Mastering Meal Planning

Do you want to know the secret to healthy eating…?

It’s not being an brilliant or creative cook.

It’s not having lots of time.

It’s not having lots of money.

It’s not having the strongest will power.

It’s not having kids and partners who will eat anything you put on their plate.

It’s PLANNING and PRIORITISING.  You know this – if you come home from work tired and hungry, or wait until everyone is staring into the fridge before you think about what you’re having for dinner, what do you think you are going to make?  You’re going to chose the easiest thing that comes to hand or some tried and tested meal that you know you can whip up quickly.  Whilst quick and easy is of course great, if the stuff you have in your fridge isn’t that healthy and you’re in need of a diet facelift, it’s going to seem like an impossible task.  What you need is a plan!

  1. Choose a day each week to take a bit of time to decide what meals you’re going to make the following week.  Think about where you’re going to be on which days and how much time you will have to prepare your meals.  Depending on how specific you want this to be you can detail which meals you will make on which days, or if it works better for you just choose however many meals and snacks you will need over the course of the week and have them ready to chose from.
  2. List and buy the ingredients required for the food you’re going to make.
  3. To stop yourself reaching for something you’re trying to eliminate either throw it out, or at the very least put it well out of reach.
  4. Do any preparation or batch cooking that you can to save you time in the week e.g. making up some breakfast granolas and some snacks on a Sunday to see you through the next week or two.
  5. Plan and prepare ahead.  For example, roll up some meatballs in the morning before you go to work ready to cook when you get in.  Or throw a casserole into a pot the night before so it can be simply be warmed the next day.
  6. When making meals that can be frozen, always make extra and portion them up so that you have some ‘ready-meals’ for days when you don’t have as much time.  If you’re a super anally organised type(!!), keep a list of what you have in the freezer, so you can easily see how your stocks are looking and add these meals into your plans for the following weeks.

Here’s the thing: if you’re going to make food anyway, all you’re doing is planning to make something different.  Just because it’s healthy food doesn’t mean it needs to be complicated or timely to make, it just needs to be well planned so that you are making the right choices without even thinking about it.

See below for a sample Meal Plan to get you on your way:

  Mon Tue Wed Thurs Fri Sat Sun
Breakfast Quinoa Granola Quinoa Granola 1 egg chia omelette Grain free granola Grain free granola Teff pancakes Chia porridge
Lunch Hallumi Salad Tomato and lentil Soup Quinoa Burgers Eat out Omelette Tomato and lentil soup Brunch
Dinner Meatballs with courgette noodles Quinoa Burgers Chicken shnitzel Mung dahl from freezer Eat out Courgette pizzas Slow cooked Thai Beef
Snacks Coconuty balls                    Banana bread
Preparation Quinoa granola                  Coconuty balls                  Banana bread                             Tomato and lentil soup    Grain free granola