Need some help planning meals for the week? This is what I do and what I teach the people I coach! I do the following on Sundays before I go grocery shopping to make sure I have healthy meals prepped all week and stay on track for my health and fitness goals.
We start with dinner because dinner is going to become lunch the next day (leftovers are lunch).
To make it easy, I start with the meat for my main course for dinner. I typically plan meals for Monday through Thursday because Friday, Saturday, and Sunday vary based on what we have going on over the weekend. I start by thinking about what would I want to have over the course of the week.
For instance, I like to have fish once or twice and chicken once or twice. And maybe red meat once a week, mostly because my guy likes it. So, that’s 2 days of fish, 2 days of chicken or a day of chicken and a day of red meat.
Step #2 – Plan Your Sides.
If you have your main course (protein) picked out, think about what vegetables would go well with those items. For instance, asparagus goes great with grilled chicken or fish. Maybe zucchini or squash with your red meat, or try a stir fry of mixed veggies like mushrooms, onions and peppers. Plan your sides (veggies) around your main dish (meat).
I call this “Shop & Chop”! You’ve planned your meals…now make your list and go shopping!! When you start eating healthy consistently, you will find that you tend to some of the same foods each week. To make it easy, I put my grocery list in Google Sheet that way when I am in the grocery store, I could just open the Google Sheet app on my phone and look at my grocery list for the week. That way you don’t have to remake it every week, and it saves you a lot of time.
After you shop, go home and immediately cut everything up! I cut up all the vegetables like peppers, mushrooms, zucchini, onions, anything and put them in bags or containers so I could easily throw them into the oven or into the grill when I am cooking meals during the week.
I also prepare a ton of fruits for snacks. I’ll cut up a ton of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries and mix it all together for a little fruit salad. We buy packages of nuts like almonds and mixed nuts for snacks. I do shakeology for either a meal (breakfast) or a snack. And if we have time in the morning will make an egg. Cut up everything you could possibly cut up, portion out and have that ready.
Look at your calendar and identify the days where your time to cook is limited. Pick fast and easy meals you can prep in advance for busy nights. Avoid doing meals that is going to require a lot of prepping that can’t be done in advance for those nights. So when are you busy? When do you not have a lot of time to prepare? Pick those nights to do the easy meals.
Step # 5 – Put it on the calendar.
Put it on the calendar and stick to it! I write my meals right into my everyday calendar, so I know what I need to do. I don’t have to think about it. I just come home and get it done. I end up not eating unhealthy stuff or getting more meals out.
This process has really helped me stick to a healthy eating routine! I hope it helps you, too! If you need a little more guidance on what choices are healthier than others and what kinds of foods you want to avoid and what you want to make staples in your diet, download my free clean eating guide at www.donteatyourfeelings.com. Thanks for reading!