Recently I launched my free online program where people were encouraged to complete a welcome form telling me more about how I can help them. One of the biggest questions asked was “how to meal-plan?”.
Taking control of your eating and enjoying more home cooked meals can have a huge number of benefits for you.
You are more likely to hit your nutrient requirements
It’s alot cheaper than eating takeaways or bought lunches
You save time thinking about what to eat and heading back and forth to the supermarket each day
You are more likely to consume an appropriate portion size than if you buy food prepared by someone else
Recent research has confirmed this with a study published in the Journal Public Health Nutrition finding that those who enjoy more meals each week that are prepared at home have a better diet overall. However- if this sounds good to you in theory but the thought of tupperware containers filled with the same lunch for five days comes to mind- it can feel overwhelming and unexciting.
So here are some easy tips to get you back in control of your meals and food preparation for the rest of 2021.
Always have staples on hand
Every time you are writing your shopping list or doing your groceries, make sure that you stock up on the essentials that you need for quick and easy meals. The more staples that you have available to use, the more enabled you are to prepare healthy meals at home. Options such as tinned legumes, tinned tomatoes, soup cans or pouches are great. Frozen foods like vegetables, chicken thighs, seafood, and slow cooker- meats make for easy meal options when I don’t have a huge amount of time.
Think about all of your meals here too- frozen bananas in the freezer for smoothies or easiyo pouches to make yoghurt overnight mean that you are less likely to run out of healthy breakfast ideas too.
2. Cook less
This comes down to working smarter not harder! Less time in the kitchen is a win for most of us- especially when we just don’t have the time or energy to spend in there.
When cooking meals that you know are easy to bulk up (casseroles, soups, lasagnes, cottage pie, vegetable bakes) cook these things in bulk so that you can put aside 2-3 servings for the freezer. Frozen meals like this are a lifesaver for when you have absolutely no time to cook a decent evening meal or need something hearty for lunch and are out of ingredients.
Baked foods like banana bread or muffins, muesli slice, or peanut butter cookies can make for healthy work/ school snacks and save you from buying extra muesli bars/ chips and other convenience foods.
Cooking multiple meals at once like this saves you time, money, and stress - you just need to get into the habit of doing it!
3. What can you get done the night before?
Most of us are quite habitual in our evening routines with cooking, showering, and relaxing. Therefore it’s a great time to habit stack something extra in there that will save you time the following morning when you are rushed off your feet!
Before you retire to the couch for the night- spend 5-10 minutes planning and packing food for the following day. This could be putting leftovers into containers, wrapping snacks to take to work with you, or prepping your overnight oats or smoothie for the morning.
Not a hard step but totally one that can save you alot of time and energy the following day.
If you give these things a go- make sure to let me know! Flick me a message on Facebook or Instagram and tell me if these steps helped you with meal planning and prep. My women’s wellness and weight loss program contains loads of practical tips just like this one to make life easier for you. If you haven’t already- sign up to the waitlist so that you are the first to know when this program becomes available again! I only accept a limited number of people within a limited time frame.