Do you find yourself overwhelmed, trying to plan and prepare meals at the last minute? Do you stand in front of the fridge or cupboard wondering what you could throw together for dinner? Not having a plan for your meals can cause unnecessary stress, as well as negatively effect your wallet and diet. Planning meals a week at a time will not only save you time, effort, and money, but will also improve your eating habits.
You will eat healthier: Perhaps the number one reason to begin planning meals is that it sets you up for healthier eating. Purchasing your groceries ahead of time and knowing what you will prepare each day cuts out your chances of eating out or ordering take out. You are able to make nutritious choices at the beginning of the week and by simply following your meal plan you are making the healthiest choice.
You shop more efficiently: When you make a habit of meal planning, you also get to grocery shop more efficiently. By creating a shopping list based on your meal plan you avoid the inconvenience of missing ingredients when you are in the middle of cooking a meal. You will also eliminate buying too much food and wasting what does not get eaten each week. Meal planning allows you to buy exactly and only what you need.
You save money: When you are dining out less and shopping for groceries more efficiently, you will naturally save money. In fact, you can even include costs in your meal plans as well so that you have an idea of how much you can expect to spend. Once you know what ingredients you will be needing, you can also find out where to buy these ingredients at the best prices.
You will enjoy variety: It is easy to get stuck in a rut and eat the same foods over and over again when you don’t have a plan. Creating a weekly meal plan allows you to explore new recipes and options. Shopping ahead of time and being prepared affords you the time to step out of the box with your meals.
* 2 pounds chuck roast, trimmed, and cubed (Should yield ~4 Lean Servings (5oz/each)
* 1/2 cup chopped green chilies (1 Green Option)
* 2 cups beef broth (2 Condiments)
* 1 1/2 cups canned, diced tomatoes, undrained (3 Green Options)
* 1 tbsp jalapeño peppers, chopped (1 Condiment)
* 1 tbsp chili powder (3 Condiments)
* 1/4 tsp garlic powder (1 Condiment)
* 1 tsp onion powder (2 Condiments)
* 1 tsp cumin (1 Condiment)
* 1/4 tsp salt (1 Condiment)
* 1/2 tsp pepper (1 Condiment)
Add all of the ingredients into a crock pot. Cook on low 8 to 10 hours.
Add all ingredients to a dutch oven; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer 2 hours or until the beef is very tender. Remove the lid and raise the heat. Simmer until the liquid has thickened, about 10 minutes.
4 Servings with 1 Lean, 1 Green, and 3 Condiments per serving ( No Healthy Fat required)
*Don’t forget to add 2 Greens per serving to complete your Lean and Green!
12 Years and Counting…
Meet Nancy, Valentine’s Day was her anniversary!
“This is a special day for me; it is the anniversary of the day I reached a healthy weight twelve years ago. I lived large then, actually XXL. For most of my adult years I was morbidly obese, extremely so. My BMI was 48, I was nearly half butter! A dear friend from church cared enough about me to introduce me to a well-researched and physician-approved optimal health program. It had the science behind it as well as the critical pieces for me – it was safe, it was simple and if others could do it, I could, too. I made the decision and went for it. Yeah, I was unsure if I would stick to the plan long term. You see, I’d lost a lot of tonnage in the past – over a hundred pounds three other times but always invited them back because I planned for a short stint diet rather than a lifetime of health. Typically I failed to follow-through with maintenance plans and returned to the trough, I used food in unhealthy ways (when I was bored, lonely, procrastinating, stressed, or tired) instead of as nutritional fuelings to keep me perking along. I started the program in the summer of 2002 and reached a healthy weight on Valentine’s Day 2003.* Happy anniversary to me! Yes, I have maintained a healthy weight all these 12 years and continue to optimize my health because I like how I feel, the way I look and think. My BMI is 20, I am a healthy person. It starts with a decision to change.”
Results vary: Typical results are 2-5 pounds per week for the first 2 weeks and 1-2 pounds per week thereafter.
I have so many ideas and tips for how to set yourself up for success and I would love to share them with you! Let’s chat about where you are in your health journey and what we can do to propel you to the next level. Enjoy your week!