Are you a Meal Planner?

by Lauren on May 13, 2011

I think one of the most important aspects of living a healthy lifestyle is to plan your meals for the week as much as possible. I find if you don’t have something planned you’ll be more likely to grab something fast & easy (which usually means unhealthy) for dinner. 

Every Saturday or Sunday, I take some time to plan for the up-coming week. I go through my recipe database, take a look at the grocery store flyers, and plan our meals accordingly. It takes about 30 minutes, but its well worth it. Planning your meals not only saves money (you buy only what you’re going to eat, with the exception of pantry items), but ensures that you eat healthy throughout the week.

We usually try to have leftovers or do something easy on Monday nights. Mondays are hard enough; the last thing I want to do after work is cook a big meal. If possible, I make a big stew or soup on Sunday, and than have the leftovers Monday night with salad. Or I pick up a free-from roast chicken on my way home from work Monday night and have it with sweet potato fries or steamed broccoli and a salad.

One of us is usually doing something Tuesday or Wednesday night, so we buy something frozen that only requires an hour in the oven. I really like Metro’s whole wheat frozen vegetable lasagna. It’s only 270 calories for 1 quarter, which is always enough for me for dinner and I have the other piece for lunch the next day.

Wednesday & Thursday are my “try a new recipe” and “cook an oldie, but a goodie” nights. I usually try and choose a new recipe from my Cooking Light or Chatelaine magazine or something I’ve read on the blogs I follow. My husband and I have a sweet deal lined up for Thursday nights. This is our “cleaning night” so we’ve come to the agreement that if he cleans, I’ll cook him a fabulous dinner…not so bad is it?

Friday is usually pizza night. I know it’s not the healthiest choice, but who wants to cook on Friday after a long week? We usually have some fresh, raw veggies with hummus as an appie, and pop a couple thin crust pizzas in the oven (or make our own if we’re feeling ambitious). To make up for the pizza; we try and do something active Saturday morning, and cook a healthy meal Saturday night.

Also, don’t forget to stock up every week on fresh fruit & veg and whole grains to have on hand.

If you don’t normally plan your meals; give it a try this week! It’s a step in the right direction to living a healthy lifestyle.

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