Tips for success…
SUCCESS is the sum of small efforts. REPEATED day in & day out.
For me, meal planning is the key to eating healthy balanced meals at every meal. You may not even realize it, but at-home cooks waste a great deal of time thinking about what they are going to make for dinner when they have not planned their meals ahead of time.
When you take the time to outline a plan for the week, you save time and money and you also have the chance to get really creative in the kitchen! There will be no more… “I’m so hungry, I can’t figure out what to eat” days because it’s right there on your meal plan :)
There’s no better time to start than NOW
The hardest part of meal planning is knowing when and where to start and then taking the time to do it. Once you try planning out your meals a couple times, you will to realize how helpful it can be. Start out slowly and plan just one or two meals for the week in advance. Find a recipe you want to try for Friday night’s family dinner and compile the necessary ingredients. Soon you will get into the habit of regularly planning your meals!
Start building your own recipe collection
There are endless resources for recipes you can try that will be suitable for the entire family. Look through cooking magazines, browse the Internet or do an online search using your main ingredient.
You are already ahead of the game because you’re here on pHresh & Clean! :)
Keep an inventory list
It’s best if you find a recipe that you like, see what ingredients you already have in your kitchen, and then shop for the rest. However, it’s helpful to keep an inventory list of what you have in order to get organized and ensure that perishable items get used in a recipe.
Soups, salads and stir-frys are a great way to use up those leftover veggies at the end of the week!
Keep your calendar in mind
When you start planning your meals on a more regular basis, be sure to plan around your family’s calendar. You don’t have to plan for 7 meals a week if you know that you have a work dinner scheduled or if your kids will be out of the house for a sports game on a particular night. Think about what nights you might like to go out, order in, or eat leftovers.
I typically plan out my week and shop for 3 days at a time.
Plan theme nights
Theme nights are a great way to add more variety to your weekly meals. For example, maybe Tuesday is seafood night, Fridays are barbeque nights and Sundays are stir-fry night. Having a different themed cuisine for some nights of the week is fun, provides variety, and alleviates the stress of choosing what to eat.
Be flexible & creative
Just because you have a menu planned for the week does not mean that it is set in stone. I recommend that you are flexible enough to make changes as the week goes on. And above all: have FUN and be CREATIVE! Use cool recipes you have never tried or make recipes your own by adding unique touches.
My #1 rule for meal planning is..… You will eat what is available, therefore, always have something healthy available to you at all times!