Mindful Meal Planning
Here comes the New Year! Every year millions of New Year Resolutions are made, this year I challenge you to make your resolution one that sticks! Resolve to plan meals a week at a time forever and always! Meal planning will help you eat nutritiously, save money at the grocery store, and keep you from panicking and attempting to throw a dinner together when dinner hour rolls around.
1. PLAN AWAY! Take about 30 minutes of your day once a week, sit down, and decide what you would like to eat this week. Keep your goals in mind, whether you are choosing to eat more vegetables, cut calories, or incorporate more fiber. I recommend starting by planning about 3 lunches or dinners a week. Start small, once you become used to your system plan every meal. Hopefully, you will have leftovers from a few meals that you can eat another day too. Some meals like breakfast can be the same or repeating.
2. WRITE A GROCERY LIST! Write your grocery list according to your meal plan. Include the obvious items too such as skim milk, eggs, and berries. Don’t leave anything out. This will help you limit your grocery visits to just once a week saving you time, calories, and money. Stick with your list even if something other then fruit and vegetables look tasty.
3. PREPARE EVERYTHING! On Sunday or any day you have time, reserve some time to prepare all of your meals for the week. Prepare everything, including your vegetables for omelets, peeling oranges, making sauces for each meal, etc… Also, I strongly recommend preparing a larger recipe, and freezing it. That way in a few weeks when you are ready for that meal again it is already prepared. Use a lot of tiny Rubbermaid containers to ease portion controlling.
4. EXECUTE IT! All you have to do is come home and pop your dinner in the oven or heat a few things up. Having your dinner already prepared will help you avoid ordering pizza for dinner or just making quick unhealthy dinners.
Meal planning takes some time in the beginning of your week, but will save you time, money, calories, and stress. A few recipes that I love to include on my weekly meal plan are:
¨ Chicken Cordon Bleu (Prepare the chicken ahead, make a few extra, freeze them, and reheat at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes or until the center reaches 165 degrees, when frozen. Make the Dijonaise sauce ahead and prepare your vegetables too.)
¨ Pita Pizza (Make your marinara, freeze it in small containers. Prepare your entire pizza, wrap it, and freeze the entire pizza. Reheat when frozen at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes or until the cheese has turned a light brown color.
¨ Beef and Vegetable Lasagna (Use your H3 Marinara you already prepared and make the Beef and Vegetable Lasagna then freeze it. Reheat when frozen at 350 for about 1 1/2 hours, or until the center has reached 165 degrees.)
Planning ahead will make your life a little easier, the more you plan the easier it will get.
Happy New Year’s Resolutions!