other half could be invested for the long haul.   

As far as dieting goes, you could set your sights on losing 12% of your weight or 12 pounds in the next 12 weeks. Yet again, losing an average of one pound per week is attainable and the result can be pretty meaningful.

You could take a 12-Day Break after this demanding 12-Week Program. But to avoid the yo-yo effect, make sure you maintain at least what you’ve lost (or gained depending on point of view) over 12 months.

If you are still motivated enough, you could decide to take the next 12-Pound Step (or 12% Step).

Remember to reward yourself along this sensible goal setting 12-Minute Way!

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