Successful Meal Planning
Spending an hour or two to plan and prepare your meals for the week is well worth it! You will save money, time, eat healthier food, and reduce food waste. Follow these easy steps to create endless combinations of healthy meals.
The base of each meal should be protein, vegetables, and fat, with some fruit and starchy carbohydrates. A general guideline is that women should eat a palm size of protein, a fistful or two of vegetables, a thumb size of fat, and a cupped palm of carbohydrates at each meal. Men should eat double those amounts. Snacks should be a similar combination but about half the size.
The first step is to prepare two to three types of lean protein. Eggs, chicken, and ground turkey are my staples because they are so versatile. You can keep the seasoning simple, just salt, pepper, and garlic so that you can use them in different dishes throughout the week.
Next you want to load up on vegetables and some fruit. Take the time to wash and cut them so they are ready to eat. Buying local, in season produce is a good way to add variety throughout the year. I like spinach because you can eat it raw in a salad, sautéed as a side dish, or steamed and added to eggs. Cauliflower is another great option because you can mash it, make it into rice, or even into pizza crust. Fruit and sweet potatoes are my preferred source of carbs. You can also eat oatmeal, rice, or other grains. Aim to eat a variety of colors of produce each day.
Then add healthy fats to stay full! Olive oil is a good base for salad dressing and coconut oil is good for cooking as it is better with higher heat. Avocados, nuts and nut butters are also a good source of fat.
Herbs and spices are the best way to add flavor and variety without added calories. Salsa and mustard work well too. Read the labels on condiments and sauces as those calories can add up.
Keep it simple to build the habit, and then you can start getting more creative with your recipes. Pinterest is my go to source for inspiration. Take good care of your body with healthy food and it will take care of you.
As published in Bethany Living, April 2018
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