As the old slogan goes…. “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail ”. This is VERY true when it comes to the importance of meal planning. Particularly when you live a hectic lifestyle in New York City! Being Prepared is Key! More often than not, we find ourselves waiting for a train, or running between meetings and all of a sudden we are famished. This is when those blood sugars drop, hunger cravings kick in, and we make the wrong food choices!
Keep reading to find out more about meal planning and WHY you should incorporate it into your lifestyle!
First of all, What EXACTLY is Meal Planning?
Meal planning means being organised and prepared. Planning what you are going to eat a week in advance. No more staring into the fridge at 9pm after a busy day, wondering what you can possibly rustle up for dinner! Meal planning means dedicating a small portion of time in your week to plan your meals, in order to save HOURS of time during the week. Think about it, there are a total of 168 hours in the WHOLE week. How difficult is it to spare 1-2 of those hours to planning your food! And ultimately..... improving your long term health!
Obstacles to Meal Planning
So, if its that simple? Why do we all succumb to eating take out foods. Nowadays, it has become easier to pick up your smartphone and order food to the door than to make it fresh at home! People are too hungry after a busy day at work to start chopping up vegetables and waiting for food to cook. Whats even worse is that sometimes it seems that it costs the same to have a meal delivered than to buy all the ingredients fresh! This is NOT true however. There are EASY SOLUTIONS to these obstacles.... Keep Reading!
Your TOOLKIT to Meal Planning
Photo Cred @that_journal
1. Plan each meal and snack you are going to eat before the week starts. Write a list of what meals you will eat EACH day. Dedicate a small portion of time to make this plan.
2. Write a shopping list before you visit the grocery store to avoid going off track and picking up unnecessary ingredients. NEVER EVER go grocery shopping while hungry! Those cravings will kick in and you will be tempted to make poor choices.
3. Invest in some good quality tupper-ware that you can transport your on-the-go meals and snacks in without having to worry about them spilling all over your bag! Lunch boxes, mason jars, sandwich bags even freezer bags will be KEY to storing and transporting food!
4. BATCH cook meals. Make up a healthy veggie chilli or some turkey burgers, ANYTHING can be cooked up on Sunday evening and stored individually to be easily defrosted, and eaten during the week. This will be the most important thing you can do. You will be so thankful to have meals prepared after a busy day.
5. ALWAYS carry Snacks. Unsalted Nuts, Fruit, Veggie Sticks, Low-fat Greek Yoghurt, Unsalted Popcorn…. These are only a few examples of nutritious snacks that can easily be carried in your handbag or back-pack! We don't need to purchase chocolate bars, sweets, unhealthy “energy bars” full of sugar!
6. If you know you are going to be EATING OUT, look up the menu in advance. Pick the healthier options and plan what you will choose before you arrive. This will save you from being tempted when you arrive! Never skip lunch if you are eating out for dinner. Hunger will cause poor decision making!
It really doesn't need to be complicated. Dinners can be used for the next days lunch and the meals can be as simple or complex as you like!
There is no one-size-fits-all so figure out which day works for you to do your meal planning and food prep and stick with it! These will be habits that will last a lifetime!
Finally, DID YOU KNOW, when you sign up for the LKN 21-day Sugar Detox Challenge you are provided with WEEKLY meal plans, shopping lists and recipes. You are also given healthy snack suggestions for on-the-go! Whats even better? The Sugar Detox challenge can be catered to anyone of any special diet preference. So whether you are vegetarian or vegan, gluten free or just simply dislike a certain food. Meal plans can be tailored exactly to your preference. Because no two individuals are the same!
Come learn more @lorrainekearneynutrition.com and follow us at @lorrainekearneynutrition to keep up to date with tips and trends in the nutrition industry!