Find a Meal Plan you can Live With

I’ve rarely met a client that has “arrived” in terms of meal planning. Our schedules, lives, family preferences and tastes are constantly in flux. The only constant in all this seems to be that we need to eat dinner tonight.   We need to remind ourselves that meal planning and getting dinner on the table is a noble effort…a habit we work on and refine constantly that can have huge pay-offs.   But while always an effort, perhaps we can lessen the load by taking a look at some different and new ways to meal plan. A meal plan you can actually live with and sustain is healthiest. Here are some guiding questions you can ask yourself as you look for some new momentum.

 

1)       Do you like to grocery shop?

I’ve met some clients that abhor shopping. If this is your main roadblock, don’t fight it! Acknowledge it and use some of the grocery delivery options such as Amazon Fresh or Safeway.   The time spent avoiding that which you hate will pay big dividends as you focus on preparing your meals. If you’d like three meals worth of ingredients delivered to your door each week with recipes check out www.blueapron.com. Blue Apron meals take 30 minutes or less to prepare.

 

2)       Do you enjoy cooking?

Some people have a passion for cooking but they feel timid in the kitchen. If this is you…keep at it by experimenting, trying recipes and perhaps taking a cooking class or two. If this is not you and you just don’t enjoy cooking at all consider some healthy meal delivery or ready-made meal purchase options. In the Seattle area, check out “Eat Local” www.stores.eatlocalonline.com for freshly prepared, organic and sustainably packaged meals for two, four or more. Shop at PCC or whole foods and bring home freshly-made deli or hot case options. If you’re shopping on a budget check out Trader Joe’s for plenty of short-cut ready-made sides and entrees. For easy recipes that use some of the specialty items at TJs check out www.cooktjs.com. All of these “no-cook” or “cook very little” options, while having more sodium, use quality ingredients without preservatives or additives.

 

3)       Do you need some new inspiration?

We can all get in a rut. One of the ways I get out of a meal planning rut is to buy a new cookbook. I was at Costco the other day and snagged a copy of the new America’s Test Kitchen “The Make Ahead Cook”. This cookbook has some great recipes that allow you to freeze or refrigerate meals that are fully done or almost done beforehand and finish them off the day of eating. I love that their recipes for make-ahead casseroles are double-batched. I also appreciate some of the new methods in their crock-pot recipes that add more depth of flavor. One chapter is devoted to three meals of groceries in one bag – ingredients than can be used over the multiple recipes that week. All-in-all a great cookbook for those of us that enjoy cooking but are just short on time on the weekdays.

 

I wish you well as you continue to make meal planning a priority in your life. It’s a noble effort that can provide a bedrock of health and energy for yourself and those you care for.

 

If you’d like more inspiration and tailored ideas to create a meal plan you can live with, please email Club Nutritionist, Kathryn Reed at kreed@sacdt.com

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