Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Meal Planning Made Easy!

I find nothing exciting about meal planning - nada; however, I find that when I actually take the time to plan out what I am going to be eating for the week, it really helps me to stay on track. As you all know, I love food. I love bar food the most, and pizza..you know, the WORST ones for you, but I know that I am no longer 15 these things can catch up with me pretty quickly.

So, I meal plan. And it's always been boring. It is that one thing I put off doing because it just isn't fun! I don't do "not fun". Blah. Recognizing this problem, I decided to take the task and chop it into smaller tasks. Instead of sitting down for an hour on a single day and figuring out what I'm going to eat and grocery shop for, I do it one day at a time. So for example, today is Wednesday so today I will be making up my meals for next Wednesday.

For me, lunch and dinners are the issue. I have the same thing for breakfast every day (a loaded protein shake), and my snacks are typically a fruit and string cheese, or a fruit and almonds in the morning followed by my Shakeology in the afternoon. Lunches and dinners are scary because if I don't have it planned I'll find an excuse to go out and eat..because again, I love food. So here is what I do:

Step 1: I enter in my "usuals" into my meal planner (template for you below) for the week. There, done, with little thinking involved.

Step 2: If I need anything for my snacks (like grapes, almonds, etc) it goes immediately onto my shopping list WITH the location where it is cheapest (Ex: Aldis Almonds, Trader Joes Bananas)

Step 3: I browse either my nutrition guides that I have received from my Beachbody programs (most common method) or I venture off onto Google and find some random blog. I choose a pretty simple lunch that I can either make and it feeds me for days, or a standard salad for which I use no dressing and instead add in various vegetables for flavors (try sweet peppers! Yum!) Add my choice to my meal plan, and the ingredients into the shopping list app

Step 4: Same thing for dinner. Now me personally, I plan my dinners around the weather. If its a nice night, I prefer it on the grill..if its chilly and crisp, I like it from the crockpot. I try and consider my moods when I plan my food. Think about it, if you know you are swamped at work on Wednesday do not pick some complicated dinner dish! Pick a crockpot meal..simplify your life. Onto the planner it goes, and into the food app

That's it! I'm done! I do this every day and the entire thing takes me 5 minutes at the most!

Here is a simple template that I have developed in Google Docs that you are free to use. I also try and make it a habit to upload my meals onto myfitnesspal.com to check the levels of sodium, protein, etc. to make sure I am not over-indulging in anything https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/pub?key=0Ap9-a6TgtaAqdHBmWkxfbkRfRlZXWFZGM0I5V2NKMFE&output=html

Oh, and while I'm at it...here's a little tunage to make it more fun. Nothin' like a good ol fashioned meal planning party!
 
Questions? Comments? Concerns? Email me! nik4213@gmail.com

1 comment:

  1. yeah author you are ri8. excellent article :) thanks for sharing

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