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I’m going to be honest. It pisses me off when people tell me they do not have the time to eat well, that they don’t have the time to cook. This tells me three things, that they assume people who do cook have more time than them, they are busier than people who prioritize healthy eating, and that they do not prioritize healthy eating. We all have the same twenty four hours in day. Some of us work two jobs, some of us have kids, some of us are taking care of a sick family member. That’s called LIFE. And you’re going to make the time to take care of yourself, or you’re not. But here’s how to do it.

Choose one day out of the week, a day that isn’t busy, a day that you take to chill out, watch some TV, do whatever you want. Sundays work best for me. Usually around three or four I’ll start cooking. Consider what you want to eat that week. We eat a lot of veggies, salad,  safe starches (white rice and potatoes) and proteins. It helps to chop in advance so when you’re making dinner or lunch, you can just throw it all together. SO. See below.

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  1. Marinated chicken. I plan on making chicken kebabs this week (recipe is coming up!) so I am prepping the chicken today.
  2. We always have cauliflower rice or cauli potaters, so I steamed some cauliflower.
  3. Cilantro dressing/marinade. I bought a bunch of cilantro at the market because I love it. And because I make guac throughout the week. So I blended 1/2 cup olive oil and the leaves from one bunch of cilantro.
  4. I chopped one head of romaine, three carrots and one cucumber. Salad ingredients, baby! Super quick and easy.
  5. I plan on making grilled eggplant and tomatoes. So I’m marinating it in basil dressing that I made. When I get home and start making dinner, all I have to do it throw it on the grill.
  6. Veggies! Also being marinated. I’m marinade CRAZAY. They’re going on some kebabs as well.
  7. Sliced grape tomatoes from the farmers market.
  8. Basil and parsley marinade/dressing. One bunch of parsley, one bunch of basil, 1.5 cups olive oil, two cloves of garlic all in the Vita. Aka the best blender ever. Aka my best friend.
  9. Hard boiled eggs need no explanation.
  10. White rice with butter. Gonna make an awesome side to my kebabs.

I took into account what we eat regularly. Salads, veggies, etc. It’s much simpler to throw a piece of salmon on the grill or form a burger and pan fry it, so I don’t prepare a lot of proteins. This way it’s also easier to grab a snack like some boiled eggs. It really simplifies making lunches and dinners. Fail to prepare and prepare to fail. It doesn’t take a lot of effort to prep food for the week. I even drank a hard cider while I made all of this and it only took me about an hour! An hour out of my day to prepare so much food. Prioritize eating well. It isn’t hard, but it does take some effort.

14 responses on “How To Meal Plan

  1. Lauren

    I was planning on doing this once school started, but after reading this I am wondering why in the world am I waiting?? Thanks!!

  2. Tara

    This is great, we DO prioritize healthy eating but we just come home from work and are in the kitchen for hours cooking and cleaning. We just need to be smarter about things at our house and think about it…an hour or two on a Sunday so that weeknights aren’t a nonstop grind would be really worth it. Also I heard a report on NPR recently that stated if you cut up vegetables in advance and let them sit it ups their nutritional value because the plant goes into survival mode and starts creating more phytonutrients.

    1. dani stout Post author

      Really? I had someone get kind of salty at me because I suggest chopping veggies days ahead because it causes them to lose nutrients. I was like, “Really, I’m advocating cooking organic foods from scratch and prepping them and you’re attacking this?” So that’s good news!

  3. Rachel Blackett

    Its not that I can’t find TIME to eat well, I find we just don’t have enough money :/ Everytime I try to eat well, it sends our budget sky high 🙁 Looking forward to the day when I can finally do my vege garden lol. Might help keep things under control 🙂

    I do have one question though 🙂 I find if I prepare fresh food in advance, after 2 days it starts going off/soggy/slimy etc, even when kept in air tight containers. Do you find yours does too or have you found a way to stop it doing it? (Its the reason I gave up eating salads, I would spend 1 night preparing enough for a few days, but find that half of it would have to go to waste, and with 2 kids under 2 I found I wasn’t getting much of a chance to make it fresh everyday lol)

  4. Linda Lewis

    Thank you! This helps! I’m one of those people who can’t see the forest for the trees, and having STEPS laid out like this helps a lot. And I’m fortunate enough to have one of those vacuum sealers, so I can just bag it up. Now if I can only figure out what I want to eat… 🙂 Thank you!

  5. Melissa

    I had to laugh. We have 9 kids and my family could eat “all of that” in one meal. 😉 Good tips though. It really doesn’t take much to prep ahead, but I think a lot of people don’t really like cooking. Things always seem harder when you don’t enjoy doing them.

  6. Tracy

    I also meal plan on Sunday. I started a new job and work more than ever… and there is no way I am hitting the vending machine. The boyfriend and I plan what to make for the week; lately it has been slow cooker meals (I am a tax accountant and busy season is upon us…) so we and chop, slice and put into containers and refrigerator/freeze almost everything to go into the slowcooker. That is just what has been working for us lately. Then we have delicious/healthy leftovers to take to work the next day.

  7. Jessie

    this is great. Really think about what it is YOUR family eats weekly and then take time to prep it. I usually buy organic chicken breast in bulk, thaw it, poke a ton of holes in it, and then put it in individual ziploc bags with homemade marinade. Then I freeze it and take it out in the morning to thaw.There are also certain fruits and veggies that seem to hold up well rawL arugula, mangos (I bathe these in lime juice and chili powder – SO F*CKING GOOD), carrots, beets, celery, kale (when stored correctly)
    Oh man, now i’m getting excited! great post.

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