“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Once a week, I am going to start sharing a tip, trick, or some interesting information about meal planning. I believe meal planning is critical to any long term and effective healthy living or weight loss goals. For me it was the single thing that finally made permanent weight loss achievable. The quote stood true, when I failed to plan, I failed, and I don’t want that to happen to others.
Additionally, I believe that meal planning is a skill that takes time to master and we can all use some help! When I first started meal planning it took up countless hours pouring over recipes, calculating nutritional info and/or points, and creating elaborate calendars. It was painful. Anything I can do to ease that pain for someone else is a win-win in my book.
Finally, I hope by sharing meal planning strategies, it will help you find a system that works for you. Whether it’s using our meal plans, scratching one into your weekly planner, or creating your own meal planning system – I hope this feature inspires you to start planning at least a few meals every week. It will save you time, money, and it truly will help you reach your weight loss and healthy living goals. So with that, on to this week’s tip!
Meal Planning Made Easy: Sunday Prep
If you know that you have a crazy week ahead of you, or every week is a crazy week, then set aside a few hours on Sunday to bang out a bunch of weekday prep. This will significantly cut down your week night meal prep. You won’t believe how much time you can save when you cut out something simple like chopping veggies. Here’s what I try to tackle on Sunday to make for an easier week. What are your strategies?
- Veggies: I always spend Sunday prepping veggies for the week. Getting everything cut and portioned out ahead of time saves me tons of time. Usually I will use painter’s tape to label things according to the meal they are for. When you need to chop lots of veggies, like onions, pull out your food processor and let it do the heavy lifting for you. For storage, I like to place a damp paper towel over the veggies so they don’t dry out early.
- Grains: Rice, quinoa, farro, couscous, and most other grains can easily be prepped on Sunday so you don’t have to think about it midweek. Then just warm it up in the microwave on the night you need it.
- Smoothies: Making smoothies during the week. Prep your smoothie ingredients in individual tupperware or ziploc bags and then just add your liquid that day. No chopping, no measuring, no searching for ingredients.
- Make Ahead Meals: Look at your menu for the week and determine what can be prepared ahead of time. Many times dishes like meatballs, stuffed peppers, soups, stews, and casseroles can be made ahead of time and may even taste better that way. Pick out 1-2 dishes that you can prep early and that way all that is needed that night is popping it in the oven.
Love the idea of meal planning but don’t want to do all the work? Since I know that many people simply don’t have the time to create their own healthy meal plans, we provide delicious and healthy meal plans at Slender Kitchen.
Here are some highlights from this week’s healthy meal plans:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Ropa Vieja
- Sausage and Pepper Shells
- Garlic Parmesan Zucchini Noodles with Sausage (low carb plan)
- Baked Blueberry Steel Cut Oats
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Tomato Basil Parmesan Egg Mugs
- Thai Ground Beef Cabbage Wraps
- Grilled Mediterranean Pork
- Tilapia Burgers wit Avocado
- Detox Green Smoothies
- Zucchini Corn Cakes (vegetarian plan)
Each healthy weekly meal plan comes full of delicious recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The meal plans come in regular, vegetarian, and low carb options. All feature complete nutritional information, Weight Watchers PointsPlus®, and categorized shopping lists! There are also two bonus fallback recipes weekly and the option for either a complete meal plan or a Dinner Only plan. All that for less the cost of one cup of coffee per month with the yearly plan.