How to Hack Your Weekly Meal Planning
Make it easier on yourself this week… You deserve it.
Ok, ok, I get it. We’re tired of cooking the same meals week over week. It feels impossible to get creative with healthy food sometimes without sacrificing nutrition.
Don't fret. I’m here to break it down for you in 3 easy steps so you can plan faster, cook smarter, and optimize your time in the kitchen. Because, we have better things to do than spend hours scrolling Pinterest for new recipes.
Step 1. Take note of everything you have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry - chances are there’s a spare can of black beans in the back that probably could and should be used up.
Step 2. Decide how many meals you’re going to be planning for…
I usually opt for:
2 breakfast options
2 lunch options
4-5 dinners (knowing we’ll do 1-2 meals out)
Step 3. Use the P/C/C/F (protein, carb, color, fat) formula to outline your meals
Example: Mediterranean Bowl
PROTEIN pre-marinated grilled chicken
CARB cooked brown rice
COLOR arugula or mixed greens, diced cucumber & tomatoes
FAT hummus & feta cheese
Example: Turkey Sandwich
PROTEIN roasted deli turkey
CARB whole grain or sourdough bread
COLOR lettuce, tomato, red onion, and baby carrots on the side
FAT avocado or cheese
Convenient options, aka "shortcuts", require less cook time and are ideal in situations where food needs to be ready in 30min or less.
These include things like pre-marinated meats, pre-cut veggies, par-boiled or microwaveable grains, frozen veggies or protein, and store-bought salad dressings or sauces. These are great for those who are short on time but don’t want to sacrifice nutrition.
Some of my shortcut staples include:
Condiments like BBQ and hot sauces
Pre-made salad dressings
Salad KITS from the produce section
Frozen brown rice (can by sauteed or microwaved in a pinch)
Frozen turkey burgers or meatballs
Canned legumes like chickpeas, black and cannellini beans
Skillet sauces from brands like Frontera
If you plan on batch cooking or preparing things in advance you can totally opt to cook grains from scratch, marinate your own proteins, and make dressings and sauces fresh. Most of the time doing a little of the legwork ahead of time can make your healthy food more convenient during the week.
The important thing when you’re making your plan is to consider the ingredients that you’ll have time for.
When thinking about your week, decide what you’ll prepare in advance and what you’ll cook on the spot. My advice is to not be too ambitious here… Really take into consideration your schedule including things like evening activities, sports, dinners out, etc.
A complete weekly plan might look something like this:
P = protein
C = carb
F = fat/flavor
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Questions? I'd love to hear from you,
Email me at MarissaSommersRD@gmail.com