Meal planning is a great way to ensure that you have delicious, ready-to-eat meals on even the busiest of days. It allows you to build the meal based on your specific needs and goals, whether you’re following a specific diet plan, have food allergies, or simply need something quick and easy to eat on the go. Planning your meals does take time and effort, and people can often feel overwhelmed during the process and find it a hard habit to stick to. Here are three ways to make meal planning easier for you!
1. Prepare your shopping list ahead of time.
When meal planning, you want to know in advance everything you need so you can get all the items for the week in one trip. Take a good look at everything you have and compare it to all of the recipes you’ll be using. That includes things like spices, flour, sugar, barbeque sauce, and any other miscellaneous ingredients that you may or may not have on hand. Making the list ahead of time will ensure that you don’t forget anything and will save you time while shopping.
2. Set aside the time.
Meal planning is so worth it – it makes it so that even during the busiest weeks, you have pre-made meals to keep you going throughout your day. But like anything worthwhile, meal planning takes time. You need to set aside time to shop, prep the food you’re going to cook, cook it, and allow it to cool down before storing. Set aside a few hours to allow you enough time to get everything done.
3. Utilize a crockpot!
When it comes to cooking in bulk, one tool you always want to have in your arsenal is a crockpot. The crockpot will allow you to cook several meals at once, as you can leave the food in the crockpot alone while you cook more meals over the stove and / or in the oven. The crockpot is great for cooking meats, vegetables, and even great breakfast items like Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal (recipe is here, but it is not my recipe: http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/healthy-apple-cinnamon-oatmeal-277638#activity-feed). By utilizing your crockpot, you’ll save yourself time by freeing you up to cook other meals (or do anything else, really) and you’ll be able to come back to it a few hours later and have great meals for the week.
Getting into the habit of meal planning can be challenging and may seem a bit daunting, but incorporating these tips and tricks above will make getting into the habit easier. Once you’ve implemented a process into your weekly routine, meal planning will become second nature, and you’ll have healthy, convenient, pre-made meals every week!
Lauren Weiss is a personal trainer and group fitness instructor based out of Long Beach, CA. She specializes in kettlebell training and unconventional workouts and has been working with both types of fitness for over a year. Lauren has her BOLT Kettlebell Sport Certification through the USA Kettlebell League and has expertise working with kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells and several unconventional fitness tools. Lauren received her BA in Journalism and uses her writing expertise to craft thought-provoking articles about trending fitness, health & wellness topics. Follow Lauren on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.
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