You don’t have time to spend wishing the perfect dinner would magically appear or getting stuck at the grocery store starving at 6pm when all you want to do is be home. Meal planning helps take the guesswork out of what’s for dinner and sets you up for mealtime success. And it’s about more than what to eat; it’s about helping you make your life easier (and yes, healthier).
Meal planning may seem rigid and time-consuming at first, but trust us, it doesn’t have to be. There’s no a drastic changes or crazy restrictions required and it won’t take you hours to do. Let these three tips help you get back to a routine, easily, by getting your weekly meal planning done and dusted in one sitting.
1. “Plan Twice, Build Once”
First things first, take a step back and look at your week ahead. You have a lot going on but you can fit it all in. If you have a lunchtime meeting on Tuesday and dinner with friends on Friday, incorporate them into your weekly plan.
Knowing what you’ve got going on will help you decide how much you need to prep for the week. Once you’ve got that, the real fun begins: Recipes! Use as many whole food recipes as possible (versus pre-packaged foods) and look for recipes that use similar ingredients.
If you’re not sure where to start pick one of your favorite go-to recipes and build from there. Say you’re like us and you love noodle bowls. Use the ingredients in your favorite noodle bowl recipe as your base for other recipes this week. Say you’ll be buying the noodles, peppers, carrots, and cabbage anyway. Use that to your advantage. Use the peppers and cabbage in a rice roll for lunch. Have chopped peppers and carrots as a snack and use those versatile noodles for leftovers the next day, mixed with any veggies you have on hand.
2. Cover Your (Ingredient) Bases
You’ve got your recipes, now it’s time to stock your pantry. Before you head out to the grocery store, write down everything you need to make your recipes a success. Then shop your kitchen. Hit the grocery store for what you’re missing to fully stock your fridge, freezer and pantry.
Break down your list into categories (grocery, produce, refrigerated, frozen, spices, and bulk) to make shopping a breeze. Buy your kitchen staples like nuts and seeds in bulk so you have them on hand for future recipes.
3. Prep It Like You Mean It
Be prepared for whatever comes up by prepping all of your ingredients for the week. Wash and chop all your fruits and veggies, batch cook your grains and pre-portion snacks.
And that’s it. Meals for the week. Done and done.
Want one less thing to worry about? Add Vega Essentials to your grocery basket and take the guesswork out of covering your daily essentials. It’s made from whole food ingredients and provides you with 20 grams of protein, 3 servings of greens and 4 grams fiber, all for 130 calories. Add it to your morning smoothie or shake it up with water for an on-the-go snack.
Find More From Bridgette
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Nutrition and Health Tips here >>
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