Meal Planning—Start Your Week Prepared
If meal planning is one of those things you say you are going to do but somehow never get started, I’m here to share some tricks to successful meal planning. It is, of course, all in the preparation. Follow these steps to get started:
- Decide on a day you can set aside a minimum of 2 hours to prep/cook/store/cleanup your planned meals. Many people find Sunday a good day to prepare for the coming week but any day/night will work as long as you put that time on your calendar and schedule yourself to this commitment.
- Prior to the day of your meal prep check your refrigerator space. Cleanout any expired or old food items. Consider the size and shape of your storage containers and plan to have enough space to store refrigerated items easily. (Tip: this may be a good time to consider investing in glass storage containers and retiring those plastic ones!)
- Plan and Shop for what you will need to cook/prep. Below, I’ve given you some recipes/ideas to get you started. Whichever recipes you decide to use, make a list of the ingredients you need and shop with that list. You’ll save time and money.
- Ready, set, GO! You’ve arrived on the set day and time. You have the ingredients, time and your apron. Enjoy your meal prep time in your kitchen. Get the family involved in the process, if you prefer or just turn on some favorite music to keep you motivated. You are going to have a happy tummy and a calmer week ahead.
Here are some great ideas for your meal planning:
Breakfast – Overnight Oats
-Fill 5 pint jars each with ½ rolled oats
-1 tablespoon chia seeds or powdered flax seeds
-1 tablespoon protein powder
-Enough almond milk to cover your mixture
Seal glass jars with tops.
*Optional – 2 tablespoons of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, and coconut flakes.
Lunch – Turkey Taco Bowl
-Sauté 2 lbs of organic ground turkey with ½ chopped onion
– Season meat with 1 packet of low sodium taco seasoning (or make your own*)
-1 can of black beans, rinsed
-Salsa of your choice
-Chopped cilantro (optional)
Add in to each container ¼ cup black beans, ½ cup prepared ground turkey, salsa, and chopped cilantro for each of your five containers. Great to serve over lettuce bed.
Dinner – Marinated Chicken Breasts
-Mix together 1 tablespoon Dijon, ¼ cup balsamic, ¼ cup olive oil, chopped fresh rosemary, garlic and a hint of sea salt into a bowl.
-Place 5 chicken breasts in a glass container and coat with the marinade.
-Marinate chicken for 1 hour.
-Bake for 1 hour at 375 degrees.
Prepare sides, such as sweet potatoes, roasted carrots, or mashed potatoes to include with your meal.
Snacks – Smoothie
-½ cup blueberries
-1 cup chopped kale/spinach
-1 teaspoon each of flaxseed, hemp seed, and chia seeds.
Put each smoothie combo in a separate freezer bag or container and freeze until you are ready to enjoy.
Simply add water, coconut water, or your favorite milk – blend and enjoy!
*Make your own taco seasoning:
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
2 teaspoons Garlic Powder
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
1 teaspoon Paprika (smoked paprika preferred)
2 teaspoons dried Onions
Directions: Blend all together well. Store in an airtight container. Use 1-2 T per pound meat.
You are sure to think of great ideas as you plan and commit to your meal planning design. It may take longer than 2 hours to make that favorite vegetable soup but you can use some for the week ahead and freeze half to use later in the month. Be sure to browse the recipe section at Kingdom Health for additional ideas like our salads in a jar! https://kingdomhealthcoach.com/greek-salad-recipe-in-a-jar
Please share with us some of your best tricks for starting your week prepared in the comments below. We love hearing from you!
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