How to Meal Plan like a Pro!

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Ok, so that title is just a smidgen false. I’m not a pro. When it comes to planning and prepping food – I’ve failed forward. Just this weekend I tried to make a carrot and zucchini fritter recipe. #bigfatflop But now, rather than getting super frustrated and down on myself, I stick with the mantra live and learn. In this instance – don’t use coconut flour in fritters! ūüôā

Why?

All jokes aside planning and prepping my food has totally changed so much about my life.

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  1. my time
    • Before I started this system, I¬†thought that planning and prepping would take some exorbitant amount of time… but it really doesn’t.
    • You see, it IS more work on the front end, meaning that there is one larger chunk of time that I spend getting my food in order, BUT it means that there is SO much more time in my¬†week – time that would be spend making brekkie, lunch and din-dins!
    • Added bonus : You only do the big dishes once. I hate dishes. This is a huge win for me!
  2. my accountability
    • I used to grocery shop on a whim. I’d pick out maybe a recipe or two for specific ingredient shopping, and the rest of my cart was full with whatever looked good at the time [cadbury eggs and kettle chips, anyone?]
    • You see, with a specific list I ONLY get what’s on the list. And, therefore, ONLY eat what’s on the list. It’s better for my results, but also just better for ME – my HEALTH.
  3. my stress
    • I¬†had many days of waking up to stress when I realized I didn’t have something ready to go for lunch. I’d end up at CVS on the way to school getting Luna bars, Vitamin [sugar] Water, and rice krispies to go with a side of popcorn. No lie. I legit ate that ALL the time. And it TOTALLY stressed me out.
    • You see, with my current system, I totally eliminate this stressor from my life. I choose to plan/prep on the weekends for the entire week. I can actually look forward to the cooking portion of things because I have time allotted. I thrive on planning ahead, and as a busy gal, I’m quite grateful for that!

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PART I : How do I meal plan?

STEP ONE. Think about your meals for the day

  • Here are the meals that I eat in a day :¬†brekkie, superfoods shake, lunch, snack, & dinner.
  • As a single gal, I usually eat the same thing for a few days at a time, so I’ll choose two recipes for breakfasts, two for lunches, and two for dinner. Or, I’ll make dinner, and use the leftovers for lunch the following day.
  • If you’re part of a family, this part might look different. Perhaps you keep lunch the same ALL week for the kids, and¬†you take leftovers from dinner for lunch.
  • The key here though, is to plan your menu, no matter which way you’re thinking about it.
  • If you’re on a tight budget, then check out my video below on planning on a budget.
  • Here’s my example menu :
    • Breakfast : 2 eggs with avocado, black beans, plantains OR chia seed pudding with fruit
    • Shake : Vegan Chocolate with frozen banana and spinach
    • Lunch : beans + greens with quinoa OR cucumber-tomato salad with tuna, almonds
    • Dinner : grilled veggies and tuna¬†OR zeghetti with tomato sauce and hempseeds

STEP TWO. Think about your grocery list

  • Then, you plan your grocery list from that menu, broken down by section in the grocery store.
  • Here’s my example
    • Fruit¬†: plantains, fruit for chia seed pudding
    • Veg : greens, avocado, spinach, cucumber, tomato, zucchini, squash
    • Aisles¬†: beans, tomato sauce, almonds, hempseeds, tuna
    • Seafood : tuna steak
    • Dairy : almond milk, eggs
  • I generally know how much I will need [ex. 3 cucumbers]. But, if you’re using recipes, that’s a great guideline! Keep in mind that if you’re using one meal for dinner AND lunch the next day, you may need to make extra.

STEP THREE. Grocery shop

  • Stick to your LIST!
  • Shop with earbuds/headphones. The music in the store is set so that you dilly dally. Don’t be a dilly-dallier. Pump up the pop!
  • Time yourself. See how quickly you can do it!

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Third-Party Tools

There are things out there to help you plan! Here are my faves!

  • Pinterest – It’s awesome good¬†for getting recipe ideas! BUT I send you here with caution. A lot of the recipes you’ll find featured have like a bazillion ingredients. Those are more difficult to meal prep for, and generally take a lot more time! I suggest those if you’re doing something like a quinoa patty pictured above and can make a TON ahead of time and freeze. Otherwise, in MY opinion, they’re not worth the time effort. So, I’ll search things like “5 ingredient gluten free dinner” or “simple chia seed breakfast.”
  • Blogs – Find a blog that fits your meal prep style. Heck, maybe it’s this one! Subscribe, so that you get an update every time that blogger posts a recipe. Menu in your inbox. Boom.
  • The Beachbody Meal Plan Wizard – If you’re one of my Wellness Warriors, then check out the meal plan wizard. There are meal plans already available or you can use it to create your own. If you’re not one of my Wellness Warriors, then you can sign up here for free. I’d love to be your free coach! <3

Alright, lovelies! That’s all for now! Check out Part II : Meal Prepping coming soon!

Love,

Jasmine

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