Do you know what your eating tonight? Are you feeling pressured from family members saying that they’re hungry and want to know what’s for dinner? Do you find yourself serving the same food/meal over and over again? Are you throwing away rotten food because you didn’t use it? Are you tired and don’t want to stop at the store or cook? How are you feeling? Stressed? Irritable? Think you’re failing on serving family healthy foods?
It’s OK! Your brain is tired! You are tired! You don’t want to think anymore about meals!
Meal Planning can help as it can take away or reduce the thinking “what’s for dinner…. lunch…. snack……etc.” thus it reduces stress.
Start a new habit of planning meals with theses 3 steps:
- When planning your grocery list think of your macros:
- Protein: chicken, beef, beans, eggs, —come up with 3 protein options
- Veggies: potatoes, green beans, brussels sprouts, summer squash (zucchini) that can be roasted or grilled
- Fruit: berries, apple, oranges, melons
- Grains: Pasta, Rice, Quinoa, breads
- Dairy: cheese, yogurt, milk
- Healthy Fats: nuts, seeds, avocado, oils
- Healthy Fats
- Chia Seeds
- Olive Oil
- Think of your Snacking
- Think of 3 snack items, maybe desserts/sweets you enjoy
- Snacking Veggies: carrots, celery, peppers, carrots, etc.
- Check your cupboards/pantry of what you might need
Ways to Meal Prep:
- Add a fun/themed meal:
- Meatless Monday
- Taco Tuesday (enchiladas, fajitas, taco salad)
- Stir -fry Fridays
- Breakfast for dinner
- Multi-Tasking & Multi-Use:
- Think of meals and cooking 2 or 3 things at same time: When cooking your protein for dinner and grilling steak add chicken or fish.
- Think of what additional meals you can make using the same protein: for example when cooking chicken do it 3 different ways at the same time; put some in a crockpot with salsa, roast some with veggies, cook some on stovetop that can be added to a casserole or stir-fry. Store the extra food in freezer or fridge.
- Macro Prep:
- Veggies: peel and cube potatoes and cook more than you need for one meal—they can be saved and added to another meal (potatoes for breakfast?) Roast or grill extra veggies. Pre-chop veggies for snacking or to throw in a meal like a stir-fry—let family members help with this.
- Cut up fruit like melons so they are ready to serve! Again, family members can help with this.
- Grains: can you cook a big batch of rice ahead of time or pasta or quinoa
- Boil a half-dozen of more of eggs—hard boiled eggs make a great snack or added to a salad or avocado toast!
- Allow Family to Help:
- Choose to write down what you’re having—family can start meal knowing what is planned (the stress of the unknown is taken away)
Benefits of Meal Planning:
- The unknown is taken away as you know you have items to make and eat
- Serve better and healthier meals with protein, carbs, healthy fat
- Family affair by helping
- More variety (maybe try one or two new items)
- You can enjoy your meal and relax!
- With a list you might be spending less time in grocery store and spending less money—reduces stress!
- By having ingredients ready you are reducing the time of cooking and planning…..Less Stress!