The Secret To Meal Planning

Hey friends! Happy MONDAY :)

How was your weekend? You might’ve missed it, but on Friday night I got dressed in 80′s attire and danced it up Zumba style with my ladies at a gym. It was fun!

On Saturday I did a brick-type workout (bike then swim) + some weights, napped, cooked up an AMAZING recipe (can’t wait to reveal it!), went to a dinner and show with the husband, saw a movie, napped, & read.

And on Sunday I slept in, enjoyed church, ate with my in-law family, and relaxed.

Totally fabulous weekend!

****

You guys have to know something about me: I don’t really meal plan. 

Whew! That load is now off my shoulders (another quirk I guess, hah), and I can breathe again. ;) I hope you all know that although I eat well (90-92% of the time), not a whole ton of thought goes into actual “meals.”

Let me explain.

I always have certain staple items on hand, and I go to the grocery store about 3 times per month for produce (I usually buy more than we need-heh-, so it ends up lasting us more than a week) & 2-3 times per month for those staples, so having that all around just leaves a per-day decision for dinners/lunches.

Make sense?

{When you’ve got quinoa in bulk on hand + chickpea snacks, it calls for a breakfast smoothie!}

Plus, our schedules are so bonkers that sometimes we’re not home together to eat dinner (or we eat really late), or one of us is out for dinner, OR we just have leftovers.

{p.s. I am so grateful that I have a husband who could care less WHAT we have for dinner, as long as it’s food, it fills him up, and we try to eat it together. This makes it so much easier for me!}

So HOW do we decide what we’re going to have that night?

  • I usually list off options to him around lunchtime-via email, text, or if we meet up, then in-person
  • Then I choose 1.protein 2.vegetable(s) 3.complex carb 4.healthy fat 5.sauce/spices for that genre

See? It CAN be very simple!

{fancy panini’s are awesome!}

For example, one night we decided on turkey burgers (we were both getting home late, and it needed to be fast), so here is what I did.

  • I set out the turkey patties & buns in the a.m. to defrost.
  • At lunchtime I cleaned & poked sweet potatoes & then popped them into the oven for 1 hour while I worked (I work from home).
  • As I was heading out the door to teach, I left a note and told my husband to split open the sweet potatoes, spray them with olive oil, spice ‘em up, & pop them into the toaster oven 10 minutes before I would be home. (He knew what to do with the patties.)
  • After I showered, we set the table, pulled out the condiments & spinach, sliced up some cucumbers, and sat down to a delicious meal.

Easy right?! Of course there is SOME planning involved, but I do not sit down every Sunday/Monday and decide exactly what we’re having that week. I have ideas, yes, but with our schedules the way they are, we are flexible & it works!

Eating well & healthy eating can happen if you put a tiny bit of effort into it, but it does NOT need to be a full-on meal planning session. And it does NOT need to be complicated.

So that is my secret: I don’t actually plan ‘em out per say, I am just always prepared for healthy dinners.

I can’t wait for our dinner tonight, leftover homemade pizza (greatest pizza dough ever recipe here)! My favorite dinner to plan for. ;)

Well, I am off to teach BodyPUMP!

Have a GREAT Monday, my lovely readers!!

***DON’T FORGET! Join tonight’s Blue Diamond Almonds‘ Twitter chat at 8 p.m. CST! Follow along with hashtag #BlueDiamond. ‘See’ you there!***

What is YOUR secret to meal planning?? What do YOU do on busy weekdays but still want to eat healthy?? Any favorite quick meal YOU go to?? 

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Comments

  1. Ha! My husband grilled last night and every five seconds it was…”Where’s the lemon pepper?” “Where’s this?” “How do you do that?”

    :)

    • HAHA. Gotta love it :) (And yes, that is how my husband is too. I have to walk him through the steps. But I adore him, so it’s all good. Hehe)

  2. the only thing i meal plan for is lunch and that’s because i make a huge thing of beans and veggies on sundays and then take a little of each throughout the week. sometimes i plan on trying a new recipe or making specific for dinner like one night, but i just cannot say ok monday we are having this, tuesday this, etc. it def depends what i’m in the mood for eating and cooking!

  3. we don’t meal plan either :) It sounds like my family plans like you! :) when I am away at school and I need something quick, I will steam myself some shrimp! :)

    have a great Monday :)

    p.s. looking forward to your recipe! LOVE U GIRL

  4. My husband and I sit down on Friday nights and chose 3 to 4 meals that we would like to eat during the upcoming week. We usually base the meals off what we have in the fridge and pantry, then supplment if needed. On nights when we are suppe busy, we opt for huge salads topped with some type of protein.

  5. That’s how I like to meal plan: just have the basics and then put together what I want that evening!

  6. i actually like meal planning. i put together 5-6 dinners that we’ll have for the week, go grocery shopping for all the stuff we need, and then choose one of those dinner options each night depending on what we’re feeling. it just works best for us!

  7. since me and Kev have opposite schedules there are usually only around 2 nights a week where we need to worry about cooking (otherwise we just fend for ourselves when we’re on our own) so we usually brainstorm before heading to the supermarket and decide what we will cook…our weeknight meals tend to be really simple and healthy, for instance..we’re having salmon with corn and roasted sweet potatoes on weds night. Easy to throw together as soon as I get home from work!

  8. Danielle says:

    I love love love brick workouts, just wish I had the time to do them more often :-D
    Also I love your attitude about meal planning! I used to obsess about it, but now I find that if I just have some good stuff on hand, it’s really not that hard to throw something delicious and nutricious together. I did happen to cook a chicken last night, so I know I’ll have that ready anytime. Plus I have a freezer full of frozen veggies (cuz I like em and they’re easy, lol) so tonight will probably be some brussel sprouts with my cooked chicken, yumm!

  9. Looove the zumba outfit, girl!!

  10. I don’t meal plan during the school year when I live at my apartment, but when I’m living at home during the summer my family plans out meals for the week together. Otherwise deciding on meal turns into a daily fight AND daily trips to the grocery store. :P

  11. It’s funny because I was sort of hoping for some super secret meal planning trick when I saw your tweet but my method is pretty much the same as yours! :) I think it’s easier to just have the staples on hand and go from there. If I tried to write out everything I was going to eat for the whole week I think I would feel way too limited…sometimes the best, healthiest meals are spontaneous!

  12. Carriepurchase@ Lift Eat Repeat says:

    I always make a big pot of brown rice, cook up some groung turkey and BBQ chicken on Sundays so that we can use it thought the week in meals like scrambles and stir frys etc!

  13. Haylee says:

    I totally agree! I think you can still eat healthy
    without sticking to a plan. After all, how do you
    know what you’ll feel like eating three days from
    now?!

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