Meal Planning… This Is How I Do It…

I’ve said it before and I will say it again, I don’t know how people eat the same thing for days in a row (if you are one of those people, I would love to hear from you about your experience doing things this way). I love food, I enjoy eating food, I love cooking food, I like trying new things, I like going out to eat, I come from a foodie family – My nana helped teach me how to cook, my mum could probably win MasterChef if she wanted too, a couple of my uncles are trained chefs, and one of them is a food critic for the local newspaper… You get the picture…

Losing weight is a lot about food. How you are eating/fuelling your body. This of it like this – You have a brand spankin’ new car, the recommended fuel for this car is PREMIUM – If you put shit fuel in, the car will run shit. This is the same for your body. If you want your body to work the way it should, then eating the right foods will make you feel better.

Finding out what works for you is all about trial and error. Not one way of eating is going to suit every single person on this earth. Now that I am ‘sort of’ in maintenance I am not as strict on myself, but for majority of my meals I eat 100% Paleo. The thing is why brand it Paleo, lets call it ‘my way of eating’ because thats what works for me! For a long time I fuelled my body with highly processed food, lots of pasta, lots of bread, sugar, some more sugar, junk food, and maybe a little more sugar. 

Making the decision to get healthy and fit I knew that I would have to cut things out, try different ways of eating, try eating different things, but I also knew that I was going to be prepared – If you aren’t prepared, be prepared to fail.

Every fortnight my husband and I sit down and plan our fortnight of meals. Yes, I do this with my husband, because quite frankly its good to bounce new ideas for food off him, and well that way he knows exactly what I am cooking, so if he doesn’t like it, he knows what nights he has to fend for himself!

Each meal I cook I make sure that there is enough not only for dinner for myself, my husband and my daughter, but I also make sure that there is enough for lunch for both of us the next day (this saves money – If you have a husband or wife buying lunch every day, add it up over a year… You are looking at roughly $2500 a year) 

Cooking enough at dinner so that there is enough for lunch the next day mean that I am prepared for the next day. Of course there are some nights where dinner isn’t quite enough BUT in this case I always have salad stuff, and usually a chicken breast in the freezer that can easily be thawed, or a can of tuna that I can have. 

So here is my fortnight of DINNERS:

MONDAY Bunless Hamburgers
TUESDAY Paleo Chicken Schnitzel with salad
WEDNESDAY Bangers and Sweet Potato Mash/Steamed Vegetables
THURSDAY Santa Fe Chicken with Cauliflower Rice and Salad
FRIDAY Steak with Salad
SATURDAY OUT – Family BBQ
SUNDAY Chicken Caccitore with Steamed Vegetables
MONDAY Paleo Beef Strogganoff
TUESDAY Bolongnese with Zoodles
WEDNESDAY Stuffed Chicken Breast with Steamed Vegetables
THURSDAY Beef Stir Fry with Cauliflower Rice
FRIDAY Lettuce Wrap Burritos
SATURDAY TAKE AWAY
SUNDAY Roast Chicken with Roast Vegetables

Most fortnights there isn’t much of a double up. So in 1 month, we rarely eat the same thing. Why? Well because I believe a good variety of different meals mean that you never get bored, and because eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.

Tips for making sure you are prepared:

– Have whiteboard or notebook that you can use to write your meal plan on.
– Write a shopping list, and stick to it (this will also help you save money)
– Cook enough at dinner for lunch the next day.
– Where you can, buy in bulk. Meal can be frozen on your grocery day, and then thawed the day that you need it for cooking.
– Have options that you can use for fresh lunches – cans of tuna, salad stuff, hams and chicken breasts.

 

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One thought on “Meal Planning… This Is How I Do It…

  1. I’m not a food planner! My mum loved doing it when I was living with her, she liked planning it all out before payday so everything could be sitting, waiting in the fridge or freezer ready to go, and I think it drove me a bit nuts! I like more of an intuitive approach, but I’m also happy eating the same thing (or something very similar) a few days in a row.

    Our Sunday/weekend roasts, for example – we usually do a roast chicken on the weekends, then use the leftover chicken meat and fat in soup the following day (as well as veggies we’ve grabbed from the Farmer’s market), and if I’m feeling really inspired to do a huge batch of cooking, I’ll pop stock on with the leftover chicken parts. We’ve been doing this for months on end (not some of those really hot days in summer, but you get the idea!). I’ve also had almost the same thing for breakfast for the last 6 months. I’ve not gotten bored with it yet, so I just keep going! Its tasty and nutritious, so why not?

    For the other few nights in the week, we get a bit more experimental – what does the butcher have in cheap this week? Or is there a item at the grocer that isn’t always there we can use as a feature ingredient? Is there something leftover in the freezer from last fortnight? It doesn’t work out to be too expensive, its just about doing your research – knowing which local shops have good specials, knowing your ingredients and how to use them.

    But that’s the great thing about the internet, right? So many different approaches, you can always find one that works for you.

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