If you have decided you want to eat healthier or make some positive changes to your family’s daily meals, congratulations!! Healthy eating might seem like a daunting task, but trust me it’s easier when you PLAN! Yep. You heard me right. Healthier eating begins with planning, then purchasing healthier ingredients. So the Type A in me wants to share my top 5 (somewhat) healthier meal planning secrets…I could probably give you a list of my top 25 but that would be one long (and boring) post.
- Do NOT plan meals while hungry. I repeat. Do NOT plan meals while hungry. Now you might have heard this rule of thumb for grocery shopping, but I believe it pertains to planning meals as well. Think about it: if you are hungry and perusing Pinterest boards laden with sauces and sugar, you might as well throw in the healthy recipe towel.
- Search for recipes in cookbooks, on websites, or in magazines that are likely to have better-for-you recipe options. Some of my favorites include Cooking Light (in print and online) and Martha Stewart (online).
- Phone a friend! It’s important to surround yourself with like-minded people when you are trying to reach a health and/or wellness goal. Chances are you have a friend or two that’s also trying to eat healthier. Ask them what they have on the menu this week!
- Keep 1-2 favorite recipes (and ingredients) on hand as a fallback dinner option when you are in a time crunch or need a go-to FAST.
- Scope out healthier restaurant options in your area. Most of us have the best intentions to dine-in and cook homemade, delicious and nutritious meals. The reality is we are all busy and opt for take-out every now and then. Arm yourself with a carry-out menu that won’t break your caloric limit but aim to please your taste buds!
One thing I forgot to mention BEFORE writing this post is that the key to planning is finding the T-I-M-E to do so. Ha. Funny, right?!