Meal planning doesn't have to be complicated or boring! Some people think meal planning is some extravagant task that takes up too much time and they just don't have that extra time to add it to their routine, let alone think of a few different meals. - - - dun dun dun and then guess what happens -nothing is prepared, so we make unhealthy QUICK decisions on what to eat!
Don’t fall into the trap of being unprepared when it comes to meals. Here are three steps to making healthy decisions that are inexpensive and time efficient.
1. Choose meals that you need prepared because you are busy or on the go during those times. If you notice your biggest struggles are breakfast and lunch because those are when you are on the GO, then choose to focus on those meals. If dinners you are home and have time to make dinner – then this doesn’t need to be an added stress of meal prep.
2. Choose ingredients that are easy to use in multiple meals, buy pre-cut veggies / fruit if you need to cut down on prep time (yes, it may cost a few more extra dollars to get something already cut up, BUT is it worth it when you have it in a pinch and don’t have to grab a bag of chips?) and keep frozen veggies/fruits on hands for when your in a pinch.
3. Choose things you enjoy. Nothing is worse than being bored or unexcited to eat something. This usually also leads to grabbing something on the go like fast food. EATING HEALTHY DOESN’T HAVE TO BE BORING OR UNSATISFYING.
Here is an example of how I did meal planning this week.
1. I chose breakfast and lunches to focus on. Breakfast because even though I am working from home, having a toddler running around means less time to make breakfast and sit down. Lunches because as much as I would love to just make a sandwich (and am craving a turkey and cheese sandwich) I can’t – which means I am limited to the staple lunch time meals.
2. Chose ingredients to use for multiple meals
· Breakfast – Egg cups, with a side of fruit, coffee
· Bought fruit on Sunday – cleaned, cut and put in storage container right when I came home from the store so it was easy to pull out. Made egg cups to last me till Thursday to pull out and pop in the microwave. Every night before bed I either set up the coffee machine so it is good to go when I come downstairs OR make a batch of ice coffee to last a few days.
· Lunch – Roasted veggies made for different meals
· Roasted veggies and left-over chicken thighs from dinner
· Roasted veggies on top of salad with left-over chicken thighs from dinner with a creamy dressing
· Roasted veggies to eat with breakfast one day to MIX IT UP.
3. Chose things I enjoy
· Eggs cups - SIMPLE but I can make each egg cup a little different.
· Ham and cheese, veggies, plain with just salt and pepper – options are endless
· Roasted veggies – easy to reheat, can be used in multiple different meals in multiple different ways – KEEPS IT CHANGING / NOT BORING
6 large eggs
¼ cup milk or nondairy milk choice (oat milk, almond milk, etc.)
Veggies of choice
Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Cheddar shredded cheese
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Mix eggs, milk and salt and pepper in a bowl
- Fold in veggies into mixture
- Spray muffin tins with cooking spray
- Fill muffin tins ¾ up and then top with cheddar cheese
- Bake 20-25 minutes
Ingredients - (honestly the options are endless – choose what you like or have left over in the fridge if cooking this towards the end of the week)
2 sweet potatoes
½ head of broccoli
1 bell pepper
1 can of corn
½ container cherry tomatoes
Couple sprigs of cilantro
Seasonings of choice (salt and pepper)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Spray baking sheet with cooking spray
- Cut all veggies and put in a mixing bowl
- Add seasoning of choice – mix thoroughly together
- Drizzle with olive oil (or cooking oil of choice) – mix thoroughly together
- Put on baking sheet evenly
- Bake for 30-35 minutes – half way through lightly mix up the pan to evenly cook
Meg DeSalvo Fit