Meal planning is a great way to ensure that you eat healthy and get this, it doesn’t have to be hard! That’s right, despite how overwhelmed many of us become when we think of planning meals for an entire week, meal planning can save you time and money.
Without being prepared, it is easy to end up eating something on the go, like pastries, fast food, or prepared meals. The problem with this is that often grab-and-go options are not the healthiest, and we end up spending a lot of extra money that could be saved by being better prepared.
The trick to successful meal planning is, of course, all in the preparation. Follow these steps to get started.
Pick a Day
When meal prepping, you want to start by choosing a day that works best for you where you will have a good couple hours to plan, prep, and prepare your food. Sunday is often a good day for this because it gets you ready for the week with a fresh menu.
Next, you will want to get prepped by getting your food containers ready for each day and clearing out space in the refrigerator for your week of meals.
Create a Plan/Shop
Meal planning is about prepping food in bulk to eat throughout the week, so you will want to choose foods with lasting power, so no light greens or foods that are likely to lose their integrity after a few days. You are preparing meals for 5 days, so think balanced. You want a protein, a healthy starch and fat, and a bunch of veggies.
Get to Work
Time to get going! Because you are prepared, prep should be easy. Here are some great ideas for your meal planning:
Breakfast - Overnight Oats
Fill 5 jars each with ½ rolled oats
1 tablespoon chia seeds or powdered flax seeds
1 tablespoon protein powder
Enough almond milk to cover your mixture
*Optional - 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and coconut flakes.
Lunch - Turkey Taco Bowl
Sautéd 2 lbs of organic ground turkey
1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning (or make your own)
Roasted peppers and onions
Rinsed black beans
Salsa of your choice
Add in each ¼ cup black beans, ½ cup prepared ground turkey, salsa, roasted peppers and onions to each of your five containers
Dinner - Marinated Chicken Breasts
Mix the mustard, balsamic and olive oil together in a bowl. Chop fresh rosemary, garlic and a hint of sea salt and mix into a bowl.
Place 5 chicken breasts in a glass container and coat with the marinade. Marinate chicken for 1 hour.
Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees. Prepare sides, such as sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, or mashed potatoes to include with your meal.
Snacks - Smoothie
Put each smoothie combo in a separate freezer bag or container and freeze until you are ready to enjoy.
Simply add water, coconut water, or your favorite milk, blend and enjoy!