How many times have you had a long day at work – followed by a tough workout at the gym – and come home to an empty fridge completely famished?
Instead of running into this frustrating event time and time again, try incorporating meal planning into your weekly routine. Stressed by one more thing to do? Don’t fret. Spending a bit of extra time organizing your grocery lists, recipes, and meal prep will actually save you time, energy (and hunger pains) in the long run. An hour or two on the weekend for slicing and dicing will set you up for a stress-free supper time during your busy week.
Meal planning is the perfect compliment to your health-focused New Year’s resolutions. When you have nutrient-dense (and delicious) homemade meals stocked in your refrigerator, you’ll be less likely to make impulse stops at the drive-thru or order that sodium-saturated Chinese take-out. It’s time to succeed and follow through with all your healthy goals.
Meal prepping isn’t complicated, nor is it a chore. Follow these tips to make more out of your meals by doing much less:
- Instead of making last minute decisions to order pizza, choose your weekly recipes each week. Browse your cookbook collection and go online to visit food blogs and Pinterest for ideas.
- Money saving tip: Overlap ingredients in a few of your recipes to shrink your grocery list. i.e. if you’re having mashed potatoes one night as a side dish, use the potatoes for Shepard’s Pie the following night.
- Assign fresh recipes to each day of the week. Optional: print out a menu template to hang on your fridge with your scheduled meals.
- Instead of wandering around the grocery store mindlessly, make a grocery list.
- Try shopping only once per week instead of multiple visits that could lead to hunger based purchases like ice cream and chips.
- Set aside at least one hour on the weekends to prep recipes for the week.
Prep on Sunday
- Make a batch of Pick-Me-Up Power Balls
- Bake a dozen Almond Meal Banana Muffins to store in the freezer – pop them in the microwave for a quick breakfast
- Make individual servings of trail mix
- Hard boil eggs
- Wash and chop lettuce and vegetables for salads and recipes
- Make a large pot of brown rice, quinoa, or whole grain of your choice
- Make a pot of soup that can be reheated for dinner in a pinch
- Peel and chop sweet potatoes or winter squash for roasting
- Cook meat that will be used in the next two days
- Prepare salads in tupperware/mason jars to take on the go – leave the dressing on the side
Happy meal planning!