Meal Planning Made Easy
Kimberly Olson, CNC, CPT
Have you ever loaded up on healthy fruits and vegetables at the grocery store only to find they have gone bad in your fridge a week later? Or have gotten home from a long day at work only to realize you have nothing to make for dinner? This is a common pitfall in the meal planning department and can easily be avoided with my meal planning tips.
Step 1: Plan Ahead
Before you head to the grocery store, sit down at the kitchen table to create your meal plan and grocery list. Pull out your calendar (I like to keep my plan on the fridge) and determine what you'd like to make each day. You can leave one night open for dining out and/or another for leftovers. Start by picking three go-to meals you already have down pat. Go through the recipe and write down anything on your grocery list you will need. Then open your favorite cookbook (or check recipes at FitKim or On Fire Fitness Healthy Living) and pick two new ones you've never tried before. Add any ingredients to your list and you're done with this step.
Step 2: Prep
As soon as you get home from the grocery store, I recommend making it a habit to do any prep work in advance that's possible. Chopping up fruit and veggies then storing them in glass containers works great. Fill up your water bottle and put it in your lunch cooler. Try my Secret Salad Recipe to prep several days worth of lunches all at once! And lastly, is there any thawing or marinating that needs to happen for tomorrow night's dinner?
Step 3: Execute
Each evening after dinner, prep anything needed for the following day such as packing lunches or pulling out fish from the freezer. I try to get these tasks started while cooking dinner if possible. If you get up really early, you can even have oatmeal or smoothies ready for a quick breakfast. As the week goes by, take note of anything that didn't work as you planned and make any necessary adjustments for next week. That's it- you're done!
As you see meal planning really can be made easy. By planning ahead, you will save time, money and best of all, make positive health choices every day. Keep it up and before you know it, you'll be looking forward to what you will create next in the kitchen!
Nationally renowned nutrition and fitness expert Kimberly Olson, CNC, CPT, is the creator of FitKim, a nutrition and fitness blog that teaches people how easy it is to be healthy. She has completed her Master's Degree in Holistic Nutrition, became Certified Nutrition Consultant & ACE Certified Personal Trainer and travels nationally public speaking. She has been consulting clients for over twelve years, and has developed a passion for combining nutrition and fitness.