Do you struggle to eat healthily?
When asked this, most people immediately say something like “no, I manage to eat some fruit and vegetables every day”, or “sure, but I can only manage to eat healthy on certain days of the week, I’m so busy”.
Is this good enough for you? Ask yourself, are you happy with your current diet?
What many people don’t understand is that a healthy diet is very achievable. People who manage to eat well all the time don’t have a special secret and they don’t spend hours each day cooking elaborate meals.
The key to success is planning.
Meal planning allows you to choose what diet you want to have, optimize your food spend and save time cooking every day.
By spending a few minutes organizing your schedule before the week starts, you’ll save much more time when it comes to cooking.
So, how can I make a meal plan in under 10 minutes?
Here are 4 tips on how to you can meal plan effectively this week.
1. Know what ingredients you already have available.
You need to stocktake. Keep track of the tins, jars, pastes, spices and the rest of it. Especially keep track of your fresh ingredients and food items that go out of date quickly.
Keep a record of this however you want: write a list on your phone, have a dedicated notebook, keep some notes in the cupboards, write them on an excel or google sheet. However you want to do it, keeping track of your food stock is key.
Now, you’ll have an idea of which ingredients need to be used this week. Maybe you have some yoghurt that’s out of date on Wednesday, or some lettuce that you need to eat by the weekend. By keeping track and looking at the use-by dates, you’ll know what needs eating in order.
By doing this, and the following steps, you’ll help avoid wasting food.
Around 30% of food is wasted by households each year. We need to do our best and not contribute to this shocking statistic.
2. Make a list of your favorite recipes.
It’s important to know what your options are. On the list, I would also include any recipes that you haven’t tried yet, that you want to try making.
You could make the list on a word/google document, or in a notebook, but it helps to be able to see all the ingredients needed for each recipe. I would recommend making a bookmark folder of your recipes or having links to them in a document.
3. Consider nutrition.
When you come to plan your meals for the week, it’s important to make sure that you’re maintaining a balanced diet each day and any nutritional needs specific to you.
This is the last piece of information you need to know before you can go ahead and start planning your meals for the week.
4. Create your meal plan.
Now, with these three pieces of information, you can create meals your meal plan in under 10 minutes. Think about which ingredients are going out of date this week and what daily nutrition you need.
You can then use your list of recipes to plan your meals based on these two criteria. By knowing some of the ingredients you need to eat soon, such as:
– Lettuce, tomatoes, avocadoes, peppers, other fruits
– Yoghurt, cream, milk, other dairy products
– Carrots, broccoli, peppers, cabbage, other vegetables
You can find your favorite recipes that include these ingredients. Spread them out over the week or in the day to make sure you’re receiving the right nutrition.
I like to spend 10 minutes on a Sunday writing down my week’s meals on a meal planner. I do a quick stock take first, and I write down if there are any extra ingredients I need to pick up during the week.
Our gorgeous meal planners will help you feel motivated to achieve meal planning success.
5. Consistency is key.
Use a meal planner template. Write down your meals, snacks and even drinks.
The key to maintaining a healthy diet over the long term is consistency. I make sure that I actually cook the meals I plan out.
If you know that you won’t have as much time in the evening on a certain day, make sure that the meal you plan for is a quick and easy one to prepare. Use your planning time to think of these things and you won’t be caught out on the day.
So, be consistent with your meal planning, set aside time one day every week to stock take, update your recipe list, and write on your meal planner.
We created two beautiful meal plan printables for you to enjoy. Just click here and you’ll go to a secure site to pick them up!
Thanks for reading! I hope you found this valuable.