Thursday, January 7, 2016

meal planning


when i meal plan... i meal plan

and of course, with everything that i do, there's a billion steps and probably a much easier way to do so... but what can i say... it works for me!

here's my list of steps for meal planning, if you're interested!

1. research recipes
because i'm an avid customer of fabletics, i receive a free magazine subscription with each order i put in. usually, all of these magazines are food and health related, so, i'll tear out the recipes that look appetizing and put them in a folder.

so, when i'm researching recipes for meal planning, i always start there. pinterest is also a great source of recipes, but lately i've started getting my menu from blue apron, where you're able to go onto their website and look at the recipes that they offer. they're all quite healthy and relatively easy (and quick!) to make.

2. switch out ingredients 
i'm allergic to all things nuts, which means i have to scour through each and every recipe to make sure that there is nothing in the ingredients that could make me have an allergic reaction (never fun). no, i don't have any nut products in my home, but since i do like to try new things, you never know what is included in many ingredients.

trust me, with a food allergy, it's always better to be safe than sorry!

3. calculate calories + carbs + protein + fat
calculating calories, carbs, protein, and fat can be exhausting. with using iifym (if it fits your macros), it allows me to eat less calories than my body requires while getting adequate protein, carbs, fat and fiber based on your goals and the energy needs of your body.

so, i'll go through and make a mock chart of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, checking to make sure that everything adds up and i'm able to meet my daily goals without any problems. 

4. adjust as needed 
because of my differing tastes, i like to always have a "back up" recipe ready to go if i get home and decide that I'm really not in the mood for salmon that particular day. 

5. make grocery list + go shopping
pretty simple!

6. prep + cook
i'm going to be honest here... i'm a bit of a microwave snob. i absolutely hate to microwave my food, as i feel like it just makes the taste so much worse. and because i'm blessed with a fully functioning kitchen at work, there is an oven, stove top, and small toaster oven available to use.

which is why i chose to prepare my meals on sundays and wednesdays. that way, nothing sits in my fridge for more than a few days, and if i change my mind on a breakfast or lunch, i'm able to do that without letting a meal sit untouched for... who knows how long!

i usually cook everything at once and put it all together when its done.

7. and finally... put it all together!
using my handy dandy kitchen scale, i'm able to properly portion my food and store my meals in super cool containers. you can find more on amazon, depending on what you're looking for.

once i put everything together, and make one final edit to my mock food chart, i'll write it all down in my erin condren wellness journal. in my wellness journal, i can track my food choices (calories and macros included), maintain my water intake, log activities, and continue to motivate myself through a choice of stickers and quotes. 

a few tips:

*learn about the different types of food and what they offer.
*don't get burnt out on the same foods over and over - mix it up!
*tired of drinking all that water? add in some lime, grapefruit, or lemon essential oil.

and as always... don't feel so pressured to make the perfect meal plans every week. don't get stressed, don't overly worry about it... remember! this life is all about living while we're here... relax and take the time you need. 

be well, friends!

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