Do you have complete nutrition? The answer is probably no. Most people don’t get their daily allowance of minerals, vitamins, and amino acids.
The truth is that it’s okay to have a bad day, a day that doesn’t fulfill all of your daily needs. Most times our other meals during that week will have the nutrients that we are missing. Now..if you continue to miss certain nutrients there can be problems. Eating well helps you to have:
- Stronger Immune System
- More Energy
- Longer Life
Now a days most people want to just take a pill/supplement. I’m not one of those real food zealots. I do see the advantages of vitamins, supplements and/or meal replacements shakes and bars. On those occasions when you can’t eat a traditional meal.
One of the best ways I know how to make sure you are getting all that you need is to do a little menu planning. Menu planning is exactly what it sounds like. You create a plan for what you’re going to eat during the week, including your meals and snacks. Now no eye rolling. I know that some of you have tried to do this in the past and may have thought it took too much time. Hated what you cooked and then tossed it. Or maybe you never have and or never took the time to learn how. If you are willing in just 5 days I could show you that healthy meal planning can save them time and money, provide you with the nutrients that you need to lose weight.
Jack Lalane said it best nutrition is queen. The better the food you take in the better your physique results. So meal planning becomes an important piece of the puzzle. If you don’t have a plan for what you’re going to eat, you may end up grabbing whatever is fastest and most readily available.
This often means you’re consuming processed food or junk food. It’s a missed opportunity to get at least some nutrients into your system.
Meal planning is simply deciding in advance what you’re going to have to eat. In most cases people plan several days’ worth of meals and snacks. It makes shopping, cooking and preparing food, and eating, a much simpler and healthier process.
Here are eight steps to make meal planning fun and easy.
#1 Decide how often you can shop.
I shop every Saturday. I keep a running list through the week so that I’m running blindly going through the store. My goal is to get in and out of the store in less than 30 minutes. .
#2 Plan for snacks too.
Here is where most people slide in their healthy lifestyle. Making sure you have some healthy nibbles around will keep you from making unhealthy choices.
#3 Make it tasty.
Everyone thinks eating healthy has to be boring and bland. Not at all, add different herbs and spices make it and interesting as possible.
#4 Identify recipe sources.
I sit down every Saturday and go through Pinterest to find great new recipes. I also have a ton of great cookbooks that I go through too.
#5 Create a system.
Create systems to organize and plan. Sit down at your table and make a full meal plan before you shop. Add ingredients from each recipe to your shopping list so you go to the store knowing exactly what you need to buy.
#6 Have contingency plans.
It always makes sense to have some backup food. You might not have leftovers that you expected from last night’s dinner and now you have nothing for lunch. If you have some backups then you’re ready to go.
#7 Make ahead.
We all can get “crazy busy” from time to time. The best way to handle this is to have make-ahead recipes. You can make on the weekend, freeze, and thaw and heat for dinner. When I travel and don’t want my husband living off pizza and Chinese food I make a bunch of easy to heat and eat meals. I’m also a sucker for the crockpot toss everything together in the morning and come home to delicious dinner.
#8 Try something new.
It’s easy to get into a meal planning rut. Meatless Monday, taco Tuesday, noodles on Wednesday and so on. While that does provide a framework to make planning easier, it can also start to feel limiting. Try to include one new recipe each week. You want to feel excited about your food.
Meal planning can take some getting used to. It requires you to create a few new lifestyle habits. However, once you’ve gotten into the swing of things, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without it. For me meal planning is the only way to make sure that each meal is nutritious and delicious. Plus I don’t have to do any thinking during the week. I can just go in the fridge and have something simple and easy to eat.