Have you ever got in from work and been so tired you can’t be bothered figuring out what to eat? Do you head to the freezer and pull out an unhealthy frozen pizza, or get hold of the take-away menu and order from that?
Do you then feel terrible that your plan for eating healthier has just flown out the window, yet again?
Well, today I’m going to show you how easy it is to plan what you’re going to eat for the next week.
It’s a New Year and maybe you’ve made some healthy eating resolutions but don’t know where to start. If this sounds like you, then I’m here to help you get started. I’ll show you How To Plan Your Meals For The Next Week.
Eating a whole food, plant-based diet is a lot easier than you think, but it’s helpful if you plan what you’re going to eat and have the ingredients to hand. You’ll avoid temptation too!
Planning what you eat weekly also helps to reduce your food waste, makes your money go further and helps you to keep eating healthily – despite those evenings when you’re too tired to cook.
Here’s my recipe for planning a successful weekly meal plan:
Get hold of some yummy plant-based vegan recipes. These can be found online, on Facebook or from recipe books you already have.
Just make sure they’re plant-based, i.e. are made with just the ingredients from the Power Plate – check out my blog here on what the Power Plate is.
Plan what you’re going to eat for the next week. Select 5-7 meals from your cookbooks, or your online recipes and then plan when you’re going to cook them, and when you’re going to eat them.
You might like to make some of the recipes that you can find here. There are enough recipes there to keep you going for a whole month!
I tend to batch cook at weekends. In reality this means I make a big pot of soup and divide it into portions for the next week. I freeze most of the portions but keep two out and put them into the fridge to eat over the next couple of days.
I eat the same breakfast each day – porridge and vary the toppings. Some days it’s a banana; other days it’s Maple syrup, or some other delicious in season fruit.
As Professor Baumeister from Florida State University says:
“You don’t want to waste willpower making decisions about breakfast. Having a set morning routine is much better.”
For dinner, I tend to cook every second night or so. I make double the quantity of whatever I’m cooking and eat one portion and put another portion in the fridge for lunch the next day, and another portion or two into the freezer. This means I have my own, whole food, plant-based ready meal on those nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. (Yes, it happens to me too!)
Some nights, I might just cook a quick pasta with tomato sauce. I make a double batch of the tomato sauce so I can use it as a base for my pitta pizza, or as a topping for wholemeal / whole grain bread that I’m having with some soup. I might even use it as a base for a savour tomato tart.
Make your grocery list! You’ll already have some of the ingredients in, and as you cook more, you’ll steadily build up a supply of herbs and spices, brown rice, brown pasta, legumes and frozen fruit, veg and herbs.
Make your shopping list based on your meal plan and what you’re cooking when. I tend to shop on a Saturday ready for my batch cooking. I often pick up some more fresh veg and salad stuff on a Tuesday/Wednesday.
You’ve got your plan, you’ve got your ingredients, and so it’s time to get cooking! As much as I’d love to batch cook dinners on a weekend, it’s just not possible. I’m too busy diving around the place. If you can do this, then that’s great. You can cook your meals for the week and put them in the freezer – just remember to take them out well ahead of time.
As I said above, I tend to cook every second or third night. I might have a chilli on a Monday and have it for lunch on a Tuesday. Or I might have salad and soup for lunch and the chilli with a baked potato for dinner. Have whatever you fancy, as long as it’s plant-based.
Sit down and savour your plant-based meal on your own or with family, but try to sit down at a table without the TV on, your tablet or mobile.
People who eat mindfully tend to be more aware of what they’re eating and can listen to their bodies, so they know when they’re full and when they need to eat more.
If you’re looking to learn more, go here.