THE BENEFITS OF MEAL PLANNING

Planning my meals for the week is a balance between being a control freak and being obsessed with food. The best part is that there are so many benefits for planning your meals, including:

  • Time
    • By committing one hour a week to preparing your meals, you allow for so much more time to yourself or your family during the busy week.
    • This always results in less stress.
  • Cost effective
    • As you are buying similar ingredients and at times in bulk.
  • Health success
    • Remaining in control of your meals and having food prepared will save you from reaching for the alternative quick option.
  • Environmental benefits (no food waste)
    • You are buying food/ingredients to be consumed and not sit at the back of the fridge and go to waste.

A quick guide to meal planning:

  • Pick your battles: you don’t have to prep every meal. If you have time to whip up a smoothie in the morning then focus on the other meals that will save you time. If you like to have options for dinner then create a list of options and prepare parts of those meals to save time.
  • Check your equipment: If you move around a lot like me then your equipment may be the deciding factor as to what you can produce that week. I have learnt miraculous things about sandwich presses. Also consider your containers to store your meals.
  • Check for foundation ingredients: Check the pantry/fridge for those staple ingredients (salt, pepper, oil) that you may need.
  • Begin list: think of meals that have similar ingredients. Use Pinterest, magazines, this website 🙂
  • Transfer ingredients to your shopping list and write out your meals for the week. This can be placed somewhere on display like the fridge.

Items that are always on my shopping list:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
  • Proteins – chicken, fish (love salmon and barramundi),
  • Nuts and seeds – mainly sunflower, pumpkin, flax, chia, sesame
  • Almond milk
  • 80% dark chocolate
  • Natural PB
  • Eggs
  • Canned tuna
  • Coffee and green tea
  • Frozen berries

Go-to Smothies

  • Berry: ½ frozen banana, ½ cup frozen berries, handful spinach, 1 large Tbsp PB, chia seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almond milk and protein (Pranaon salted caramel – delicious)
  • Green: ½ frozen banana, ½ avocado, handful spinach, 1 large Tbsp PB, chia seeds, almond milk, protein (Pranaon), greens powder (optional)

Protein Oats

  • ¼ cup GF oats, almond milk, protein (Pranaon salted caramel). Topped with berries, natural PB, seeds

Work-week Lunch

  • Large amount of baby spinach, ½ avocado, 3-4 cherry tomatoes, handful cooked sweet potato, goats cheese, canned tuna, seeds (sesame, flax, hemp). Dressing: 1 Tbsp olive oil, lemon, tahini

Dinner varies, some examples are:

  • Teriyaki salmon: Salmon fillet, cauliflower rice, asparagus. Teriyaki sauce: Soy sauce or coconut aminos, raw honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds & water to thin sauce.
  • Satay Buddha bowl: Chicken, cauliflower rice, mix of vegetables. Satay sauce: Natural PB, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, SF maple syrup, lime juice & water to thin sauce.Teriyaki salmon: Salmon fillet, cauliflower rice, asparagus. Teriyaki sauce: Soy sauce or coconut aminos, raw honey, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds & water to thin sauce.

Snacks

  • Air-popped pop corn
  • Homemade banana muffins
  • Celery & natural PB
  • Mixed nuts

See the Meal Plan section for some examples.

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