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  • A 5 Minute Guide to Healthy Meal Planning

    Life is busy! Taking care of what you put in your mouth may be the last thing you’re thinking about! That D and D stop and bucket of KFC is way easier than planning ahead right?!?!

    If you think meal planning takes too much time… I am going to have to tell you that it really doesn’t! Actually taking a little time to meal plan in advance can be so helpful, less stressful, less expensive and better for your overall health too!

    Sound worth it?

    Follow these tips for some easy, healthy meal planning!

    The How To’s of Meal Planning

    1. Work one week at a time. When you do this you can give your personal chef the some time off (HA!), but it is much easier to plan for several days rather than a whole month. It allows you fewer trips to the grocery store and you can cook several meals at ones, which allows for leftovers too!

    2. Portion it out in advance. If you’re trying to work on overeating this step is helpful. You’ll know ahead how much you should be eating. (When I am finished cooking a batch meal, I portion out the lunches for the following day, that way they are finished the night before, as I am cleaning up… one less step!)

    3. Be mindful when you shop. Shop on the perimeter of the store; it will help you to stick with the whole, fresh foods rather than the snacky, sneaky, processed stuff. If you look around you may even be able to find a farmer’s market in your area. It will help you to buy local, healthy produce and support local businesses as well!
    1. Make a pantry list. Check out pinterest if this is a time consuming idea to you. Print out a pantry checklist and keep it up to date (I have mine laminated so I can cross things off when I run out and erase the line when I have re-purchased.) Or make your own list of things you want to always have at your fingertips. 

    2. Clear out the junk food clutter! Read labels and get rid of junk to make room for more healthy foods. Get rid of things high in sugar, chemicals and anything that liusts too many ingredients. If you want some snacks around, that’s ok but just don’t keep them in plain sight (out of sight, out of mind!)

    3. Make it a family affair. There can never be too many helpers (many hands make light work!) Having your kids be a part of the process is an invaluable lesson for them and can greatly help you in the long run! Even small kids can help come up with side dish ideas and can also pitch in with easier tasks like helping clean up or making a salad (kids are more likely to eat something they have participated in creating as well!
    1. It’s ok to mess up! I can guarantee it’ll take a little time to come up with your perfect habits of meal planning and even then, things come up, life happens and it may not go as planned, but the more you stick to the easier it gets, the healthier you, your family and your wallet will be! Do not despise small beginnings!

    A Few More Tips to Think About

    1. Load up on produce. Fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits. Aim for 5 to 13 servings a day. Most fresh or frozen produce is high in nutrients and low in calories.
    1. Choose good fats. Most adults need about 30% of their calories from fat. Good choices include olive oil, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. (Love some avocado too!)
    1. Make it healthier. A quick Google search can help you to make wiser decisions (especially with your most loved recipes that do not lend themselves to a healthy lifestyle.)

    2. Carry healthy snacks. You need to incorporate healthy snacks into your meal plan… Cut up an apple and have a jar of almond butter at the office, have a small cooler with some Greek yogurt and some berries ready to go when hunger strikes!

    3. Read, read and read some more. If a food has more than 5 ingredients and you can’t pronounce half of them… steer clear! Do not focus on calories focus on content. Make sure things like sugar and sodium are low on the list of ingredients (ingredient list are written greatest amount to least amount.)

    Whether you cook all the time or you burn cereal, you can incorporate new ways into you life to be more healthy happy and prepared in the kitchen.

    I hope you found these tips helpful!

    Michelle

    Need some more help? Contact Me today!