One of the first things I look at when initially meeting a client and checking out their current food habits and patterns is to see whether or not they pre-plan and prepare their meals and snacks or if they just eat day-to-day and wing their food choices. Yes, we all fall into the category of chaos and don’t always bring our lunch from home or have snacks at our desk. However, the more we plan and prepare, the better off we are. Consistency with meal planning is key to food success.
Here are some tips on how you can set up your food plan and plan your meals:
- Make a date with yourself and go to the grocery store or farmers market on a weekly basis to get the food you need for the week (include a week’s worth of snacks and a few simple-to-cook meals)
- Take 15 minutes to prep your snacks for the entire week by placing the snacks into individual bags so that each morning you can just grab & go your pre-portioned snacks.
- Have an emergency box of bars such as Kashi bars or Fiberful bars at your desk or in your car or carry one in your bag so that you always have a snack on hand.
- Cook a big pot of soup or stew or broil a big batch of vegetables at the beginning of the week so you have leftovers to eat throughout the week.
- Always have 1 simple-to-make or ready-to-eat dinner option at the house for those nights when you’ve worked long and hard and are just plain old exhausted. This way you can still eat a healthy, homemade dinner. One example could be frozen brown rice (cooks in 3 minutes) + frozen chicken breast + frozen vegetables + chili sauce or roasted red pepper sauce from Trader Joes.
What is your food plan for next week? Are you grocery shopping this weekend to start your week off right?
Sarah Koszyk, MA, RD, is a nutrition coach who cooks with love and loves to eat.