Become A Better Meal Planner
The ol’ saying “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail” by Benjamin Franklin holds true in so many aspects of life, but none truer than personal nutrition.
And perhaps this is the reason so many of us have fallen guilty to the repetitive stops at the local fast food joint for a quick meal.
Who hasn’t left work exhausted with a rumbling stomach and little energy to go home and cook dinner? (If this scenario hasn’t happened to you, you’re superhuman and I applaud you!)
Amidst a hectic schedule that seems to always get busier, investing a little bit of time each week to meal plan will set you up for the successes you are looking for nutritionally. Although there are many different methods of meal planning, and no one way works for everyone, pinpointing what your specific tools are in your toolbox (and using them!) is the first step to victory.
Not only can meal planning save your sanity, it can help you save money, reduce stress and contribute to an overall more nutritionally balanced diet. Win-win-win, if you ask me! Now, where to begin?
My first piece of meal planning advice is to get organized! Our highly technical lives can be a blessing, but also a curse. Who has recipes saved on Pinterest, from the Tasty feed on Facebook, on a recipe card from Grandma, flagged in an old recipe book, etc.?
By having all these thoughts scattered all over the place, it’s no wonder we can never answer the question “What’s for dinner?”
Take some time to organize recipes (now, here’s the key) you are actually going to make.
There is no sense organizing a bunch of recipes that you will ultimately never use. Being creatures of habit, most of us make the same 10-12 dishes. Start there! Gather your favorite recipes (and maybe a few new ones you’ve been meaning to try) and organize them in one place.
For me, I love an old school binder. It’s easy to grab, sit down and make a shopping list from before I head out the door to the super market.
When sitting down to make that shopping list, be realistic. If you have a late work meeting, or are taking the kids to sporting practice after school, it’s probably not the day to try out a new recipe that has a cook time of 75 minutes.
Catch my drift? For busy nights plan for old standby recipes you know you can whip up in a pinch, or better yet, maybe use leftovers from yesterday’s dinner. Slower nights allow for not only the time but mental capacity to try out a new recipe or kitchen skill with success.
A few quick meal planning ideas to help your creative juices flow:
- Breakfast: overnight oats, avocado toast with egg, peanut butter on whole wheat toast with fresh berries
- Lunch: BLT (try turkey bacon, add avocado and/or sprouts), bean and cheese burrito, chicken or tuna salad
- Dinner: fajitas, grilled BBQ chicken with brown rice and asparagus, roasted tilapia with potatoes and green beans
- Snacks: apple with peanut butter, trail mix, carrot stick with hummus
Being organized with your meals will keep you well-nourished and fueled leaving you to use the ‘fly by the seat of your pants’ mentality in other most other aspects of your life. 😊
*To develop your own strategy for meal planning success, book a session with me today!
Eat well…to be well,
Kristin St Clair is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Dietitian with Teacup Wellness, specializing in healthy eating, weight management, and other areas of expertise to help you meet your nutrition and fitness goals.