Meal Planning woes

Meal planning.

I’m not a huge fan of this word-pairing as the usual reply to “I work as a dietitian” is “….can you make me a meal plan” Although my scope encompasses much more than advising you on where and what to eat, I accept that meal plans just come with the territory. Plus, a bunch of my rockstar clients now have an increased understanding and independence in preparing their own meals. I call that a win!

Most individuals lament about the time it takes to cook for themselves. I understand the concern, but picking up food and waiting in the drive through line takes time too. It’s time to prioritize and change your mind set.

Use these 5 tips to get started!


There are free of charge, free! I’m practically an OpenTable app replacement. Rate me 5 stars?


“I was hangry, so I stopped for a drumstick”

Uh huh.

Put those Hot Cheetos down. When the body is overly hungry it searches for quick sources of energy: carbohydrates. Avoid this situation by waiting no longer than 4 hours between each meal time and drinking adequate water throughout the day. Stock your car and office drawer with healthy satiating fat/fiber snacks (think raw almonds, jerky, whole grain popcorn, or a squeezeable nut butter) that provide nutrients and stable energy.

Plus, no Cheeto-finger stains. Clearly a win.


The 2022 food trends have been released. Elderberry chews are definitely still happening. Just not in my house.

Whitness take-away: It’s exciting to try some of these new products, but the marketing is most of the hype! The basics are still most pertinent for your health. Have faith in your foundational foods; lean meat, fruit, veggies, nuts, seeds, herbs and spices. I don’t mean to be a downer, but anything packaged just isn’t as nutrient rich as the real live version. Freeze-dried broccoli bites wrapped in glucose syrup? Elderberry laced with high fructose corn syrup? Get real! Real fresh elderberry syrup, or whole berries with natural boosts of antioxidants.


Let’s get sauceyyy

But really, increase your veggie intake by looking to sauce. A high-quality sauce and/or condiment can take a meal from zero to one hundred real quick. A little marinara or buffalo sauce on some vegetables really helps! When looking for a sauce, make sure and keep a careful eye out for those sneaky sugars and inflammatory ingredients (soybean oil!). I’m a mustard and bbq sauce type of girl, how about you?


Have a good grip in the kitchen

Preparing meal components is a time commitment, both in the short term and long term. Invest in kitchen gear that makes meal planning easy, simple and fun! A non-stick skillet, some high-quality knives and a variety of Pyrex are a few my must-haves. You don’t need to completely overhaul the kitchen, but clear containers and a Vegetti go far as items that make life just a little bit easier.


Most importantly, use my balancing phrase at meals: V-P-F-C! (sung to the tune of YMCA)

Vegetables:

  • Roasted broccoli, Brussel sprouts and cauliflower
  • Sautéed onions, bell peppers, leafy greens, cabbage
  • Sliced raw carrots, cucumber, celery, mini bell peppers

Protein:

  • Slow cooker/ Instant Pot chicken, pork, and beef
  • Salmon, tuna, shrimp or scallops
  • Ground turkey, hard boiled eggs, turkey bacon

Fat:

  • Avocado or olives
  • Avocado oil, olive oil or ghee
  • raw full-fat cheese or avocado oil based dressings

Carbohydrates:

  • Roasted sweet potatoes or butternut squash
  • Banza chickpea pasta
  • Almond flour tortillas, cassava chips or whole grain toast
  • Fruit

Meal planning isn’t as intimidating as you thought, now is it? Eating good isn’t supposed to be hard! Find your favorites, set aside some time and make meal time just as tasty as it is, easy.

Recent Posts

Archives

Categories

Join the List

Archives

The Dietitian Nutritionist Blog

The Dietitian Nutritionist Blog

Leave a Comment