It may take a little bit of time at first—but it doesn’t have to be painful! Planning ahead can take the stress out of dinnertime and results in much less waste! It can save you time at the grocery store and ensure that you reach your protein target each day. Planning your meals can provide variety in your foods and prevent boredom. Here are a few tips to get you started:
¨ Start by simply making out a list of the proteins that you like.
¨ Next, make a list of all of the vegetables that you enjoy. Cross potatoes and corn off of that list. Think color!
¨ Salad options can be endless – what could you toss into a salad? Write that down!
Use your new lists to plan out the next week. Start with dinner and work toward breakfast if it seems easier. Pick a protein and two sides, keeping in mind how much time you have on a typical day. The meals you prepare on the weekends might be more time consuming and you may be able to prepare a few extra items in advance to use later in the week.
Lunch may be as easy as warming up the leftovers from the night before! If you prefer salads or something else, keep your protein to carb ratio in mind.
Breakfast could be simple, like a protein shake or a quick omelet. Having the ingredients ready is the key to starting your day off right.
Post your menu on the refrigerator or inside the pantry door so that you know if you need to take anything out of the freezer that day.
You may not need to put everything on your grocery list, so after taking a look into your pantry and fridge, figure out what you already have on hand and add the rest to your list and head to the store.
Once home, clear your prep area and clean & bag any of the veggies and fruits that you’ll be packing in your lunch this week. You will thank yourself in the morning!
There are many ways to plan menus and you will find what works for you – keep at it and it will pay off!