- Plan your meals - actually write them down - each day of the week what you are eating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And include snacks!
- Write a grocery list based on what you have planned to eat. If it's not on your plan, it shouldn't go in your grocery cart.
- Go shopping! (this is kind of a key step...tehehe)
- After returning home, put everything away that you do not need for prepping your food (this is under the assumption you will cook your food that same day. I personally shop Saturday evenings and then cook on Sundays.) Most of what you will eat throughout the week can be cooked in advance - take this to your advantage!
|My veggie prep for dinner salad for the week.|
Let me get a little more specific when I say prepare your food. If you're having an apple every day, there really isn't much you can do to make that easier. I, personally, cut mine up the night before I'm going to eat it. Other than that, that's a pretty simple choice on it's own. Grapes, on the other hand, while easy to grab are not as easy as an apple. I would recommend that you separate your grapes by portion size and store them in zip-lock baggies or storage container for the number of days you'll be eating them. Say you have them on your meal plan as a snack for three days. You would end up with 3 containers with about a cup of grapes in them. Stick 'em in the fridge and they are ready to go.
Brown or wild rice is another good example. Say you are eating this a couple times a week. Cook it all on your designated cooking day. All of it! I wouldn't necessarily split this up in to portions, but it would make your life a touch easier. On items like this I simply store it in a large enough container and grab the portions I need as I eat it. Chicken, this is another thing that can be cooked ahead of time, portioned, and is a great source of lean protein! I tend to cook mine in a crock pot with a touch of water and some seasonings. I let it cook just long enough that when I pull it out it pretty much falls apart. This allows me to shred the chicken, which I prefer. (You could also cube it or bake it for single servings of skinless, boneless chicken breasts.)
So now that you have a couple examples of how to prepare different foods, I want to suggest some tips on your meal plan. Notice I specifically mentioned grapes, apples, rice and chicken. These are good, basic staples to have around. When you are first starting with meal planning and prep, it's a bit eager to sick with a consistent menu. Once you get the hang of it, adding new meals and alternatives will come much easier.
That said, here is a very basic meal plan that can repeated every day of the week, an get you of and running.
- Breakfast: Steal cut oats, apple, pecans
- AM Snack: 2 hard boiled eggs
- Lunch: Quinoa, shredded chicken, and roasted broccoli
- PM Snack: Cottage cheese & sliced peppers
- Dinner: Shakeology with a handful of greens