Meal Planning 101
Have you wished someone would just create a meal plan for you, shop for you and cook for you? I have!
I have had so many people ask me lately, “Do you have a “meal plan” I can follow? The answer to this question is, “yes, I do have meal plans available through Living Plate.” There are many options including a 5 day Anti-inflammatory Meal Plan, a Diabetes Meal Plan, a 28 Day Refresh Plan, and a Plant Based Meal Plan and More! Don’t get me wrong, I do like having an option for clients that gives a precise prescription for what to eat. BUT, I also know that often these types of plans are often not sustainable long-term. Boredom, forgetfulness, lack of time, or just plan laziness often get in our way.
Let’s remember our motivations in all of this! As we walk on this journey to better health, we must remember that God does care about they way we feed our bodies, but maybe not in the way you think. God wants us to treat our bodies well and take care of them for His glory. This often means that He cares more about HOW and WHY we eat, rather than What we eat!
You might be wondering, how does meal planning fit into all of this? I truly believe that our God is a God of order and plans. He wants us to succeed in taking care of our bodies well, and one very practical way we can do this is to plan. This includes meal planning! Meal planning helps us to do what we are called to do in taking care of ourselves. It also creates an environment of peace in our homes, and who doesn’t want a little more peace?
Quick and Easy Meal Planning
I know that when I teach my clients the tools to help them with quick and easy meal planning, they will more likely thrive long-term! That is what this article is all about. You will learn a few key tips to help get you started and to help keep you going. It is always my goal, to teach you how to be successful long-term on your own!
So, first, let me encourage you and let you know that it doesn’t need to be difficult! AND, it doesn’t need to take a lot of time! Let’s consider together for a few minutes some of the most important keys to meal planning.
Begin by starting to organize recipes and ideas that you and your family LOVE that provide good nutrition. Remember we are focusing on taking care of our bodies well. This might look different for all of us! I keep my recipes in a binder. I continually rotate recipes in and out depending on my family’s preferences. For example, we are including more plant-based meals lately, so that section of my binder is growing while the section for beef and pork is getting smaller.
Choose 2-3 recipes for dinner to get started for the week. You can plan for your entire week if you want, but most people find it helpful to start with 2-3 days. If your recipe doesn’t include a vegetable, consider adding salad ingredients or a fresh vegetable to steam to your grocery list (consider broccoli, cauliflower, or brussel sprouts as they have amazing immune boosting nutrients!)
Make Your List
Sit down and make a grocery list using the recipes as a starting place. As you create your list, make sure to survey what you already have in the pantry or in the refrigerator.
Don’t forget Breakfast!
Add to your list your common breakfast foods like eggs, yogurt, fruit, whole grain bread, nut butters, or ingredients for your favorite smoothie!
Don’t forget Lunch!
Add to your list one or two ideas for lunch keeping in mind you may have leftovers from your dinners. Consider buying ingredients for a quick and easy salad. This might include spinach, cucumber, avocado, tuna or chicken, and a salad dressing with low sugar content. Or think about making a batch of soup that you can use for a couple of lunches. Don’t forget to include lots of veggies in your soup! If you want an idea to help get you started try this Sweet Potato and Lentil Soup!
Lastly, head to the store or order online for pick up (this is my new favorite option as it saves SO MUCH TIME!) Be sure to stick to your list and try not to make too many impulse buys. Remember to have a healthy snack before you go. We all know that being hungry can often lead to purchasing foods not on your list!