The one thing I do every week to eat healthy
When it came to our weekly eating, my husband and I weren't great at planning ahead. While we weren't necessarily making bad choices, we were making the same choices over and over again, resulting in being sick and tired of our go-to meals. Almost every day, our conversation would go something like this.
Me: What should we cook tomorrow?
Husband: Hm, I don't know. Let me think about it.
Me: Ok. Let's talk about it later.
Me: Did you decide what you would like to eat?
Husband: No, I forgot.
Me: Me too. (Sigh) Ok, let's just see what we can make real quick.
Does this scenario sound vaguely familiar? I'm guessing it does.
Now, I don't leave things up to the last minute anymore. Instead, I come up with a plan EVERY SINGLE WEEK. And you know what? We are eating so much better. We enjoy each meal. We're discovering new recipes. And we're saving money - because we have a plan.
So with this post I want to write about meal planning and prepping a bit and give you some tips and tricks to consider. Meal planning is absolutely essential for healthy eating and weightloss.
Why? Because you are less likely to make good choices or have access to healthy options when you leave stuff to the last minute. It’s that simple. Making a plan and having things in place to execute the plan makes it way easier to stick to.
Before you go grocery shopping, start with your recipes. Either you have received some ideas from me for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, or you have your own recipes already. Use a meal-planning template to figure out what you will eat when. Write it down!!!
To get delicious recipes and access to my meal planning template.
When making this plan, it is helpful to have your calendar/smartphone close by so you can check when you have time to cook for the week. This can happen on weekends in preparation for the entire week, or you can split it up and do some on the weekend and some more on a Wednesday/Thursday for the second half of the week. Schedule the prepping/cooking in your calendar. Based on what your week looks like, fill in the meal-planning template. If you don’t have a lot of time, eat each meal a few times. If you have more time to cook, you can bring in more variety by cooking more. Based on the servings specified in each recipe, will you have enough to cover all the times you will eat this particular meal, or do you need to double/triple the recipe? Also, is anyone else eating the same meal with you? Factor that in when finalizing total servings, and make note of it for your shopping list.
Finalize your shopping list based on the recipes and servings you selected. Check in your refrigerator, freezer and pantry whether you already have some of the ingredients (spices, cooking oils, etc.) to save you time and money later.
Bonus Tip: Check whether you have enough food storage containers at home so you can safely store all the meals you are creating. Glass containers are best. Plastic breaks down over time and leaches into your food, especially when you use the containers in a microwave. Store leftovers in single-use containers in the refrigerator or freezer. That way you can easily take them to work, school, etc.
As far as the actual prepping and cooking goes, prepare vegetables in advance. Cut up enough veggies to last a few days, both for snacking and cooking various meals. Make sides like brown rice and quinoa ahead of time. This way it is ready and you just need to reheat as needed. If you drink smoothies for breakfast or a snack, you could double the recipe and have some for the next day. Stored in the fridge they are usually good up to 24 hours. Breakfast dishes like overnight oats, chia puddings, or veggies to go with eggs can be prepared for the entire week ahead of time. Enjoy cold or reheat in the morning. Salads in a jar are also a great way to prepare meals ahead of time. Use a large mason jar to layer the ingredients for your salad. Start with the dressing at the bottom and finish with salad greens in the end so they don’t get soggy. When you’re ready to eat, just empty the contents of your mason jar onto a plate and enjoy.
There you have it! I hope this is helpful to you. If you are unsure what kind of recipes will work for your prediabetes and would like to access my meal planning template, join my list now.