Tuesday, January 12, 2016

A Beginner's Guide to Meal Planning

So one week after recommitting to this space, here I am again. I don't know if that's actually the recommitting I meant, but at least it wasn't a month later?

I'm totally blaming this for the reason I've slacked:

She's cute, so it works as an excuse right? Great, thanks.

Today, I have some thoughts to share on meal planning. Let me preface by saying I am in NO way an expert. I literally started meal planning on Sunday. As in 3 days ago, Sunday. But, since I've just started, I have some ideas of what worked well and what I wish I had done differently.. starting with the gash on my thumb - I definitely wish I had done that differently.

But, really. I hope at least a couple of these are helpful to you!

one // Start small.  I was under the impression that I could just jump all in, spend a few hours on Sunday afternoon and have an entire week of 3 meals a day and snacks. I should also place the blame for this on Alyssa... she snapchats me her delicious and healthy meals all day and makes it look so easy. So thanks for that, friend. ;)

This is not the case. I'm slowly working healthier options into our diets, so I started with water prep. I hate drinking water and needed it to taste better so I pre-sliced lemons, limes, and cucumbers so I can throw them in my water bottle on the way out the door! I just use the same fruit all day and each of my bottles still has the great taste! I throw mint in sometimes, too!

Then I prepped breakfast: bananas (obviously, no prep here) and peanut butter English muffins. In the past, I've also pre-made breakfast sandwiches and thrown them in the freezer!

Following breakfast, I prepped snacks: baby carrots, celery, hummus and low fat Triscuits. All I did here was pre-bag snacks so they are easy to grab on the way out the door.

two // Start with the meal that you're the most rushed to make. For me, it's breakfast. I'm notorious for leaving my house the very second I need to leave to be on time for work. When you combine that with the little pup who needs 3 potty breaks a morning and hates going in her crate, I'm running around like a crazy woman in the morning.

So, I need breakfast ready to go the moment I am. By precutting fruit for water, having my peanut butter English muffins bagged up and granola bars or bananas in a basket in the pantry, I can sprint out the door and still have a good, solid breakfast!

three // Freeze smoothies. This comes back to the "meal you're most rushed to make". I've seen posts all over Pinterest about freezing smoothie ingredients and making them on the way out the door. As you read above, that is not feasible for me. I did some more Pinterest digging and found that you can freeze the actual ingredients with the right containers. I used these.

Sunday night, I gathered up my favorite smoothie ingredients and whipped up a few smoothies and threw those babies in the freezer right next to my mint chocolate chip ice cream. Before bed every night, just throw the smoothies in the fridge and they'll be the right consistency by breakfast! If you prefer them for a snack/lunch, pull them out of the freezer in the morning and let them stay room temperature.

four // You don't have to make the same meal all week. I made four servings of rice/black beans/shredded chicken (recipe coming soon - it was delish) - two for Christian and two for me. But, I know myself and if I eat it too many times, I'm going to go to Zaxby's for lunch instead.

So I will be mixing up the same meal. Yesterday, I ate it plain. Today, I'll be adding salsa and avocado. Friday, I'll make more of a buffalo chicken spread for some crackers or a wrap.

five // Don't slice your thumb open. Seriously. I haven't been able to use my thumb for two days. #rookiemove But, really, I got into the groove and just sliced it right on open. I don't suggest it.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

I'm sorry for my million snapchats... it was all just part of my plot to help you kick start your meal prepping! I'd love to help you plan some meals/learn how to use the same ingredients for different meals. I also keep a container in my fridge full of individual sized chopped veggies, light string cheese, etc, for those moments I really have to run out the door or I'm just in a munchie mood. You're doing great so far, minus the thumb! :)