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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How to Organize and Get Healthy

How to Organize and Get Healthy

By Jodie Lynn
eDiets Contributor

Think you're too busy to get organized? Feeling like you're juggling too much family, kids and personal stuff to keep track of everything?

Believe it or not, setting aside a few minutes to get everything in order can actually make your everyday life seem a little simpler. And to help, we have four simple tips for how to organize your life -- and live healthier with less stress because of it.

Here are some ideas for how to organize and keeping up with your activities and meals:

1. Have a large "at-a-glance" calendar. This is the ultimate "how to organize" tool. Place it on the counter by the telephone. Write any appointments, deadlines or activities on it with a colored pencil. Put the family member's name or initials followed by the event. Use different colored pencils for each name. Use the same color for the same person. Everyone can glance at the calendar and know what is going on by color.

Make sure it has big squares representing the days of the month. Write down everything -- including meal choices that each member of the family has decided on. This way, there will not be any "what are we having for dinner" or "who chose it" questions.

2. Organize your day by time. Clip all papers from camp counselors, childcare teachers or anything from the school for the upcoming school year in chronological order on the refrigerator. Once a week make a schedule of the following weeks' events, organized by day. Each day is organized by time. This schedule is posted on the refrigerator. Don't forget to add who is to do what to help in the kitchen and other chores.

3. Keep a diary by the telephone. Each day is a page, and all activities are entered plus meals for the week. You can often refer to it for what happened the previous year around the same time and even look to see if there was a meal you cooked that the family particularly enjoyed.

4. Plan snacks and meals in advance. Having meals planned in advance can save time, energy and arguments. If you know your weekend is going to be spent mainly in the car, quick, easy-to-clean-up meals and snacks are time-saving and healthy alternatives to stopping at the fast-food window. Cut up vegetables the evening before and place in a glass container filled halfway with water. This keeps them extremely crisp. Drain them in the morning and place in the top tray of an ice chest enclosed in a "freezer" baggie. Place sliced fruit in a freezer bag in the same area.

Jodie Lynn is an internationally syndicated parenting/family/health columnist. Her latest paperback book is Mommy-CEO: 5 Golden Rules, 2001 revised edition. She is the founder of www.parenttoparent.com.

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