Meal Planning; my top tips to get you started
With our busy lives, getting in the kitchen can be a challenge but I truly believe that cooking from scratch and preparing your own meals is the most effective way to live a healthier lifestyle. Whether it’s full meal planning for the whole week or simply considering a new recipe, it goes a long way to ensuring your stay on track with your health goals.
Is meal planning overlooked?
Having consulted with 100s of clients who want to improve their health, meal planning is not always a priority and it is surprising how few spend time in the kitchen and cook from scratch.
How many times have you planned to cook a delicious healthy meal but you’ve rushed out of the door in the morning and somehow, the day has run away with you and you find yourself ravenous at dinner time with nothing actually planned let alone prepared. After all, without some form of meal planning, consider this scenario… you open the fridge, freezer or larder…you’re exhausted, tired and hungry and don’t find anything that’s healthy quick and easy; it’s very easy to resort to a delivery or takeaway.
That’s why empowering you to plan and prep, so you’re set for the week ahead is the most powerful tool you can use to ensure a healthier lifestyle. Once you’re ahead, putting the meal together is surprisingly quick and easy.
If this sounds too overwhelming, don’t worry.
Here’s a few practical tips to encourage you to start meal planning and help you plan and prep ahead effectively
- Set aside some time during the week that you can dedicate to meal planning. Ideally, if you’re working full time, this can be a midweek evening activity so you can use the time over the weekend to shop and actually prep. If you’re more flexible with your time, check your diary and diarise a morning or afternoon to sit down and plan your meals.
- Think about how many meals you’ll need that week; are you out for dinner any night? How many will you be cooking for each day? Will the kids need a meal immediately after an activity, in which case it will need to be cooked and ready to warm and eat.
- What would you like to eat the following week? Is there a particular vegetable you’d like to try? Think about the different colours you can include for that week and choose at least one you haven’t tried for a while.
Remember, all vegetables and fruits provide different health benefits and varying your colours, varies your nutrients
- Have you spotted a recipe you thought you might try? Why not try it next week?
- Create a meal plan for the week and then a shopping list. Perhaps you’d like to write this in an email to yourself and send it so you’ve got a copy on your phone? Or you can put it in the “Notes” section on your phone so you’ve got it to hand to amend and add to during the week.
Start a shopping list in the “Notes” section on your phone
- Block out a few hours that you can prep and cook for the week ahead.
- Plan when you can go shopping and block this time out in your diary or start an online shopping order that you can complete over the course of the week.
If you’re daunted by the prospect of prepping for the whole week, simply choose a few meals that you get ahead with. For example, prepare a batch of overnight oats for breakfasts and snacks or you can wash and chop vegetables so they’re ready to use as soon as you start cooking. Perhaps you marinate some chicken or fish so it’s ready to just pop in the oven.
Looking for recipe inspiration?
Take a look at my RECIPES page where you’ll find plenty of easy and quick meals that you can prepare ahead.
If you’re familiar with the Thermomix cooking machine, you’ll know that their Cookidoo recipe platform also includes a fabulous meal planning facility. If you’d like to find out more, BOOK YOUR FREE DEMO HERE
What meal planning advice can you share? Do share your tips and help us all to enjoy a healthier lifestyle!