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How To Make Meal Planning a Breeze

There’s nothing worse than coming home after a busy day and realising there is nothing in the house you can cook for dinner. Eating a balanced diet can seem overwhelming if you’re not going in with some idea of how to make it fit into your busy schedule. But with a little bit of planning ahead, eating well can be quick, easy and delicious!

Make an action plan

The only way to meal plan is to plan your meals. Pick one day of the week that you’ve got a little more time on your hands and designate it as your meal planning day. For most people, the weekend is the easiest, as it’s also when you’re likely to do the bulk of your shopping.

On your designated day, sit down and plan out your meals for the week. You might plan all three meals for every day, or you might just stick to planning your dinners. It can be a good idea to check your calendar for any long days or evening appointments and put the quicker and easier options down for those days.

Feel free to use my handy meal planning sheet. Grab your copy HERE

You might also like to check the weather for the week – Melbourne weather is unpredictable at the best of times, and you probably don’t want to eat salad when it’s 5 degrees outside!

This Pinterest board I created has some great ideas when it comes to meal planning. Have a look HERE

Write a shopping list

Once you know what you’re going to be eating, you want to make sure you have the ingredients. Check the freezer, fridge and pantry to see what you already have handy. Then list anything that you need to purchase, and where from.

If you have a shopping list to stick to, you’re less likely to forget a vital ingredient. But you’re also less likely to buy less healthy options on impulse.

Hit the shops online or in person

If you have worked with me or done my Energy Booster Detox over the years, you will know how much I go on about online shopping and with good reason…..it’s such a time saver!  I was even asked to contribute to THIS article on goodfood.com.au

Sometimes a trip to the supermarket can be like a mini holiday without the kids in tow while others cringe when they must hit the aisles.

Taking advantage of the home delivery or even the click and collect options can save you around one hour in time.

Prep and/or cook in batches

Once you’ve got all your groceries, you can get ahead for the week with some prepping and cooking. This doesn’t mean you have to cook all your meals in advance. But you can reduce the time you spend cooking throughout the week by preparing some dishes and ingredients in advance.

For example, you might:

  • Pre-marinate your meats before you put them in the freezer for later in the week
  • Make up a big batch of vegetables that can be used for multiple meals, e.g. coleslaw or roasted vegetables
  • Chop up the vegetables for the stir fry you’re going to make that evening

Make friends with your slow cooker

A slow cooker is one of your best friends when it comes to preparing easy, healthy meals. All you do is add the ingredients in the morning and leave it on a low heat. When you come home, you have a meal ready to enjoy!

Slow-cookers are great for recipes such as:

  • Soups
  • Casseroles and stews
  • Bolognese sauce
  • Meatballs
  • Roast chicken
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Curries

Have some emergency snacks handy

Even the best-laid plans can go astray sometimes. You might forget to defrost something, miss a vital ingredient when you shop, or get stuck in traffic on the way home. This is why it’s a good idea to have some healthy snacks stashed around the house, the office, in the car and in your bag.

Nuts, seeds, roasted chickpeas and seaweed sheets are a few ideas of nutrient-dense snacks that can tide you over until you can eat a proper meal. You can also make up your own healthy bliss balls and muesli bars and store them in an airtight container.

Feeling good about meal planning but still not sure what you should be eating to feel your best? Lets chat! Book your FREE health chat with me today.

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I understand that women today play many roles both in the home, at work and in the wider community.

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© 2020 Chantelle Bell Naturopath.