Meal planning is a great way to ensure that you eat healthily, and get this: it doesn’t have to be hard! That’s right, despite how overwhelmed many of us become when we think of planning meals for an entire week, meal planning can save you time and money.
Without being prepared, it is easy to end up eating something on the go, like pastries, fast food, or prepared meals. The problem with this is that often grab-and-go options are not the most healthy, and we end up spending a lot of extra money that could be saved by being better prepared.
Some meal prepping benefits include:
- More Free Time
- A Smaller Food Bill
- Healthier Variety
- Weight Management
- And A Sharper Mind
The trick to successful meal planning is, of course, all in the preparation. Follow these steps to get started:
Meal Planning Step 1 – Pick a Day
When meal prepping, you want to start by choosing a day that works best for you where you will have a good couple hours to plan, prep, and prepare your food. Sunday is often a good day for this because it gets you ready for the week with a fresh menu.
Meal Planning Step 2 – Prepare
Next, you will want to get prepped by getting your food containers ready for each day and clearing out space in the refrigerator for your week of meals.
Meal Planning Step 3 – Create a Plan/Shop
Meal planning is about prepping food in bulk to eat throughout the week, so you will want to choose foods with lasting power, so no light greens or foods that are likely to lose their integrity after a few days. You are preparing meals for 5 days, so think balanced. You want a protein, a healthy starch and fat, and a bunch of veggies.
Meal Planning Step 4 – Get to Work
Time to get going! Because you are prepared, prep should be easy.
Meal Planning Expert Tips & Tricks
Here are some great ideas for your meal planning:
Breakfast – Overnight Oats (prepare the night before)
- Fill 5 jars each with ½ gluten-free rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds or powdered flax seeds
- 1 tablespoon Collagen powder
- Enough almond milk to cover your mixture
*Optional – 2 tablespoons of apple sauce, pumpkin puree, cinnamon, or coconut flakes.
Lunch – Turkey Taco Bowl
- Sautéd 2 lbs of organic ground turkey
- 1 packet of gluten-free taco seasoning (or make your own)
- Roasted peppers and onions
- Rinsed black beans
- Salsa of your choice
Add in each ¼ cup black beans, ½ cup prepared ground turkey, salsa, roasted peppers and onions to each of your five containers
Dinner – Marinated Chicken Breasts
- Mix together 1 tablespoon Dijon, ¼ cup balsamic, ¼ cup olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, garlic and a hint of sea salt into a bowl.
- Place 5 chicken breasts in a glass container and coat with the marinade.
- Marinate chicken for 1 hour.
- Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
Prepare sides, such as sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, or mashed potatoes to include with your meal.
Snacks – Smoothie
- ½ banana
- ½ cup blueberries
- 1 cup chopped kale
- 1 teaspoon each of flaxseed, hemp seed, and chia seeds.
- 1 tablespoon Collagen powder
Put each smoothie combo in a separate freezer bag or container and freeze until you are ready to enjoy.
Simply add water, coconut water, or your favorite dairy free milk – blend and enjoy!
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NB: And as always, I am not a medical doctor and the above post is based on my experience. No information on this site should be relied upon to make a medical diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure any disease or medical condition.