First rule of meal planning: do whatever works for you!
If you love to do daily grocery store runs to grab ingredients for that night’s dinner, if that works then go ahead! I’m personally one who loves the feeling of heading into a new week ready with a plan and a fridge full of groceries to make it happen.
The key to good meal planning is finding what makes you feel prepared enough so that meals aren’t stressing you out – and you don’t find yourself sabotaging your healthy eating because it stresses you out, you are starving and rather order takeout. That’s why I want to keep it simple for you.
This is my method for meal planning that I have been doing for years and I swear that it’s easy enough for anyone to do with just a little practice and a few strategies in your back pocket. Remember this is my meal planning process looks like, if something doesn’t work for you then make the adjustments necessary for it to work perfectly with your lifestyle.
1. Make it a fun weekly ritual!
Start ahead during your weekend, see what recipes you like, if something doesn't work switch a meal or make any substitutions. Also scroll through your Pinterest feed to look for recipes for more ideas! The point is, make the process fun and relaxing, even when the weeks get hectic, you should be able to enjoy cooking a quick meal and sitting down to something delicious after a busy workday.
2. Choose recipes that can do double duty.
When I plan any of the recipes for the week that, I think about how one or two of the main ingredients in those can be leveraged to make other meals that are easy and delicious. For example, if I’m making salmon one night with quinoa and roasted veggies for dinner, I make some more salmon so I can use it to make some fish tacos the next day. The quinoa that I also made, I can use as building block for a salad bowl for lunch.
3 . Think about your schedule ahead of time
Take a look at your schedule ahead before planning meals. What are your craziest days? For those days plan your easy meals or use leftovers to make a simple meal just like fish tacos or chicken tacos if you had protein from the previous day. I guarantee this is a huge game changer. And if you’re like me, Fridays nights we want something more fun, we make our own cauliflower pizza or just eat out. That is O.K.
4. Order your groceries online.
I don’t mind going grocery shopping I actually enjoy it- I know you don’t hear that often! But really I’ve found that groceries online saves me time and stress, specially Sundays and Mondays when the grocery store is packed. You would think its more expensive but not really, you probably spend less money, there is no impulse or hungry buying, you buy exactly what you need for the week.