Sunday is the time to prepare for a busy week. One of the biggest favors you can do yourself is to plan what food you & your family are going to eat ahead of time so you don’t have to use those scarce and valuable brain calories during the week.
But what does that look like? Well, it surely doesn’t have to be complicated. Grab a pen, a piece of paper or use our free printable and let’s go!
First, let’s plan your week of dinners. Go ahead and look at your schedule. Note the days you might not be home, the days you’ll have more or less time to prepare food and so forth. Plug in those easy meals or meals that you’re eating elsewhere first. Next, figure out all your dinners. Plan to cook extra in order to meal prep lunches.
Next up, figure out your lunches. Lunches can often come straight from dinner or meal prep that happens alongside Sunday dinner.
Finally, you’ll figure out your breakfast and snacks.
TWO KEY TIPS WHEN PLANNING YOUR MEALS:
- If you’re trying to lose weight, plan your carbs and heavier meals earlier in the day. If at all possible, let’s only put protein & veggies down the gullet for dinner.
- Be realistic when planning. Don’t overdo it. Don’t try to be a hero. Stick to what you & your family are used to and what’s easy and stretch yourself just a little. That might mean taming a few recipes to be a little more healthy or it might mean trying one new recipe a week.
When you’ve got all your meals and snacks planned, figure out what ingredients you need to shop for to make that happen. You can do this as you go or you can do it once you’ve brain dumped all the ideas.
TWO KEY TIPS WHEN SHOPPING:
- As you get better at this, you should be able to have a staple shopping list that you always purchase (weekly or monthly) that makes the quick trips easier and more efficient.
- Try pick up or delivery as an option when shopping. It saves you time and usually money by avoiding extra spending. You’re also forced to plan if you do pick up!
Okay, now that you’ve got a plan and you’ve got your shopping list, you’ll figure out what you can prep ahead of time to make your food life easier during the week.
This part can seem overwhelming so let’s chunk it down. You can choose to meal prep just one or two types of things for the week. You might also choose to only meal prep lunch and cook dinner. You’ll find your family’s sweet spot to meal prepping. Just know it does not have to mean you meal prep 100% of your meals and spend eight hours in the kitchen on Sunday!
TWO KEY TIPS WHEN MEAL PREPPING:
- Consider stacking your meal prep time with your grocery time. You’re already spending time putting stuff away, so it saves time now to prepare it in such a way that it’s ready for the week. That may mean rinsing and chopping fruits and veggies, it might mean boiling or grilling proteins and it might mean cooking rice or quinoa.
- Consider buffet style meal prep if prepping meals stresses you out. Yes, your fridge can offer you a buffet of healthy ingredients, ready to mixed and mingled into healthy meals. Ideas for buffet style:
- Salad bar.
- Chop: lettuce, spinach, kale, cilantro, tomatoes, onions, cucumbers, carrots, radishes, cabbage, peppers
- Cook: hard boiled eggs, protein
- Purchase: olives, artichokes, avocados, dressing, nuts, seeds
- Turkey meatballs or ground turkey
- Sweet potatoes
- Brown Rice
- Rolled / Steel cut oats
- Salad bar.
Remember, planning in this way is a form of self-care. Yes, you’re taking care of yourself by deciding ahead of time and relieving yourself of needing to do so during the busy week. The special human ability to plan is a gift, so let’s use it.
GET YOUR PLANNING WORKSHEET!
Hey, if you need help with this, you’re in luck. We have an EASY PEASY lunch meal planning worksheet just for you. It’s not fancy, it’s not complicated. It’s REALLY simple and easy and fast and amazing. Download it now!
PS: If any of this resonated with you, we’d love to work with you 1-on-1. We teach our clients how to build a body they love and change habits slowly to match their goals. In a world with fake quick fixes, we help them adapt a lifestyle that they’ll want to keep. If that resonates with you, please get in touch with the form below!
Ideal Balance is The Life Coaching Facility in Navarre, Florida that focuses on Fitness, Family & Finance. We help our clients create the discipline & habits they need to strip off what’s holding them back from living the life God created them to live. We work with clients in 1-on-1 sessions in person and virtually as well as in Small Groups in Personal Training sessions, workshops and other events. We’re on a mission to inject hope and empower our community one client at a time. Contact us if you’d like to find out more.