We all understand the daily struggle of finding a quick meal that’s tasty, filling and wholesome; especially when we feel our stomach grumble or when the lunchtime urge hits. Wouldn’t we all want to be able to have a dish that meets these needs and be healthy for us? I couldn’t agree more! Thinking on this notion, I considered meal planning which has really become a hot trend throughout 2016. The ultimate goal of meal planning (MP) is having ready-made meals at your fingertips that allow you to know your ingredients, eat the right portions and remove the guilt of eating poorly when you’re caught up in the moment of a hunger pang! To start off, I viewed many meal options on Pinterest as I’m not the type to eat the same dish two days in a row. Thankfully a friend suggested a local all-in-one store (AID on Wulff Road), which gave me a great deal on food containers. I was able to purchase seven containers at roughly $2 each. A short time later, I strolled down the grocery aisles with my shopping list in tow, in search of fresh and nutritious ingredients. I’m happy to say I walked out satisfied and with a full trolley.
In under 2 hours, I was able to make the following lunch items for my first week of meal planning:
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo pasta
Ground turkey Chili (with butternut squash and black beans)
Spinach and Cheese Quiche
Green beans and carrots
2 varieties of green salad (using green leaf lettuce)
Balsamic Cucumber and Chickpea Salad
Note: In addition to the items above, I will include a fruit throughout the day (peach, nectarine, banana or apple) to help curb cravings. I will also mix and match entrees with other sides to keep it interesting.
For MP rookies like me, here are a few quick tips for planning your week (or next 30 days):
Search Weekly for recipes to prevent boredom
Ask your spouse (or significant other) which foods they like to eat
Keep it simple but delicious
Plan for Leftovers
Select a Shopping Day & List (and stick to it!)
Prep Food as soon as you come from the store (or the day before you begin following your MP schedule)
To make your meal planning even easier, download the free weekly printable here.
I’m excited to begin my MP this week and look forward to telling you about it. Share your meal plan journey with us! What are your favorite ingredients for a meal plan? Do you have any planning tips? How was your meal plan experience?