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Dear Friends and Neighbors,

CentraCare care givers have been working around the clock for more than 20 months to care for you, your families and friends during COVID. We are committed to caring for every Minnesotan who needs us, and nothing will prevent us from doing so – even during these never-seen-before times.

The challenge of providing this level of care is that our hospital beds are often full. ERs in all of our hospitals are packed. And our clinical teams are exhausted. Early in the pandemic, our community stepped up in amazing ways to help us. We ask that you again join us in fighting this pandemic together.

How can you help?

  • Please get your COVID vaccines and booster shots. They are proven safe and effective in reducing COVID illness, keeping people out of the hospital, and preventing death.
  • If your situation is not an emergency, please use other care options, including:
  • If this is a medical emergency, call 9-1-1, or visit the ER.

Together, we can do this. Thank you for your support.

Ken Holmen, MD
President and CEO

Simplify your life with meal planning tips and tricks

Published in Lifestyle Health, Digestive Care, For the Health of It, Healthy Eating Tips Author: Alyssa Monson

Changing schedules and routines can make mealtime a nightmare. But you want to sit down and have a nice meal with your family. With a little planning and organization, you can take the stress out of meal planning.

  1. Figure out what meals you need to prepare.

    Go through your week and decide what days you will need breakfast, lunch and dinner. Use your results to decide what meals you will prepare and how much to make for leftovers.

  2. Find recipes or pull together favorite meals.

    Whether you are looking for new recipes or working off your time-tested favorites, it is great to have them all in on spot. Then you can easily pick your meals/recipes for the week.

  3. Write your weekly schedule.
    • Use a planner, notebook or phone app to keep track of your weekly schedule.
    • Whatever you use, make sure it is accessible to any person who would be preparing meals.
  4. Write your list and pick a grocery shopping day.
    • It helps if you keep the same day of the week, so it becomes part of a habit.
    • Take advantage of grocery pick up and delivery options. If you know you are going to be short on time, try out online grocery ordering with pick up or delivery.
  5. Prep as much as you can and consider precooking some foods.
    • Cut up veggies and fruits. Weigh meats and separate for each day.
    • Cook pastas, rice or grains ahead so they are easy to warm up.
    • Sorting your groceries in your refrigerator by the day of the week or by the meal can help streamline cooking on busy weeknights — especially if you have helpers.

Additional tips

Use a meal planning service or app to eliminate steps from your meal planning routine.

  • Meal kit services
    • There are quite a few subscription meal kit services out there to help you. These services do the meal planning, shopping and deliver your groceries.
    • Meal kit services include HelloFresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Green Chef, Plated, Martha and Marley Spoon.
  • Meal planning services
    • Some services offer just the meal planning option and send recipes each week. This allows you to choose from those recipes and pick up your own groceries.
    • Meal planning services include emeals (my favorite), Once a Month Meals, $5 Meal Plan, CookSmarts and Plate Joy.
  • Meal planning apps
    • There are quite a few apps that can help you plan meals as well. These apps have a database of recipes that you can choose (or add your own) and the app helps you track them and create your shopping list. 
    • Examples of apps include Yummly, Pepperplate and All Recipes.