I try my best to make the best choices for my well-being, so when it comes to food, I try to make my home-cooked meals as healthy (and tasty!) as possible.
But meal planning and making healthy meals on weeknights can be challenging, right? We all have a lot going on – balancing work, kids, family, friends, and other responsibilities can leave us with little or no time to cook labor-intensive meals. I get it!
Here’s the good news, with a little planning and a few hours of preparation each week, you CAN get healthy meals on the table in a flash, and it’s not complicated.
I’ve been doing this for a while now, and it has really changed the way I eat at home.
The approach you take for meal planning makes all the difference in setting yourself up for success. Of course tips and strategies for getting started, choosing a week of recipes, shopping for your meal plan, and bringing it all together are crucial. But it’s just as important to identify all the points where it can go wrong, and then having a smart solution to avoid each and every pitfall.
Prepare in advance.
One of the best things you can do is prepare snacks and meals for your day before you leave in the morning. But what if there is rarely time to put a meal together in the morning? You can solve this problem by setting time aside over the weekend to prepare snacks and meals for the week. One approach I use is batch cooking.
Make a list of favorite meals.
Do you prefer chicken? Veggies? Fish? Whatever foods you typically eat, google some healthy recipes so that you will have a variety of go-to meals to chose from. One of my favorite sites: Yummly
Bookmark your favorite recipes.
Create a folder in your Internet browser to keep track of bookmarked recipes from your favorite websites and blogs so you can quickly find meal inspiration. Keep the recipes bookmarked so that finding one for your plan doesn’t become overwhelming. I have a ton of bookmarks, including seafood, chicken, crockpot recipes, salads, gluten free and vegetarian recipes. I also go “old-school” and have manilla folders using the same categories – that way if I see a recipe I like in a magazine, I take it and put it in my folder.
Plan for not having a plan
You know what they say…the best laid plans! Make sure to have something quick and easy that is always available as a staple. In our house it’s frozen chicken sausages, frozen vegetables and frozen brown rice. That way if I’m running late or forgot to plan ahead, I can still get a healthy meal on the table in 10 minutes or less