How to Plan Quick and Easy Menus

                                    DINNER, WHAT’S QUICK & EASY?


Making Quick Dinners

Busy schedules create a need for quick and easy meals. Fatigue, stress, and special events can threaten to overwhelm our intentions about eating sensibly.

Planning is the key, but it is easy to forget as pressures mount. A few moments of planning will reduce last-minute stress and confusion and save approximately 15 percent on food costs. I eat all of my meals and snacks for about $7.50/day. Planning ahead does not mean you have to plan every detail. Merely decide when you will plan your meals each week, leaving allowance for changes. Keeping your pantry well stocked is the key!

                                                   Quick Meals According to Categories

How to Plan  

  • Review your upcoming schedule. When will you have time for: Planning? Grocery shopping? Cooking? Who will eat the meals? What are their food preferences?
  • Have necessary materials available, such as cookbooks, newspapers, magazines, and a shopping list.
  • Prepare a cup of tea or a cool drink to sip when planning. This can make it enjoyable. We suggest that you also involve other family members, when possible. This helps them feel included. They also develop the skill of meal planning.
  • Be realistic. Plan foods you will prepare easily. See “Quick & Easy Meals For Busy Lives–According To Meal Categories” below.

What to Plan 

  • Think of a meal “focus” or category, then use simply prepared foods to round out meals and add interest. Consider fresh or canned fruit for dessert, a variety of sliced breads, vegetables that are quickly cut, or bagged salad mixes. See suggestions below.
  • Select protein items that cook quickly, such as poultry, thinly sliced fish, or shellfish.
  • When preparing mixed dishes, keep the number of items to five to speed up the process.
  • Plan for leftovers. Prepare several dishes at the same time. With extra food prepared, you will be able to take a day off from cooking!
  •   Check Out Delicious Quick Meals!

Use of Time-Saving Equipment

  • Apple corer
  • Slow cooker
  • Food processor
  • Large vegetable steamer
  • Microwave
  • Pressure cooker
  • Rice cooker

Ask For Help

  • If the post-meal clean-up discourages you from cooking, ask for help in cleaning up.
  • Make meal preparation a group affair.
  • Request a back or shoulder rub since you are preparing the meal! Ahh!
  •   Listen to your favorite music. Ooh…this part is FUN! I just made a salad and steamed veggies while listening to some wonderful tunes! Singing is FUN too!

Keep it Simple

  • Once you have your Healthful PANTRY set up it’s easy to “max & match” meals
  • Keep a variety of “emergency foods” on hand for times when there is NO time to cook
  • Perhaps try one to two new recipes per week.
  • Include the new ones along with old favorites.
  • Keep a folder with menus and recipes in it.
  • Think seasonal: in Winter–> soups and stews, baked meals; in Summer–> salads and sandwiches, and stoveless meals.

                                                                        Quick Menu Ideas!!!

          Quick & Easy Meals For Busy Lives–According To “Meal Categories”

Developed By Bob Wilson BS, DTR



Great flexibility and mouth FUN!

Noodles, rice, beans, potatoes, frozen/fresh: peas, corn,  eggplant,  all other vegetables,  tofu, tempeh, frozen/fresh meat, fish & poultry, lowfat gravies and soups

Use LOTS of fruits and veggies

Stewed tomatoes, onions, green/red/yellow sweet peppers, garlic,  sun dried tomatoes,  sautéed  or microwaved vegetables, dried or canned beans, bean soups, lowfat chili, lowfat/fat-free cheeses, lowfat meats, fish or poultry, lowfat salad dressings

See vegetarian main dish ideas

All kinds of fresh/frozen vegetables & fresh/dried and canned fruits, dried/canned beans, refried black, pinto, & spicy beans, tofu, tempeh, rice,  barley, buckwheat, bulgur, lowfat dairy products (yogurt, cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese), chili, pita bread, tortillas, nachos with lowfat cheese/salsa, Garden Burger/Sausage& Garden  Spicy Bean, yogurt & fruit, SPICES from “A to Z”!
Breakfast For Dinner

On-the-Go Packed Lunches

Use when HOT or in a rush

Lowfat omelets/frittata  made with egg substitute & all kinds of vegetables, lowfat waffles/pancakes with strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc., whole wheat French toast, all kinds of cereals, lowfat/fat-free milk and yogurt, lowfat muffins
Baked & Microwaved Dinners

Baked dinners in Winter, microwave in Summer time

Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, all kinds of vegetables, lowfat lasagna (noodles, stewed tomatoes, spaghetti sauce, lowfat cheeses, beans, etc.), lowfat meat, fish or poultry, tempeh, even commercial lowfat frozen entrees and dinners!
BAR (Salad, Taco/Burrito & Potato!)


-Fruit & Vegetable Salads

-Potato Salads

-Green  & Marinated Salads

-Slaws & Mixed Fruit/Vegetable

-Bean & Grain Salads

Mix and Match!

Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, sweet bell peppers, green beans, jicama, Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower,  beets, onions, corn, cabbage,  eggplant, spinach, zucchini, fennel root, pineapple, oranges, bananas, apples, melons, pears, grapefruit, grapes, kumquats, kiwi fruit, mangoes …and MANY MORE!, salsa, spaghetti sauce, tortillas (corn & whole wheat),  red/purple or Yukon Gold potatoes, lowfat meats, fish & poultry, dried cooked & canned beans, lowfat salad dressings, flavored vinegars, chutneys, sauces & dips

Use Kabobs & stir frys; encourage use of veggies and fruits!


Grilled/broiled chicken & turkey, fish,  meat with vegetables or fruits (kabob’s), marinades, SPICES!
Soup (stews/chili’s) & Salads (Sandwiches for Summertime!) Chili, lentil, split pea soup, borscht, gazpacho,  all kinds of vegetables & fruits, SPICES!, mustards, bean spreads & refried beans, GREAT breads
Stir Fry ALL vegetables- fresh & frozen, tofu, tempeh, chicken,  turkey, lowfat thin-sliced meats,  SPICES, marinades, low sodium tamari soy sauce, hot sesame oil, noodles, rice

Planned cook-overs

???????  Mix & match–cook up large batches and freeze extras, make large  vegetable & fruit salads, soups, bean spreads–Use when “no time to cook”!
Guinea Pig!

Don’t cook the poor thing!!

TRY SOMETHING NEW!  Check out magazines, newsletters, cookbooks, newspapers and then keep a file –one page per “category”–with your favorite “yummy”  recipes to use again!
Adapted from Yolanda McVicker, Frugal Homemaker Newsletter

                                  Cook It Quick! link:

                                                IS AN EXCELLENT SITE!



13 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

  1. Try at least one new vegetable or fruit each week. To enliven meals, switch from the old, familiar green beans, apples and bananas to okra, winter squash, papaya and kiwi.


  1. Eat more “meal” salads. Use a large salad as the base, but throw in meat “condiments” —several ounces of cooked chicken, turkey, tuna or some low-fat cheese and/or legumes.  Add warm bread, and you’ve got a complete meal.  See Dinner Recipes for examples. For very simple ideas, see BOB’S SIMPLEST SALAD MIXTURES and use Bob’s Everything But The Kitchen Sink Salad as a base for scrumptious meals.
  2. Put fruit in your vegetables. Add sliced or chopped apples, pears, grapes, melon, kiwi and orange sections to tossed spinach and cabbage salads. You can even combine cooked vegetables with fruit.  Try the “Fruit & Vegetable Salad”. Serve cooked yams, with Carrot-Apple Salad and Black Bean and Corn Salad (see Dinner Recipes section). CREATIVE GARNISHING FUN!
  1. Take advantage of ready-made bag salads.  These are great when you’re in a rush or feeling tired.  Look for fresh ingredients, and add a low-fat or fat-free dressing.  Experiment with some of the darker greens, like Romaine, kale, and leaf lettuce—they’re tastier and more nutritious.
  1. Have at least one fruit serving with each meal.  It’s easy. For instance, have a banana or strawberries on cereal, a piece of fresh fruit with your lunch and/or as a snack and a fruit serving with dinner.  (If you don’t feel like cooking a vegetable or making a salad, slice up some cantaloupe or honeydew melon.)  Look over ideas for Stoveless Meals in the Essential Skills area. Also visit ideas for delicious breakfasts and lunches.

Garbanzo Appetizer

For Bob’s Garbanzo Spread Appetizer,

  1. If you’re in the dessert habit, try substituting fruit, served in a creative way, in place of at least three deserts a week.  For instance, try an apple baked with some cinnamon and a few raisins, a banana with a small amount of reduced-fat peanut butter, or “Baked Bananas” (see recipes), a bowl of fresh, juicy mixed berries, or a big serving of fruit on top of a small serving of frozen yogurt or angel food cake.  (To save on unwanted calories, avoid fruit canned or frozen in heavy syrup or with added sugar.) See also Nutritious and Yummy Snack ideas.


  1. Experiment with nonfat flavorings.  Sprinkle nutmeg and lemon juice on spinach or broccoli, dill week and Dijon-style mustard on green beans or carrots, and basil on tomatoes.
  1.   Mix your vegetables.  For example, combine corn and beans, zucchini and onions, red potato and carrot slivers, eggplant and tomatoes, cucumbers and onions. Frozen mixtures without sauce are fine too.  Try “Italian Salad” or “Italian Marinated Vegetables” or “Steamed Marinated Vegetables”. Discover Essential Skills #6 Planning and Preparing Delicious Recipes.
  1. Eat more vegetable-rich main dishes.  For instance, try  “Eggplant Parmesan” or “Zucchini Pizza” (see dinner recipes).
  1. Combine vegetables with tasty broths and juices.  Green beans cooked in chicken broth, summer squash in tomato juice, and carrots or beets in fruit juice are flavorful and need no added fat.


  1. Have at least one vegetable at lunchtime. Take along ready-to-eat carrots, cucumbers and celery, or red pepper slices with fat-free salad dressing.  If there’s a refrigerator at work, keep these items on hand.
  1. Be creative with low-fat potato toppings.  Try salsa, nonfat cheese, and nonfat sour cream with chives, fat-free butter spray and a few bacon bits, fat-free salad dressings, low-fat chili or low-fat cottage cheese with dill weed.
  1. Try roasting or grilling vegetables. Roasted vegetables taste heartier and more flavorful than steamed or boiled ones, and they are easy to prepare. Coat chunks of peppers, zucchini, summer squash, onions, eggplant or firm tomatoes with a light coating of vegetable spray or marinate them in a low-fat dressing, and grill or bake at 400° F oven for about 15 minutes, turning occasionally.

Additional Terrific Ideas For Enjoying Fruits & Vegetables

Fruits and Veggies Help You Manage Weight.pdf

Discover Creative Holiday Garnishing Fun: Make a Sandwich Birthday Cake and More!

Celebrate Holidays and Special Occasions!

                Jon Cake-Fruit Jon Birthday Cake-smile

For all people who love to be creative in the kitchen but want to avoid making traditional gooey, high-calorie cakes for birthdays or weddings, consider this fun and delicious alternative. My kitchen creativity previously expressed itself in making 8000-calorie cheesecakes for all of my friends!

When I lost weight, I knew that I needed to find alternatives that were still fun to make and healthful. I started making birthday cakes for my friends and even one for a friend’s wedding. The wedding cake had 3 cakes with a large bouquet of flowers in the middle.

I love using flowers and colorful vegetables in my creations.

  • In the above cake, I used green onions, red pepper circle-slices and red cabbage for my friend JON’s name.
  • The flower is made of carrot circles and green onions.
  • I put red pepper hearts that were cut out using a small, heart-shaped cookie cutter. I also have used a small teddy bear cookie cutter on other cakes.
  • I decorated the sides of the cake using carrot circles and red pepper hearts.
  • Colorful chrysanthemum flower tops were used around the base of the cake for accent.
  • The icing is really herbed tofu dip (you can use low-fat cottage cheese).
  • The cake is really a two-layered sandwich with low-fat tuna salad (It’s green-colored in the above picture because I used green catsup!) on the bottom layer and low-fat Toby’s® Tofu Dip—it tastes similar to egg salad—which could be used instead.
  • Options: I have also used my garbanzo spread and black bean spread for the layers and have used pureed cottage cheese for the icing. See: dinner recipes.

Banana FRUIT art


18 slices Orowheat® Best’s Winter Wheat  Bread (a chewy bread—6 slices/layer)

2 heads red leaf lettuce

3 6½-ounce cans of water packed tuna

catsup, to taste (I used green!)

spicy mustard, to taste

dried onion flakes (or use fresh), to taste

6 stalks celery, diced

1 ½ pints of Toby’s® Tofu Dip or low fat egg salad

dried dill weed, to taste

garlic powder (or minced garlic), to taste

2 12-ounce, extra-firm tofu packages You can also use low-fat cottage cheese.

vegetable garnishes, as desired

keep going

What to do:

  1. Prepare “salads” and “icing” first: the low-fat tuna and egg, or garbanzo and black bean—use any “salad” filling that is desired. Refrigerate the salads, for best results and to keep everything safe from bacterial contamination.
  • For tuna salad: used 3 cans water-pack tuna, 6 stalks of diced celery, green catsup, horseradish mustard, black pepper and dried onion flakes—make according to your tastes
  • 1 ½ pints of low-fat Toby’s® Tofu Dip (found in Portland, Oregon) OR low-fat egg salad—make according to your tastes
  • “Icing”: Blend in a food processor or blender 2, 12-ounce boxes of Mori Nu® low-fat extra firm tofu, dried onion flakes (about ½ cup), dried dill weed (about 2 tablespoons), garlic powder (about 2 teaspoons) and horseradish mustard (about 1 tablespoon)—make all according to your tastes
  1. Get a large 18-inch round platter and line it with red leaf lettuce (washed and patted dry).
  2. Arrange the 6 slices of bread—in two rows of three slices—in the middle of the platter on top of the lettuce.
  3. Use a spatula to spread the layer of tuna salad evenly on top of the 6 slices of bread.
  4. Put 6 more slices of bread on top of the tuna salad—just like you just made 6 sandwiches.
  5. Then put on the low-fat Toby’s® Tofu Dip OR low-fat egg salad on top of the bread using a spatula.
  6. Next put 6 more slices of bread on top. Now you have 6 double-decker sandwiches, in two rows of three.
  7. Now get out the “icing” and using a spatula, cover all of sandwiches, top and sides, to a thickness of ¼ inch—just like you were icing a cake.
  8. Prepare the “names” and garnishes out of whatever you want to use—carrot circles, red or yellow peppers (hearts, teddy bears), red cabbage slices; you can use pretzels to make the names. I suggest that you use tweezers or needle-nosed pliers to place the vegetable or pretzel pieces on the cake.
  • You can decorate the sides of the cake using carrot circles, red pepper hearts, peas, chive flowers, or any other edible delight.
  1. Lastly, put whatever type of flowers around the edges of the sandwich cake for a garnish.
  2. The cake takes about one hour to assemble after the “salads” have been made.
  3. Refrigerate the cake until serving time.

Serving Suggestion:

This cake is a delightful alternative for people with diabetes or for those who want to avoid eating lots of sugar, fat and extra calories. People always LOVE receiving this cake (except children, because they expected REAL icing!).

Cut the cake using a sharp knife after letting everyone see it.

This cake serves about 15 people, with serving 1/3rd of a sandwich to each person. 

Serve with a fresh fruit and cut up vegetable platter.  

 Make a Sandwich Wedding Cake Too!

Sandwich Wedding Cake-2 Sandwich Wedding Cake-1

I have two friends who were married and they did not eat sugar, but wanted a wedding cake. So I offered to make them one. A sandwich cake!

Use the same process as described above, but make several cakes. Then I cut the flowers from the yard and made the center arrangement and added the flower garnishes to the cakes.

I went to the wedding reception and set the cake up on a table.

It was a Spring wedding, and so all of the flowers in the garden were blooming. Take a peek and see how it turned out. It was SO fun and everyone enjoyed it!

Christmas Relish Tree

                                                          Christmas Relish Tree Think Light For The Holidays!                                                                                           

To clearly see the type click on the thumbnail then print off the page.


Simple Garnishing Creates a Colorful Easter Celebration!

2 4

Create a feeling of consciousness, delight, and pleasure about your eating!

I love mixing flowers (some are edible) from the garden,  along with cut up fruit. 

The meal also includes a low-fat mini pizza and coffee.


Garbanzo Appetizer

Bob’s Garbanzo Spread Appetizer (See Dinner Recipes)

For a wedding-brunch appetizer:

I lined a platter with red leaf lettuce. I formed the garbanzo spread by using an empty yogurt container. I then emptied it on top of the lettuce. I added a few flowers around the base.

Next I topped the Garbanzo Spread with borage flowers, carrot circles, red pepper hearts, and teddy bears.  I made the teddy bears and small hearts using small cookie cutters that I purchased from a kitchen store. 

I served the appetizer with Lavache heart-shaped crackers on top of red leaf lettuce.

Pickled Beets and Asparagus Platter


BE WHO YOU ARE. Be happy for this moment--it is your life!

Learn to Effectively Manage Social Gatherings

 Holidays are Here! So Be a Lamp Unto Yourself!


Failing to plan is planning to fail!  An ounce of preparing is worth a pound of fat!

Prior Planning Prevents Painful, Poor Results!

Get to know your DANGER ZONES. Where is it difficult for you to stand up for yourself and make healthful choices?

autobiography in 5 chapters

Which situations and times do social groups influence you the most? At work? During pot lucks? At your church or spiritual group? With family and friends? At the neighbors? On vacations and holidays? At restaurants? When you’re feeling overwhelmed (too many needs and requests for your time) and out of balance? What’s your challenge?

Consider that you probably have been through these situations numerous times in the past. What can you LEARN from them? HOW can you make more effective choices next time?

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Take into account the mindset of  holidays or special occasions:

  • Special occasions are filled with people, food, and emotions. Because of this, the events may be enjoyable and stressful at the same time!

  • Notice that the gatherings frequently center around FOOD! You’ll probably find tempting treats everywhere!

  • Many times you may find that overeating is encouraged, “Oh you can go off your diet, just this once!”

  • Because the events may involve lots of preparation (cleaning up the house, shopping, food preparation) you may not find time to go for a walk or to practice other stress reduction activities (like taking a NAP!)

  • Watch out for being:  P-HALT? Are you too: P=Pressured, H=Hungry, A=Angry, L=Lonely, T=Tired?

  • You may discover that family dynamics may increase stress for you.


SHORT-Journal tips and ideas-1.pdf

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Get to KNOW yourself as you develop wisdom. Pay attention to your choices as you notice a lifetime of holiday habits automatically play out. Prepare yourself to be successful on special occasions by exploring the following sections:

Use the Stages Of Change  and The Daily Personal Check-In for suggestions on how to become a more effective self-manager.

Remember, progress not perfection! Easy does it, but DO it!

Think Light For The Holidays!    Christmas Relish Tree

                                                                                                                                                            Think Light for the Holidays!                                     Christmas Relish Tree!

Cultivate Twelve Essential Skills: Achieve a Healthier Life, Weight, and Vibrant Friskiness… Step-by-Step!

Skill Power, Not Will Power, Is the Key to Success!

Discover Below Guidance-At-A-Glance!

Have you ever wondered how all of that excess stored energy (fat) ended up stored on your body anyway? Were you just walking down the street and it jumped out and stuck to you? To learn about what happened–the mystery–requires you becoming a detective. As a detective, you will need some tools to figure out clues to your mystery.

The Twelve Essential Skills below will provide answers for you. You use the skills and different tools to discover how you do what you do, right now.  Then you figure out strategies to practice making healthful substitutions–to substitute new choices that will, over time, help you achieve a healthier weight, a healthier relationship with your food and life. You choose which areas you are ready to look at now.


Success at achieving a healthier weight, transforming addictions, and finding increased well-being, for a lifetime, requires learning a series of new lifestyle skills. These skills allow us to create our lives in a NEW way. Before I started my weight loss journey, I didn’t know any of these skills. Learning these skills opened for me the prison door to my isolation cell of overweight and various addictions. I was no longer a victim of my out-of-control, unhealthy habits. It was so ENJOYABLE to discover the freedom of new options for living.

83 LET'S FIND IT_5914629

My Web site (Balanced Weight Management) is a blueprint for self-change. It’s a toolkit–tools don’t do anything. YOU do as you use the tools to discover how you do what you do. This is self-directed learning. With self-directed learning you can discover the issues or problems that are most relevant to you at the moment. They are based on your own experience. You set your own agenda and your own pace. Have FUN with your exploration!

Why Would Someone Try My Approach?

How To Use This Site: Where To Begin & What To Do

As you explore below, ask yourself, “What are YOUR root causes?” Your patterns?

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I encourage you to explore  the Resource Sections 1 and 2 for an extensive list of resources in each topic area.  There you will find an invaluable collection of weight-loss and addiction-free life wisdom. I Have learned most of what I know from other people. Many of the resources that I and many other people have found to be invaluable are listed there.

Time and time again, I have seen people’s lives blossom after they made the decision to invest the time in themselves to study and practice the twelve skills listed below.  I encourage you to just pick and choose those themes that you would like to explore. Remember, your health is your greatest wealth! Answer the questions, “Oh my, how did I get to where I’m at now? and How can I begin to make enjoyable and lasting changes?”

  1. Taking the First Steps In Your Journey of Change

  2. Cultivating Balance in Your Life

  3. Write Away Weight: Keeping a Food and Lifestyle-Choice Journal

  4. Discover the Power of FUN: Celebrate Enjoyable Ways to be Active for Life!

  5. Cultivating a Sustainable, Healthful Plan of Eating

  6. Planning and Preparing Delicious Recipes, Meals, and Snacks in a Hectic World

  7. Eating With Awareness and Pleasure

  8. Transforming Emotional Eating and Addictions

  9. Self-Nurturing, Self-Esteem, Heal From Depression, and Transform Emotional Wounding From The Past

  10. Seeking Support, Counseling, and Outside Resources

  11. Maintenance: Learn How to Cultivate Life-Long Well-Being.  

  12. Cultivate Daily Quiet and Personal Introspection Time 

Developing and Maintaining a “Personal Plan of Eating”


Before you begin, it would be helpful to review the insights and suggestions from the Dieting VS. Non-Dieting section. Remember that all of this is an experiment. As an example, for me, I discovered that super-chunk peanut butter is a trigger food.

There are some schools of thinking that suggest that if you always have the food around and allow yourself a small amount of it whenever you want, without any denial or guilt, that you will come to a place of eating it in moderation. I tried that out, time after time, and for me found that it did not work. I would almost always end up eating more of than I had planned.



So I came up with another plan that worked better for me which I share in the section of how I discovered new foods. For most foods that I eat, having unlimited quantities around the house works very well. I don’t overeat them. It’s really important to develop your own inner kind-wisdom and self-discipline for yourself and your life.

Perhaps read over my story of how I learned about myself and found new foods and choices that were more effective. Remember that you are on a journey towards increasing health and well-being and you are planting the garden of your life with seeds of well-being–and nurturing them, and will reap your garden of health and friskiness!!

83 LET'S FIND IT_5914629

You learn about yourself through:

  • Personal discovery through experimentation and practice in making skillful choices that honor and respect ourselves at every level of our lives.
  • There is no “right or wrong”. It’s just what works for you. You update or change your strategies depending on what you notice about yourself through your daily self-introspection.
  • Once you recognize the pattern, you can plan a new response for a situation.

EXPLORE: Notice The Web of Existence: Patterns, patterns everywhere. Not a moment’s peace! and  Which Puzzle Pieces Contribute to Your Overweight?, and What Does It Look Like When Things Are Going Well?


AIM FOR The Inner Oval–Focus On: Healthy Maintenance Schedule

  • Daily choices of foods, skills, and activities that support a healthy lifestyle, as well as, mental and emotional well being.
  • Foods, activities, and daily patterns that naturally keep you feeling balanced, happy and glad to be alive.
  • List all foods, beverages that do not cause you to want to overeat and activities that support your flexible plan of eating.

The Middle Oval: The Gray Area

  •  “In this situation it’s best that I not do it for now…and in this situation, I can handle it quite well.
  •  Foods of which we are uncertain about
  • Foods and situations that could lead us to the outer oval of imbalances and problems
  • Potential binge foods—come up with behavioral strategies to manage them

The Outer Oval: The Problematic Area

  • Be honest and gentle. List all foods, beverages, and activities that trigger you to eat much more than you had planned. Be specific. These are the foods and activities that will go in your outer oval.
  • Foods and activities in this oval are carefully chosen (for now) and should be monitored to observe your reactions to them. Be gentle. Be honest. Be aware.
  •  List foods and activities that keep us in isolation and fantasy.
  • List the foods and activities that many times have triggered a binge.

What works for you? To print off the EXAMPLE: Defining A plan of Eating-EXAMPLE.pdf

To print off a BLANK Ovals sheet: Blank The Ovals.pdf


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The Grace Of Eating


In this food,

I see clearly the presence

of the entire universe

supporting my existence.

Taken from Present Moment Wonderful Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

Food. The Magical Gift–Eating is essentially an act of communion

 with the living forces of nature.

We often take it for granted. We forget that food is precious.

Let us bless the source of life that brings forth bread from the Earth, let our lives be a blessing to the Earth that sustains us, and to all the creatures that, like us, call this planet home.


A Grace Before Our Meal


In this food we see the mysterious creativity of nature and the hard work of the countless people who participated in producing it, to whom we give thanks.  Just as this food provides sustenance to us, may we, through our work and our moment to moment interactions, help to benefit others.  Bon appetit! Provided by Jon Dickman


Kiss the Earth
By Thich Nhat Hanh

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Bring the Earth your love and happiness.
The Earth will be safe
when we feel safe in ourselves.

Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh: Buddhism in Action, by Maura D. Shaw (Skylight Paths, 2004). Shared by my friend Michelle.

Kiss The Earth and Walk as You Touch Peace in Every Moment!

Taking time to say grace not only blesses the food,

it blesses the people who take the time to say it.

  • Bless this food.

  • Bless these people.

  • Bless this house.

  • Bless this world.

  • We give thanks for this food.

  • We give thanks for each other.

  • We give thanks for our lives.

Adapted from: May All Be Fed, by John Robbins

Before eating, practice breathing to calm down:

  • Breathing in, I calm my body.

  • Breathing out, I smile.

  • Dwelling in the present moment,

  • I know this is a wonderful moment!

Taken from Present Moment Wonderful Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

The Four Gratitudes: to parents, teachers, friends, and all organic and inorganic species that support and enrich our lives. Taken from Present Moment Wonderful Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh

Five Contemplations before Meals


  1. I contemplate how many blessings I have accumulated in order to receive this food given by others.
  2. I contemplate my own daily practice (of generosity, ethics, kindness, patience, gentle awareness, healthful choices, joyous effort, and compassion), constantly trying to improve it.
  3. I contemplate my mind, cautiously guarding it from wrongdoing, greed, and other spiritual and emotional defilements.
  4. I contemplate this food, treating it as wondrous medicine to nourish my body.
  5. I contemplate the aim of spiritual, mental, and emotional evolution, accepting and consuming this food in order to accomplish it.

By seeing this food as medicine, I will consume it without attachment or hatred, not to increase my arrogance, strength, or good looks, but solely to sustain my life.

May all those who offered me food attain happiness of total peace. May all those who offered me drink, who served me, who received me, who honored me, or who made offerings to me attain happiness which is total peace.

The five contemplations and other thoughts are from Thubten Chodron ( Slightly edited.

Finishing Your Meal

The plate is empty.

My hunger is satisfied.

I vow to live for the benefit of all beings.


Consider dedicating everything in your life for the benefit of all people: Dedication for a Meaningful Life