Day 21: Set Up A Weight-Loss-Friendly Recipe System | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon

Welcome to Day 21 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon.

All tasks in the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon are adapted from my 52 Weight Loss Missions program.

Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to complete them.

Move fast, act quickly and stop over-thinking. Ready?

What You Need:

  • A binderlarge if you cook often or enjoy a lot of variety; small if you plan to have a limited library
  • Divider tabs – at least three
  • A three-hole punch for hole-punching your recipes OR pre-hole-punched plastic envelopes if you want to keep your recipe pages clean
  • The weight-loss-friendly recipes, take-out choices and restaurant menus you collated on Day 20: Find Weight-Loss-Friendly Meals.

Step 1

If several people in your family or household do the cooking or meal organizing, you might want to include them in this process.

First, assemble all the weight-loss-friendly recipes, take-out choices and restaurant menus you collated on Day 20: Find Weight-Loss-Friendly Meals.

If you have recipe books containing only a few recipes that you want, then consider ripping these out or photocopying them, and donating or discarding the books.

Step 2

Next put your dividers and recipes into the binder.

Use the dividers to categorize recipes by family member, healthiness, difficulty, time needed, or any other way you like to sort your recipes.

What’s great about this system is that it makes it easy for anyone to use it. If different people cook on different nights, you don’t have to worry that your diet actions will suffer. Simply ask everyone to use the binder.

And you can easily update the binder any time you find a new recipe.

Bonus Step For 52 Weight Loss Missions Members

Review Mission 19: Create A Smart Recipe System. Complete the additional steps to create a recipe system incorporating New, Untried and Favorite categories.

What If You Don’t Cook?

I don’t cook but I’ve had to do the work and investigate other options for eating smart. I’ve put together a combination of choices for eating out, take-out, home delivery and occasional frozen meals that works for me. You can do the same, too! 🙂

Check in!

And you’re done!

Be sure to leave your comment below to check in and stay accountable. If you’re reading this by email or in a reader then please click here to leave your comment.

See you tomorrow!

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

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  • Great idea! My favorite weight-loss friendly recipes are scattered in several places, so I’ll happily use this system to get organized :->

  • I used a computer program rather than a binder & added a new cookbook, EAT RIGHT. I can copy the recipes I already have typed in & this will be my “go to” cookbook.

  • My husband and I share the cooking responsibilities and we already have a shared cookbook on our iPads where we can add any new recipes at any time. We also plan all,our menus together so we’ll continue doing that and just make sure we used the healthiest of our recipes and I downloaded some more yesterday that we’d like to try.

  • I have a decent recipe system. I recently did a huge recipe purge when I found out I was gluten intolerant. What recipes we have I love & use regularly. My husband has been helping me tweak them to make them healthier.

  • I cook most nights and it’s healthy. Need to. It out the starches. Beware that take out, restaurant, frozen food may be low fat, low calories, but still much higher sodium than you would use at home.

  • Done. For anyone who is interested there is a great recipe book called the Bikini Cookbook which all its recipes are 300 cal or lower. You can check it out here, $19-95. Great low fat recipes.

  • Got so ‘bogged down’ in the recipe books and magazines, that I’m going to start by making my usual meals less fattening & more healthy and then maybe start a file with those 🙂

  • will get on to yesterdays and todays task tomorrow, been far too busy today but great ideas.

  • I use a 3×5 card box with dividers for favorites.

  • Oh My Seems I misread the intent/objective of yesterday’s mission. I thought the point was to make healthier dinner choices for ourselves, while at the same time making dinner simplier to make for the entire family. Oh Michele Connolly, this is more than a ten minute task – but I signed on so I’m in for the whole 30 days of tasks. I did get a recipe organizing binder for Christmas with dividers, so this is a good opportunity. I will fish through my recipes and organize/rewrite a few a day into the binder so I can ditch some of the books. Although, some will remain to “goodie” recipes for the holidays and such…but I will make the healthy ones accordingly with a colored dot, so anyone looking through knows the healthy choices.

  • This is a great system. I’ve already started using a binder to keep the recipes I have, so now I’ll just add a section for the healthy ones. Think I’ll clean out the ones I already had that I don’t plan on trying.

  • Like someone else said, this would be far more than a 10 min. task for me. I did at least look at my cookbooks (which I tend to collect more than actually use) and was reminded that I have several theoretically good ones: Mr. Food A Little Lighter, Richard Simmons Farewell to Fat, and even an old Weight Watchers cookbook (given to me as a gift, wihich hurt my feelings at the time) although I have never been in WW, which is probably obvious to all! 🙁

  • such a great idea. just wanted to say I love all your helpful hits not just in the weightloss. you are a much more organised woman after my own heart.

  • It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in due to certain things but I’ve been slowly incorporating the steps into my everyday life, once I read them. This one will take some time as like others, I have all my recipes scattered in different places. I had planned to get organized and didn’t know where to start so this helps me figure that out. Again it will be slow just due to work hours but at least things are being accomplished!

  • Struggling with this one. I do get disappointed with recipes sometimes because they often appear better then they are so I tend to cook the same old things. I will look through the books and recipes I have and put them all together.

  • I don’t have an extra binder & dividers at home, but I’ll keep the idea in mind. I use for recipes sometimes, and other online sites. I could be better at keeping them in a binder or somthing, for quicker lookup. RIght now they’re in a drawer. 🙂

  • This is a great idea. Just came home a scrap retreat where I made graduation announcements for my niece. I am a limp noodle today. I brought someof my own food and did not OVER indulge. 🙂

  • I like the idea of photocopying the recipes that I like and then giving the books away is a good idea as I only have a few recipes I like and I have them in different books which will be good for me in de-cluttering my recipe books.

  • What I wanted to write in day 20 (and this day as well) is that I have contradicted feelings when I read a step I already do! I’m happy I’m doing it, and I’m disappointed that I don’t have a mission for the day!

  • Day 21 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon. (I have finally caught up to the correct date! Yeah me!) I have made my binder of recipe’s. I am going with Breakfast, Lunch, Beef and Chicken. I will add more categories as I go!

  • I really just take the recipes I know and cut them to the calories that I can eat and I try to completly avoid foods that have calories that are too high.

  • I love it when I’ve already started in a daily motivation. Still needs to gather all my recipes, but I’ve started!

  • I have a busy day and weekend so I will find and organize the recipes this monday coming on my day off. Thank you Denise for the web site for the calories. Will check it out on monday:)

  • This one is going to take some time, but I’ll commit to spending 10 minutes per day on it until I get it done!

  • Although I subscribe to The Six o’Clock Scramble and keep all the recipes, it’s a great idea to sort them as you’ve mentioned. Thanks for the idea!

  • SCADS of recipes already, even have plenty of healthy recipes and collecting more all the time.

  • I put together recipes, and check off the ones I tried and liked, that helps a lot.

  • Wow! I am so excited to finally have all of my favorite recipes in one place!

  • This one is going to be hard, but I’ll do it.

  • I have 2 lovely new low fat recipe books on a cookbook stand on my bench but still have to go through and throw out lots of books I don’t use.

  • I was just talking about doing this yesterday. Love the idea.

  • System in place.

  • Already had this done 🙂

  • done

  • <3 : ).

  • Okay, I have to admit I haven’t actually completed this task. I’ve gotten hung up looking for the ‘perfect’ binder. I do have an online file of my favorite healthy recipes through a website. I’ll put this task on my calendar for next Tuesday when I have a little more time.

  • Hello to everyone: This is a cool idea! Once a week gather a group of friends and share your favorite recipes. Then pick one or two each week and see if you can rewrite them to be healthy recipes to put in your recipe system. Once you have decided which ones to rewrite then each week try one of the new nutritional recipes. When you’re satisfied put them in your binder and make them for your family. Is this a cool idea or what? I’m proud of all of you. Keep up the good work and continue to post to stay accountable. Good Luck.

  • I have already typed our favourite recipes into the computer. I’m teaching all my children to cook (those who can’t yet) so print them out for each of them as they learn that recipe. We are all ending up with recipe folders containing healthy foods that the children actually know how to prepare.

  • I have a binder I keep all my recipes in. I start by printing the recipes I want to try the next week. If any of them get good reviews, I put it in the binder in a page protector to use again 🙂

  • Have mine already handy. I started this binder a couple of years ago when I started menu planning.

  • And P.S. this isn’t a 10 minute task. :-

  • I don’t even know where to start with this.. 🙁

  • ok I´m starting today. Yesterday I printed photos of delicious good looking healthy food I found on pinterest for my vision board. I like all these colorfull salads and fruits.

  • Great Idea – I will do that! So I have a home for all my recipes.

  • Ok, I have a notebook and it´s time to organize the recipes.

  • I bookmarked two different light recipes sites on the phone, I have plenty of recipe books but I do not use them and the other idea suits better me!

  • What a good idea! And now I can donate some of my chocolate and fat and sugar recipe books to the Op Shop and create more space at the same time. (the ones that I couldn’t bear to donate whilst doing your other 52 mission clean- up stuff! Thanks Michelle

  • Love this