Meal Planning

Confession: I have been feeling a bit lost lately and I wasn’t sure why. Something in my life just wasn’t right. I had been thinking about it for a while when it finally hit me…since I quit my food journal I had also inadvertently quit meal and workout planning!! I didn’t even realize it but I was feeling funky because I didn’t have a plan in place every week. The meal plans were in my food journal and when I put it up, I completely blanked on keeping the meal planning going strong. I was wondering why I felt so confused all the time…I figured it was from the holidays, vacation, and my crazy work schedule (last week was actually the first week in over a month that I worked all 5 days). I had no routine, something that I thrive on!

Well folks, meal planning is back. Meal planning not only allows me to adequately focus my nutrition around workouts (which is very important as a vegan, gotta be protein conscious when you are strength training!), but as I have mentioned before, it helps greatly with a budget. It also helps me figure out dinners that work for both my husband and I. As you know, my husband is most definitely not a vegan and it is hard to coordinate dinner without a plan. Our conversations always go a little like this:

  • “what do you want to eat”
  • “i don’t know, what about you”
  • “i don’t know”
  • “ok i’ll have pizza”
  • “well I don’t have the stuff for a vegan pizza so I guess I’ll just have cereal”
OR (EVEN WORSE)
  • “well let’s just run to the store and grab something real quick”

That can just be frustrating, time consuming, and expensive!! Instead of constantly wondering what my next meal will be, I prefer to have it all planned out ahead of time. My meal plans include spots for breakfast, lunch, dinner (both mine and my husband’s), snacks and a workout. This layout helps save money as we can make both of our  meals using similar ingredients. It may seem a bit detailed, but honestly I would rather look at this and say “oh I need to get x items together for breakfast and lunch tomorrow” than wake up and say “well what am I gonna put together.” Healthy living is all about preparation. If nothing else, taking the time to set healthy intentions for the week through good meals and exercise will help motivate you to really stick with it.

Click here to download Meal & Workout Planner (you will need to customize to suit your needs!).

Once the meal plan is filled out, I go through our cabinets to see what we have and what we need from the store. Meal planning makes grocery buying a snap! Plus I don’t buy too much food which ends up being wasted (remember my goal this year…to waste less food). The plan goes up on the fridge so I can see it clearly. Now, I have no qualms with switching meals or workouts up…sometimes you just don’t feel like eating something on a certain day. I’m not too controlling, but it is a nice visual reminder of what workouts I want to do this week and what food we have on hand. No more running to the store for random dinners!! This week’s meal plan includes quinoa salad, spaghetti, green salads, lots of protein smoothies, and a restaurant slot for our date night Tuesday – much more exciting than a bowl of cereal.

Bonus:

I whipped up a delicious new variation on my classic green smoothie this morning. Though it is actually purple I promise it is full of fantastic greens.

Into the blender: 1/2 grapefruit peeled (but with pith still on), 1/2 cucumber, juice of 1/2 lemon, large handfuls of spinach, parsley, mixed greens (including baby greens, endive, and radicchio), topped off with frozen mixed berries and 1/2 frozen banana. I’m serious when I say large handfuls of greens – greens and veggies should be the most prominent ingredients in a smoothie:

I topped the smoothie with a simple chia crumble from Choosing Raw (I added sprouted buckwheat and coconut to my crumble). Hello Monday!!

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