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Last week we began the discussion of meal planning and how having such busy lives can make getting homemade, healthy meals on the table can be a real challenge. Let’s continue on from where we left off…
Once you have started noting down some meals you would like to make during the week, try to be as detailed as possible. If you think you will have leftovers from a chicken dinner in order to have lunch for 2-3 days, note that in the plan.
This will help you reduce how many lunches you need to prepare from scratch, which saves you a lot of time when it comes time to prepare your different meals for the week. After listing the meals, make another list with all the groceries you need to purchase, of course, leaving off the list the ingredients you already have on hand.
Leaving Room for Flexibility Throughout the Week
While planning every meal is a great way to save time during the week, there are going to be some situations where it doesn’t go quite as you planned. Make sure you leave some “mental room” for flexibility in your meals and meal planning.
For example, you might have a day where you want to go out to dinner because your spouse got a big promotion and you want to celebrate. Don’t hesitate to celebrate just because you planned to make veggie burgers that night. Just adjust your schedule and make Tuesday’s planned meal Wednesday instead. Meal planning is meant to simplify the process, so don’t be too restrictive.
Include Leftovers in Your Plan
Always try to think about leftovers, and do yourself a favor and don’t view them as leftovers. I like to make large quantities of certain meal items so I can “repurpose” them. If you know you want to make chicken, and you are going to buy a pack of chicken breasts, buy more than you need and either cook them or freeze them. This lets you have enough chicken for that meal, but also for chicken soup, salads, sandwiches, or other dinner ideas. You’re going to save money and time by having the extra chicken on hand.
How is Meal Prepping Different?
Meal planning and meal prepping are often confused, but these are actually two entirely different things. With meal planning, you are simply deciding what the future meals will be. When you meal prep, you actually buy those ingredients, then start getting certain parts of the meal prepared, so that very little needs to be done each day when cooking time arrives.
Types of Meal Prepping
There are two basic elements to meal prepping: chopping vegetables and putting ingredients for meals into containers and actually cooking some parts of the meal and freezing them. You can do one or both of these options depending upon how much time you think you will have.
Some people simply do the prep work, such as getting all their veggies chopped up, rice measured, and other ingredients added to a glass covered container to be used during the week. Others actually cook the casseroles and chicken, and then freeze them so that dinner just involves popping them in the oven.
Next week we’ll continue the discussion of meal prepping, and I’ll share ideas for making your life easier when it comes to magically producing a meal on the table.
This article was originally published on: https://thinstronghealthy.com/how-to-be-detailed-in-your-meal-plans/
How may I serve you in your quest for optimal mental and physical health?
Cheryl A Major
Cheryl A Major lives in Westford and is a Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant. Her TV show, Thin Strong Healthy, airs on WestfordCat and is an offshoot of her blog http://ThinStrongHealthy.com Cheryl offers ongoing information, live and online courses and personal health coaching to help you feel better and be healthier. Follow Cheryl on Twitter @CherylAMajor. She is also a full time residential Realtor with Coldwell Banker with more than 25 years experience.
Cheryl’s book, Eat Your Blues Away is available now on Amazon and this January in Whole Foods Markets. She is busy writing her next book, The Major Method!