You don't need to keep eating the same thing

5 Ways to Bust Meal Monotony

by Leanne Ely

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Variety is the spice of life. There are more types of delicious nutritious foods and seasonings in the aisles of your local market than you could ever possibly count, so why eat the same thing over and over?

If your family has indicated that they would prefer to eat something besides meatloaf and potatoes for dinner, you might be in a meal rut.

Allow me to nudge you out of that rut with the following tips.

Pin away! Start a Pinterest board for new recipes to try. (If you are not on Pinterest, you can do this by starting a file on your computer where you copy recipes, or rip them out of a magazine and do it the old fashioned way!) When you're planning your meals for the week, open up that Pinterest board (or file) and pick one or two of those new recipes to add to your line up.

Create a second Pinterest board for successful recipes and move the pins over to that board as you experiment. (Or, if you're using a different method than Pinterest, just create a new document or physical file for successful meals and away you go.)

5 Ways to Bust Meal Monotony

Dust off the cookbooks. You likely have a stack of cookbooks (or magazines) that you have maybe made one or two dishes from. Go back through them and use a sticky note to tag recipes you want to try. Then, when you're meal planning, go through those tags!

Commit to trying one new recipe a week. Choose one that has enough familiar ingredients that even your picky eaters will try it.

Eat different foods. When you go out to eat, order unfamiliar foods. Maybe one of the reasons you keep making the same things is that you haven't tried many different things! If you stretch your boundaries a little, you might pick up some ideas.

Shop at a different place. Maybe you're growing bored of the selection available at your usual market. Venture out to a new spot to shop!

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Try different cuisines. Make a habit of cooking a food from a different ethnic culture every so often. This will naturally help you to try new things.

If you're still short on meal inspiration, consider joining our Menu Mailer program and I'll send you a variety of recipes to try, one for every night of the week!

Leanne Ely is a New York Times best selling author of Body Clutter and the popular Saving Dinner cookbook series. According to Woman's Day Magazine, she is the expert on family cooking.

Leanne's syndicated newspaper column, The Dinner Diva can be found in 250 newspapers nationwide and in Canada. Her vast broadcast experience includes media satellite tours, QVC several times as well as guesting on several national television shows, including HGTV's Simple Solutions, ABC Family's Living the Life, Ivanhoe's Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale's.

In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne's own radio show, Heart of A Woman aired during drive time in two major California markets, Los Angeles and San Diego. Her current show, The Dinner Diva is one of the top Blog Talk Radio shows on the Internet.

On the Internet, she pens the Food for Thought column for the immensely popular,, with over half a million readers weekly. She has been featured in Woman's Day magazine, the Chicago Tribune, St. Petersburg Times, Orange County Register - to name a few. Additionally, she is a sought after speaker and has spoken all over the country, with keynote addresses to corporate and non-profit entities. Visit Leanne Ely on Google+.

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