Happy 2016: Trying to get a healthy start.

Happy 2016! I hope that your holidays were happy and you had a chance to rest, reflect, connect and make merry.

We did a lot of that around here. Since I've had children, I've come to really enjoy December 26th and the week that follows. I'm in no rush for the big day to be over, but it's nice to get a chance to slow down, catch my breath and enjoy the gift of time.

That said, I'm ready to get back into a routine today and so is my waistline. I don't typically make too many resolutions because, honestly, I'm terrible at keeping them. I like my wiggle room and the word itself is a bit unforgiving. I do like to start the new year off with some goals though, and at the top of my list is eating better. I don't mean dieting, because for me, that's where it gets sticky. I do mean eating more mindfully, planning in advance more thoughtfully and focusing on less processed ingredients. I got to catch up on some reading this week and found a bunch of great, very doable, relatively healthy dinners in January's Southern Living. (Even though I'm born and bred in NY, this is one of my favorite magazines.) I thought I'd share a few that I plan on trying below, in case some of you have similar goals. And sometimes sharing your goals makes attaining them a bit more likely.

Chicken with carrots and potatoes. This one dish meal, all prepared on a baking sheet looks delicious and gives me time to help with homework and multi-task while it roasts. I'd throw a simple baby spinach salad on the side since my kiddos are more likely to eat that than the carrots.

Honey-soy-glazed salmon with oranges. We all pretty much like salmon, and it's so quick and easy to roast. I'm always looking for new ways to prepare it so we don't get bored. I would add some raw green veggies to the table like cucumbers, baby carrots and celery, because in all honesty, my kids enjoy those. I always make them try the vegetable I prepare, but I'm realistic. I didn't enjoy asparagus until I was 30.

Pork chops with roasted apples & brussels sprouts. I don't make pork chops often. I have bad memories of dry, tough, flavorless chops from childhood (sorry Mom) but when they're done well, I love them and so does the rest of my household. Again, the brussels sprouts may not be a hit with the kids, but they'll love the apples. 

I'm already optimistic that having a loose plan for the week ahead will help start me off on the right foot. It will also make my shopping trips less tedious. 

Are you a menu planner or do you wing it?

I'd love hear some of your favorite recipes and tips for menu-planning. Feel free to share them in the comments or on FB.