Friday, 22 June 2012

Meal Planning

A great way to save time and money while eating a healthy diet is to use a weekly meal plan.

What I have found works for me is to sit down with a cookbook or two on Sunday afternoon and choose two or three recipes. I live alone, so recipes that make four portions mean that I eat the same thing for lunch/dinner for two days (unless it is something I can toss in the freezer). For me, this is the upper limit of how much of the same thing I can eat in a given week. However, large recipes are a great excuse to invite company over for dinner. I usually factor in to my planning about one dinner/week away from home.
Once I have chosen my recipes for the week, I put sticky notes on them to mark the pages. Then, I make a grocery list divided into categories: produce, meat, dairy/eggs, non-perishables, frozen, other. I add to the list the basic staples that I keep around for breakfast and snacks, and voila! Grocery shopping is a quick and relatively painless event. And, because most of the produce is earmarked for specific recipes, very little goes to waste.

Example of Meal Plan
Recipes: Rockin’ Moroccan Chicken, Salmon Salad (from Everyday Paleo), Veggie & Ham Frittata
Breakfast: Green smoothies
Snacks: Trail mix and fruit

Broccoli x 2c
Carrots x 1c
Salad greens x 4c
Red pepper x1
Avocado x1
Lemon x 3
Enough greens & fruit for smoothies – whatever is on sale
Veggies for frittata

Chicken breasts x 2
Gluten-free ham


Pimento-stuffed green olives
Coconut oil
Extra-virgin olive oil
Almonds x ¼ c
Chicken broth
Salmon x 2
Trail mix supplies

Many meal planner worksheets are available online, such as this one from The Project Girl (free download at her website).

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