Are you curious why it’s valuable to meal plan? You’re probably thinking yah, right! Meal planning is hard enough, how can it possibly be easy.
Let’s examine the benefits of healthy meal planning and how to make it as easy and efficient as possible.
Once and done. You probably hate washing dishes as much as I do! The #1 benefit is using and cleaning the cutting board and knife once rather than every day. Some people meal prep 1x a week, others do it 2x week. Either way, you have created efficiency if you prepare ingredients in bulk for the week.
Let’s define “Meal Prepping”: The art of storing food which allows the cook to complete an easy meal with less preparation and clean up time.
I love it when I can grab ingredients for my meal that have been cleaned, chopped, cut or mixed. That’s the #2 benefit; less time to prepare your nutrient dense whole food meal.
At Hull Nutrition we do our best to help everyone develop simple and easy “ways” to stay healthy with food. Our goal is to help you figure out what “way” works for you; we like to call it your Nutritional Footprint. There’s ALWAYS more than one way to do something. The key to efficiency (aka having more time to do the things you love) is to figure out which “way” works best for you.
Let’s first talk about “The Way” to efficient and healthy meal planning:
- Start by defining your budget – how much money do you have to spend on quality whole food?
- Define your meals for the week and make a list of the food you need to purchase on each shopping trip.
- Next, make a list of your resources – list your retail options for purchasing quality whole food.
- Also, take into consideration how long it takes to drive to the source. Notice I said how long and not how far. Our family
lives about 25 highway miles from the closest grocery store. So our travel time is about 30 minutes. Some people live in densely populated cities where driving 15 miles can take 45 minutes.
- Finally, think about how much time you have to prep food? (no judgement here, zero time is OK too).
|Budget||Grocery List||Retail Options||Distance to the Retail Outlet||Time to Food|
|Set a dollar amount||1.
|List your stores:
|Distance to each store
|What days (if any) do you have time to prep food?
Fill in the boxes to help you discover the best way for you. It helps to have a plan before you begin your meal prep. Then your mind is not cluttered with the chaos of how to get it done.
Now let’s talk about the Zero Time Folks… I know that many of you just raised your hand. If that’s you, then don’t get discouraged. There’s still hope. One really great option is to order groceries for delivery. Most grocery stores have home delivery service now. All you do is go online, place your order and boom! It gets delivered to your door. You can even include having fresh roasted whole chicken delivered!
When you look through the produce list, check for veggies that are cut and washed. That will reduce your prep time too. Remember, Amazon delivers groceries too!
Let us know if you have great ideas or questions. We’d love to hear from you.
To Your Good Health!
Want to save time with healthy meal planning? Download this free 7-Day Meal Plan that will fit into your lifestyle!