I know, I know…sometimes meal planning, and planning in general right now, can be a drag. Trust me, I’ve been there and am there right now! We are all adapting to our new normal: not able to shop as much, we can’t get every ingredient we need for a recipe or meal, some of us are working AND juggling kids at home and homeschooling, some of us are alone and lonely cooking for one, and sometimes we just can’t think of anything we want for meals. It can be overwhelming at times and especially during these unprecedented times. To be honest, my trick is that I DON’T pre-make my meals for the week. I plan the week based on what I have going on, my workload, my kids homeschooling schedules and picking being a sane and happy mom over being a stressful mom with too much on my plate.
I wanted to share some tips that keep me sane and help me not to overthink my week. Meal planning can actually help you to NOT have to think or worry about your next meal. Planning weekly meals can help you to enjoy your meals more, shop once a week or every other week, save you money, decrease waste, and can help you set realistic expectations when it comes to food. Remember that nutrition and planning isn’t about perfection, it’s about doing what you can and being realistic with the time you have. Whether we are working with you on a health condition, lifestyle nutrition, eating disorder, or relationship with food, food is involved.
We offer individualized meal planning for many of our clients based on their life, time they have to cook/or no cook plans, labs, goals and individual needs. If you haven’t worked with us to help you with this, just reach out by calling or emailing us. Here’s an example of a plan we created for one of our clients. There is no one size fits all and each plan is unique to your needs!
In the meantime, I hope these tips help to simplify your week!
- Pick a day to plan: My favorite day to plan is Sunday because I’m usually more relaxed. Planning is the act of simply writing down your ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. I use our Nourish Your Days planner. This usually takes less than 30 minutes.
- Keep it simple:
- I choose only one new recipe a week, if that! I recently had a session with a client and this topic came up. We have a big family so it needs to be quick and easy but also taste good! If you don’t have any usual go-to’s, jot down some ideas when you have time. My go-to’s are salmon/steelhead/cold water fish with veggie stir-fry and sweet potatoes or roasted potatoes, whole chicken with roasted veggies, steak and salad, tacos, stir-fry, shrimp and veggie soup, caprese, bean salads, loaded salads, spaghetti squash and meatballs with salad and more.
- When I was single, I would make several new recipes a week. So create a plan that’s doable and uplifting to you. If you’re spending all your free time cooking, cooking becomes a drag.
- I tend to theme our weekly dinners, so it takes some of the guesswork out of it.
- Repeat breakfasts and lunches
- Choose meals you and your family like to eat.
- I like the kids to each give input on what they want to eat. This helps with them actually eating what I cook!
- Think about your week while you’re planning meals: I like to have my week’s schedule out when planning. Then I can choose quick and easy meals that don’t require recipes for the days we need to be more efficient.
- Make your list and shop your plan. Here’s our Nourish Your Days Meal Planning Template.
- Eat your plan. You can always shift your meals throughout the week! You can always change your ideas around, but at least you have the ingredients!
- Save your plans: Use again later or to collect your favorite go-to’s to incorporate into new plans.
Tag me on Instagram (@simplicitynutrition) if you try out this printable for your family!