“If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.”
Once a week, I will be 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: Easy Ways to Eat Healthier
With New Year's resolutions on the brain, this week I wanted to share some easy eays to eat healthier in 2016. Sometimes for me it's easier to make a few small changes rather than diving head first into a resolution I know I won't be able to keep. Here are some easy ways to eat healthier this coming year.
- Start with Breakfast: Starting the day off with a healthy breakfast that will keep you full all morning can set the tone for the entire day. Not only will you feel motivated by making a healthy decision in the morning, your body will be energized and you won't be reaching for unhealthy snacks all morning. If you have a busy schedule, prepping your breakfast ahead of time can help you ensure you stay on track. Start with these quick and easy breakfast recipes: Overnight Brownie Batter Oats, Microwave Huevos Rancheros, Cinnamon Pear Oatmeal, Egg White Tomato & Avocado Sandwich, and Banana Quinoa Chia Muffins.
- Pack Lunches: After talking to many of our members, we heard countless times that lunch is actually the meal that derails their whole day. They forget to pack a healthy lunch, end up eating out and choosing something unhealthy, and then give up for the rest of the day vowing to start again tomorrow. Vowing to pack a healthy lunch daily to bring to work can make a huge difference when it comes to healthy eating and weight loss. I find the easiest way to pack healthy lunches is to utilize leftovers from dinner or make a healthy recipe on Sunday that I can pack up and eat all week. In a pinch, I also utilize healthy frozen meals, always adding extra veggies.
- Commit to Meal Planning: Just like planning ahead to make healthy breakfast and lunch choices, meal planning can truly set you up for success. Not only will you avoid the stress of trying to figure out what's for dinner every night, you will make healthier choices if you have pre-planned your meals. Depending on your lifestyle, this could mean planning out 3-4 dinners to start or jumping in headfirst and planning out all your meals. No matter what you decide to do, the more you plan your meals the more successful you will be. Slender Kitchen meal plans are one way to start.
- Add Fruits and Veggies: This step is simple but makes a big difference. Try and add at least one serving of fruit or vegetables to every meal.
- Keep Junk Food out of the House: If it's not in the house, you are much less likely to end up eating it in a moment of weakness. It's that simple. Try and get everyone in your home healthy by only keeping food you want to be eating in the house.
- Plan Your Indulgences: My personal philosophy about food and healthy eating is that it's all about moderation and everyone needs a treat sometimes. However instead of giving into any craving, plan out your indulgences and then truly savor them. I usually try and allow myself around two indulgences weekly and this keeps me from feeling deprived. Also planning for the indulgence means I can make sure that my other food choices that day are healthy and will offset the treat.
- Skip Sugary Drinks: This one is constantly touted by health experts and for good reason. Avoiding sugar filled drinks is an easy way to eat healthier and avoid unwanted calories.
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 that you can customize to meet your needs.
Here are some highlights from this week’s healthy meal plans:
- Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Mushrooms (with white beans for vegetarian)
- Roasted Vegetable Pasta
- Italian Sausage and Pepper Stuffed Spaghetti Squash (low carb plan)
- Hoisin Pork and Vegetable Stir-fry
- Meatballs and Peppers in Gravy
- Lightened Up Chicken Piccata (with eggplant for vegetarians)
- Pizza Turkey Burgers with Zucchini Fries
- Maple Apple Oat Muffins
- Steak Tacos
- & more
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.