Have you ever opened the fridge and wonder what you’re going to make for supper? What about going to get groceries only to come home to realize you still don’t know what to make with everything you just bought? How about coming home from a long stressful day with no will power to make a decent meal? It’s in a lot of those times where the Pizza 73 coupon you got in the mail starts to look pretty tempting. You can sit on the couch and wait for the pizza delivery guy, go back to the couch and shovel down food that is as crappy for you as what you feel. You don’t have to feel like this anymore and all it takes is some planning. No one is perfect but you but learning to meal plan, hopefully you can finally put an end to your relationship with your local pizza delivery guy (sorry pizza dude).
The first thing I was introduced to in my course was something I’ve never really given much thought to- meal planning and prep. Since putting these simple concepts to work my wife and I have almost completely stopped eating out, stopped asking each other every day “whats for supper?”, and have saved lots of money not throwing produce out we had no idea what we were going to do with. It’s changed our eating habits, made us more efficient and can be fun when we plan our weekly meals out together.
Here is a breakdown of how we meal plan and prep in my house:
- I sit down with my wife and we figure out which meals we want to have for the next week. We have our go to staple meals that are easy to make and we eat often, but we usually flip through all of our cookbooks and find a few new recipes to try out too. Snacks are usually planned out now too (I LOVE snacks). It’s important to plan out some healthy snacks for the week so that when that craving hits you midday you can say no to the office donuts and cookies.
- We break down all the ingredients from all the meals and snacks. If we don’t have something, we add it to the grocery list.
- Go to the grocery store with a purpose! Everything we buy has a specific purpose for the whole week. This has saved us a lot of money since nothing we buy goes to waste. I don’t know how many times we’ve thrown out a head of lettuce and avocados. How many times has something you didn’t know what to do with gotten pushed to the back of the fridge only be found a few weeks later, rotting, while you think “why the heck did I ever buy an eggplant?”.
- We usually prep all our food when we get back from getting groceries. Usually this involves making a weeks worth of snacks, prepping fruits and veggies, either for meals or to snack on. Even cutting up fruit and veggies for snacks makes it SO much easier to make a healthier choice when they are already prepped and ready to eat in the middle of the week when the last thing you want to do is cut up a pineapple. You can prep or even make full meals in advance and simply freeze them to make it really easy on you.
- That’s it really. Not hard at all, but it can be a bit much when you are trying to plan out a whole week when you have never done it before. A good tip is to start with Monday-Friday or even Monday-Wednesday with prepping the weekend before so that you don’t overwhelm yourself too much and fall completely off schedule.
Meal planning must be part of your plan in order to start eating healthier on a daily basis. As a Culinary Nutrition Expert it’s my job to make you healthier! If you need some help with getting started with your meal planning/prepping, send me a message and I can work with you to help end your relationship with the pizza delivery guy!