To aide in planning and preparing balanced and varied meals, I started completing a weekly meal planner earlier this year. It’s Nothing complicated, I simply pick out various recipes I’d like to make over the coming week, and then take time each Sunday to shop for ingredients and do some basic meal prep. The outcomes have been positive; I’ve been enjoying a home cooked meal on most weeknights and utilize leftovers for lunch the following day. I’ve saved money by ordering take-out meals less frequently.
As my work lunches became more interesting (sorry PB&J), colleagues took note of my meal variety. They, and friends have questioned how I have time and energy to come home after a work day and cook a meal from scratch. In effort to dispel the misconception that I morph into an executive chef each evening, I’m sharing various meal planning tips including my Weekly Meal Planner tool.
Heather’s 5-Step Meal Planning Process
Select Recipes & Meal Ideas– Each Sunday morning, I sort through cookbooks and my favorite cooking websites for meal ideas. I typically select 5-6 meal ideas.
Meal Scheduling– From my meal ideas, I begin entering entering them into a Meal Planner Calendar. At this time I consider what I have planned for the week work- and activity-wise. If I’m anticipating a longer work day, I’ll pick something simple for that day, like a sheet pan dinner, whereas, if I have a free night, I may decide to experiment with a new recipes or ingredient.
Grocery List– Utilizing my Meal Planner Calendar and recipes, I start a shopping list of what I’ll need to prepare everything for the week. I like to organize ingredients by food category or store section to help streamline grocery shopping.
Shop- Shopping list in hand, I head to the grocery store and pick up what I need. I prefer and highly recommend early Sunday morning to avoid crowds!
Prep– Once returning home with my ingredients, I take some time to prep what I can to make things easier during the week. For example, I wash all of my produce, slice veggies, and cook grains like quinoa and brown rice.
That’s it! This 5-step process (including shopping) takes me about 2-3 hours total, depending on how much prep I get done.
Do you meal prep? If so, leave a comment with your tips. I’d love to hear them!
Hello from beautiful Banff, Alberta, Canada! The town of Banff is located within Banff National Park and is nestled amongst the Rocky Mountains. My husband and I are vacationing here, taking in the amazing views, hiking trails and hot springs. We even saw a mamma bear and her two cubs on our tour today! Continue reading “Travel-Friendly Keto Snacks”→
March is National Nutrition Month, and this year the theme promoted is “Go Further with Food”. This week’s Wellness Wednesday tip focuses on how you can feel better and do more by considering the foods you fuel your body with.
Food Timing- When you eat can affect how you feel both physically and mentally. Some people cringe at the thought of food in the morning, while others feel shaky if they don’t start the day with something to eat. Some can go to bed and sleep soundly after a large dinner, while others will toss and turn all night if they eat too closely to bed time. Think about your own tendencies and how meal timing affects you. If you’re a breakfast person, plan and make a habit of eating a balanced breakfast each morning before you leave for the day. Don’t risk feeling sluggish or rely on the vending machine choices to power a sharp mind and strong body.
Consider Your Health Goals- Wanting to lower your blood sugars? Then selecting foods with protein and fiber will help regulate your blood sugars and help you ultimately feel better. Interested in gaining more muscle? Then make sure you include a source of protein and carbs before and after your workouts. Whatever your goals are, do some research or seek the guidance of a nutritionist to help you find the foods that will best help you achieve your goals.
Think Food Before Vitamins/Supplements- Nutrition supplements are intended to serve as back-up for food, not a replacement. The truth is that most people don’t even need these expensive products if they are conscientious about what they eat. As an example, if you’re looking for more protein in your diet, consider eggs or skinless chicken; both are a great source of protein and contain many more nutrients than you’ll find a tub of protein powder.
St Patrick’s Day is here! As is the case with most all holidays it can be a challenge to navigate through the traditional food offerings in search of keto-friendly goods. Beer, soda bread, and hash unfortunately don’t fit the bill for low-carb, high-fat diets.
While wanting to enjoy some St Patty’s Day grub while staying in ketosis, I came up with a couple Irish-inspired meal ideas; a green smoothie that doesn’t contain any kale or spinach, and a low-carb version of Bangers and Mash. Continue reading “Keto-Friendly St Patty’s Day”→
This week the American Heart Association (AHA) released Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease, an advisory article detailing the harmful effects of saturated fats in the development of cardiovascular disease. Almost immediately, people all over the world gave their jars of coconut, once touted as the cure-all for anything, a second look.