Sunday, September 21, 2014

5 Meal Planning Tips

In the world of nutrition, meal planning is king. Well, in some respects anyway. You know what they say, "if you fail to plan, you plan to fail." While I think that phrase can be somewhat overused, it does ring true, and I have found that especially true with nutrition.

Any time that I just try to "wing it" with my nutrition, I fall flat on my face, and hard. For me, going to the grocery store without a plan always ends up with some disastrous consequences- like a moldy bag of broccoli in my veggie drawer a week later. It didn't even stand a chance, because I forgot about it.

But! There is hope. Meal planning is a lot easier than you may think, and it will help save you time, money, heartache, and that poor bag of forgotten broccoli wedged into your dusty veggie drawer. So how do you do it, you ask? Let me give you five simple tips to help you on your way to become a meal planning king or queen!

1. Always write it down! This may seem pretty common sense when you are making a plan, but, when we get in a hurry, things can slip by the wayside. Get a pen and paper, write down every day of the week, and write down a grocery shopping list at the same time. You can even get all techie and do yours on the computer, but I have found that good ol' pen and paper work just fine for me.

2. Plan for your day, but also be flexible. As mentioned before, you want to have a plan going into your week of what you want to buy, prepare and eat. But, that being said, life does happen. Don't freak out! If your great grandma comes into town and wants to have dinner out with you, make room for it in your plan. Shift things around accordingly, and just get on with it from there! You can shift days around, meals, etc. Be flexible, but also remember to use what you bought!

3. Shop and eat with the seasons in mind.  Doing this is going to give you the freshest ingredients to cook with, and it will most likely save you money because the produce that is in season is going to be cheaper than say buying strawberries in the dead of winter. For instance, fall brings about tons of delicious squash options...find a great squash recipe and try it out!

4. Prep your food! Now that you have your plan written down, be sure that you actually get your food ready for the week! I take an hour or so every week and put on some good music, a podcast or movie and get all that I can prepped for the week. That means cutting, peeling, slicing, etc. I also take the time to pre-portion things like carrots, broccoli, spinach, and other fruits that can be prepared ahead of time without browning so that I have fast, healthy snack options ready to grab and go!

5. Speaking of snacks...have a plan for those too! You don't have to write down a different snack for every single day, but have a general idea of what healthy snacks you want to have on hand for the week, shop for it, and prep it so they are ready! Going to do red peppers and hummus? Ziploc baggies can be your best friend to put those pepper slices in, and you can get a small tupperware to portion out your hummus. Voila! Healthy snacks abound!

So there you go, there are five of my top tips to get your started on your meal planning journey. Stuck and need a recipe? Don't be afraid to reach out and ask me for some recipes! I have some great ones on my blog, as well as on hand, and I love to share!

Let me hear from you...what's YOUR meal planning tip that wasn't shared here? 

1 comment:

  1. Love this Sarah! I did this yesterday and I am feeling SO good about the week ahead. I know exactly what we're having each night and I have all the ingredients I need for every meal. This is saving me both mentally and physically. Less late night runs to the grocery store and less stress trying to throw something together that we didn't eat last night! Ha. Hoping to make this a regular habit.