What If I Don’t Like My Menu?

If you don’t like the automatic menu that FormulaZone creates for you, that’s OK! There’s lots of options, and with over 3,000 meals to choose from, we guarantee that there’s a menu that you will love!

The Menu Builder is the most flexible, powerful tool available anywhere. It’s just a matter of knowing how to use it!

There’s many things you can do, but we’ll start with the one that gives you the MOST control. And while it may take longer, it can be fun – and since you choose the recipes, it’s sure to create a menu that you love.

Whichever method you choose, be sure to check out the Tips & Tricks to help you get the most out of your menus!

Method 1: Hand-Pick Your Meals

This method, while it takes a bit more time, is the surest way to get a menu that you love. While there’s 12 steps below, they are fast and simple. We just like to be thorough when we explain how to do things!:

  1. Log in to FormulaZone
  2. On the left side list of links, click “My Plan”
  3. On the page that appears, near the top of the left-side links, click “Manage All Menus”
    • OK, minor detour: On this page, you can manage ALL of the menus that you’ve built and saved. You can edit them, adjust them, create new menus, and re-use them all from right here.
  4. In Manage Menus page, in the list of menus (highlighted in yellow) is a link “Click to Create New Menu”. Click that link.
  5. In the page that appears, enter the name of your menu (even just use today’s date!). If you want, change the start date and the menu length, then click “Save”.
  6. In the Build Menu page, note there are two sections. For this method, just click the “Manually” button.
  7. Now, you are in the Recipe Listing page, in “Menu Mode”. That means that when you find a recipe you like, you can add it to your Menu.
  8. Do a search of some kind to find a recipe that is appealing to you. I typically like to start with clicking one of the links such as “Top Rated”, or “Quick and Easy” under the type of meal I’m thinking of (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, etc).
  9. In the list of recipes, notice a couple of things:
    1. First, at the top of the page is a box that tells you taht you are Menu Mode, and how many breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and dinners you need to add.
    2. Second, in the list of recipes, there’s a new column on the far right titled “Add to Menu”. In that column are links titled “B”, “S”, “L”, “D” (B for Breakfast, S for Snack, L for Lunch, etc.).
  10. Peruse the list of recipes. (Clicking the column titles sorts the recipes, so for example clicking “Fav Of” will cause the list to start with the recipes that are the favorite of the most people. Clicking on “Rating” will cause the recipes with the highest ratings to be at the top).
  11. Once you find a recipe you like, click the appropriate letter in the far-right “Add to Menu” column to add it to your menu. For example, clicking “D” will add the recipe to your menu as a dinner.
    • Note: These links are also in the “View Recipe” page, so if you click on the recipe name to View it, you can add the recipe from that page as well
  12. Repeat steps 10 and 11 until your menu is built. At any time, you can click the name of your menu in the box at the top (where it says “You are in Manual Menu Mode”), and return to view the menu.

Method 2: Controlling the Automatic Menu Builder

This method is for those who want a bit more control over the menus, but don’t want to be bothered with hand-selecting all of the recipes.

Be aware that there’s TONS of power in the automatic Menu Builder, too! For example:

Did You Know that if you mark recipes as your favorites, you can have the automatic menu builder choose ONLY from your favorites? It’s the best of both worlds – it’s like hand-picking because you’ve said which recipes you like, but it’s faster because you let the automatic menu builder put them into your menu!

  1. Log in to FormulaZone
  2. On the left side list of links, click “My Plan”
  3. On the page that appears, near the top of the left-side links, click “Manage All Menus”
    • OK, minor detour: On this page, you can manage ALL of the menus that you’ve built and saved. You can edit them, adjust them, create new menus, and re-use them all from right here.
  4. In Manage Menus page, in the list of menus (highlighted in yellow) is a link “Click to Create New Menu”. Click that link.
  5. In the page that appears, enter the name of your menu (even just use today’s date!). If you want, change the start date and the menu length, then click “Save”.
  6. In the Build Menu page, note there are two sections. For this method, focus on the lower section titled “Automatic Recipe Selection Criteria”
  7. There’s four things you can control (five if you count the “Glycemic Index”). They are
    1. All or Favorites: Pick whether to choose from ALL recipes, your FAVORITE recipes, or only YOUR recipes
    2. Prep Time: Pick the maximum amount of time you’re willing to spend preparing the meal
    3. Cook Time: Pick the maximum amount of time you’re willing to spend cooking the meal
    4. # Ingredients: Choose the maximum number of ingredients allowed in your meal. Remember that spices such as salt, pepper, and things like water, etc. each count as an ingredient. This is just another way to control the complexity of the recipes, and how long they might take to prepare.
  8. Once you’ve made your choices, click the “Automatic” button. That’s it! You’ll be taken to your menu, where you can view and edit, or just print it out with your shopping list!

Tips & Tricks!

There’s lots of other things you can do with your menus. Lots! Here’s some things that will make a major impact on your menus:

  • Your Food Preferences will rule out meals from your menus
  • . But remember: Changing them AFTER you build a menu will NOT affect that menu. Any menu already built will stay exactly like it was. So, if you change your food preferences, you will need to either re-build that menu, or build a NEW menu to see the effect of those preferences.

  • Your Menu Preferences will affect the AUTOMATIC menus. It will affect how many snacks you have per day. Note that this DOES affect existing menus – BUT, if you build a menu with 1 snack per day, then change your Menu Preferences to 2 snacks per day, you’ll want to update your menu. It’s easy – just view the menu, click the “Build Automatically” link, and simply ignore the option to “Delete All Recipes” – instead, just click “Automatic”, and it will only ADD recipes, filling in any gaps you might have.
  • Hiding Recipes prevents them from ever appearing on NEW menus that you build. When you are in the List of Recipes, clicking “Hide” will eliminate that recipe from the list, and will keep it from ever being added to your menus.
  • Rating Recipes affects if a recipe shows up on your new menus, and how likely it is to show up. Rate it 2 or lower, and it will NEVER show up on your menu. The higher you rate it, the more likely it is to show up on a new automatic menu that you build.
  • Eliminate foods with certain ingredients quickly. While the Food Preferences page does a good job with certain types of allergies and requirements, you may need to eliminate all foods with avocado in them. It’s easy! Here’s how:
    1. Click on the “Recipes” link in the left-side list of links
    2. In the “Recipes” page, click on the “Search by Ingredient” link (near the lower right, just under “Power Search”).
    3. In the page that appears, enter “avocado” (or the name of the food you want to eliminate), and click “Search”
    4. When the list of recipes appears, you will notice that there’s a link at the top titled “Hide All of these Recipes”. Clicking that link will hide EVERY ONE of the recipes listed! And, as you read in an earlier tip, HIDDEN recipes do NOT show up in your menus.

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3 Responses to What If I Don’t Like My Menu?

  1. Donna Roeder says:

    Hi! I printed out my grocery list which was very helpful. However, I purchased mixed lettuce, but there are no recipes using lettuce nor is it on my menu. Are vegetables “free?” I can’t seem to find out which foods should be eliminated. One place I noticed that it said, no wheat, but on my menu I have a grilled cheese sandwich. Is this a gluten free diet? Where do I find an overall explanation of the diet? So far, I hand selected some of the menu and got the automatic compilation. Please help with more of the dos and don’ts. Thanks! Donna

  2. Hello Donna You can easily change your menu and also add your own recipes. I would be happy to walk through the site with you and explain some of the details of how to maneuver the site to customize your settings. The best way is to email [email protected] or [email protected]. We can then set up some time to chat or email.

  3. Paradise says:

    Seems complicated but I’ll give it a try.

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