We are sifting through our lives in an incredibly fast-paced environment where our desires and passions run over the need to stay healthy. We often skip meals when buried with work stress or grab an unhealthy burger before work because it’s easier.
These unhealthy eating habits are causing an obesity epidemic and sabotaging our immune systems which is why home-cooked food is the need of the hour. If you’re too busy to cook, meal planning is the idyllic way to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
Organizing meals ahead of the week can reduce the stress of grabbing junk food and give you a shot of nutrient-derived energy to get through your day with vigor. Meal planning are easier to execute than you’d think, let’s learn how.
Why You Should Plan Your Meals
According to Harvard, “A busy schedule is one of the top reasons why people choose quick takeout meals, which are often calorie-laden and a contributor to expanding waistlines.”
Meal planning is your rescue for this to not only fill your body with healthily cooked food, but also help you save money on expensive junk food.
Moreover, it will save time and reduce the stress of last-minute preparations. Also, it will highly aid you in keeping yourself fit as you are in charge of deciding the ingredients as well as the portions.
Laying Out A Plan
You can start to organize weekly meals with the easiest meal of the day— breakfast which will also ease your transition into the whole process. You can make a list of all your favorite breakfast dishes that you’d like to have during the week.
This can be done by assigning one dish to each day like, you can start the week with a banana shake and a green veggie salad which anyways requires minimal effort.
This way, you can plan meals for the rest of the days and when you’re all settled in, you can start planning for lunch and dinner meals too. You’ll never repeat meals and enjoy something new every day. To stick to this list, you can paste a copy of it on your refrigerator or make notes on your phone.
Making Grocery Lists
Now that your preferred weekly meals are assigned to each day, you can move on to executing it. Make it a weekend ritual to go grocery shopping for the ingredients that you’ll need in the upcoming week.
If you’re a first-timer, it’s better to buy distinct glass containers and thermoses for your meals to enable ease of portability in the following days.
Suppose, if you have planned to have a banana shake and veggie salad for Monday, hoard up on some green veggies and healthy fruits which can be helpful in subsequent days too. This will organize your grocery visits as well as save money since you will be less prone to impulse buys.
Now that you’ve got all your ingredients, get going with the meal prep. Remember, you don’t have to prepare whole meals and freeze them.
You can chop off veggies and fruits in advance, cook a batch of rice before the actual week, or deep fry chicken in advance. This will help you in cooking faster as all you’ll have to do is assemble it all together and add seasoning.
You can keep semi-cooked meals in the fridge and heat them up throughout the week. For instance, you can boil your potatoes and freeze until you need to prepare a meal.
Similarly, you can boil your pasta in advance as well as prepare the arrabbiata sauce and you’ll only have to toss them in the pan and you’ll have yourself a home-cooked meal.
Having a good meal plan is going to help you save time and eat wholesome meals without compromising on the quality. Get started with the meal plan today itself so you can reap the benefits to its optimum.