It’s funny, in my twenties, I was always the rebel who fought against routines. Something about knowing exactly what was coming next made me feel like a prisoner. Like a bird who’s wings have been clipped.
I wanted to feel free. I loved the excitment and curiosity that came with this unpredictable lifestyle.
Fast forward a decade, add in 2 kids, partner, and a full time job, and guess what?? I LOVE and thrive on having a solid routine in place. I feel like I’m always wearing 17 hats and there are a hundred little tiny distractions coming at me all day. So for me, at this point in my life, a schedule and routine is the only way to keep things organized (and basically survive lol).
So now, one of my favourite quotes is – If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
And even through we live in such a fast paced society, the truth is, when something is important to you, you will find the time and schedule it in.
And this of course applies to a healthy lifestyle as well.
When you plan your meals ahead – you will also save so much money, time and food waste, plus you’ll have less of those stressful emergency trips through the drive through, and less random purchases..
So let’s get to it, find your action plan to get started below!
Step by step meal planning for busy weeknights:
STEP 1: Look at your calendar for the upcoming week and only plan what you need. Days when you have a busy schedule will be a time to pull one of your batch cooked meals out of the freezer. Whereas a quieter day may call for a fresh meal to be made.
STEP 2: Choose 2 or 3 breakfast recipes – these can be 3 different smoothie freezer bags, overnight oats, fresh fruit (which can be put into freezer bags) with coconut yogurt and granola.
STEP 4: Choose 3-4 evening meals (you can use some leftovers for lunches) – two of these can be your batch meals, others can be simple meals to cook during the week when you have a little more time. Keep it simple and light!
Ex. Monday – Easy Weeknight Moroccan Stew
Tuesday – Leftover Stew
Wednesday – Black Bean and Pineapple Mexican Salad
Thursday – Easy Veggiful Frittada
Friday – 10 Minute Salmon Buddha Bowl
STEP 5: Based off your meal plan, you can create a simple shopping list alongside it. Be sure to think carefully about what you need, or if you’re buying in bulk think about what will last or can be frozen.
STEP 6: Get your shopping done with a day or two to spare before your week begins – this will allow you time to get some preparation done before the week begins again.
STEP 7: Choose 2-3 snack ideas for the week. I like to either bake one thing or make a batch of energy balls or a pesto that I can use for different things throughout the week. Then all I need is some fres cut up fruits and veggies and I’m good to go!
Ex. Cilantro Pesto – to be used with veggie sticks and as salad dressing
So there you have it, a simple step by step approach to meal planning that removes the overwhelm and confusion!
If you need some more ideas on how to save time and money in the kitchen, make sure to check out my free nutrition class on Meal Prep 101 or download a done for you meal plan, shopping list and prep guide below!
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