A Quick Guide to Healthier Meal Planning
Have you been wanting to take up meal prepping but don’t know where to start? You see all the cute Pinterest boards, green juices, and the packed containers, and it seems so clean and organized, right? We decided to make a short and sweet article that hopefully, after reading, you’ll feel that you can take on meal prepping in baby steps.
The first thing you need to do before going grocery shopping and buying any new containers is to ask yourself “how many meals will I be making? Will I only be prepping lunch, or all three meals?”
After knowing how many meals you will be making, you can sort out the types of foods in categories you will be purchasing, we narrowed it down to three categories:
- Protein: Chicken breast, ground beef, ham, turkey, soy products, dairy, fish. Note: with fish you must be careful, it can’t be in the fridge for too long.
- Carbohydrates: When it comes to carbohydrates, there’s two types: simple and complex. Simple carbohydrates are fruits, vegetables, sugar, honey, etc. Complex carbohydrates include:
vegetables, corn, green peas, cereals, pasta, rice, beans, and many more.
- Fats: There are all kinds of foods we could list for fats, but since we are focusing on clean eating, some are better than others. We recommend adding seeds, nuts, avocados, almonds, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, and coconut oil.
“Okay great, now what meals can I make?” you ask yourself.
Next up, make a whole week list of possible meals you know will be fitting for your lifestyle. Since you’re just getting started, set small goals for your meal prep. Changes start small, so if you think you can only meal prep your lunches and snacks, that’s okay too! Another thing to have in mind is your recommended calorie intake and doctor recommendations. If you are starting a weight-loss journey and you know ahead of time what foods your doctor said to avoid, then add these to your “Stay Away” list.
Now the Fun Part:
Keeping in mind proteins, carbohydrates and healthy fats, take any calendar sheet and write out under each day a possible meal you’d like. Below are some ideas for different times of the day.
Monday: Chicken breast, boiled egg whites, cucumbers, and tomatoes (lunch)
Tuesday: Grilled chicken salad wrapped in lettuce (dinner)
Wednesday: Cheddar slices folded up in pepperoni, celery and boiled eggs (snack)
Thursday: Steak with potatoes and broccoli (lunch)
Friday: Egg and avocado bowl (breakfast)
Saturday: Breakfast Bowl — pick a carbohydrate you’re familiar with (such as oatmeal) and fruits (blueberries, strawberries, mango) and lastly, throw in some coconut flakes. Tada!
Sunday: Honey garlic shrimp, brown rice and broccoli
After you have an idea of what to make, feel free to add more meals! We find that the more you plan your meals on paper, the more excited you get to try more recipes for upcoming weeks.
We hope you found this article helpful! Now you’re ready to take the next step — go grocery shopping! We recommend printing this article, and bringing your meal calendar along, that way you’re not driven to the cookies aisle unconsciously — just saying!