Meal Planning

Don't Overthink it!


“The goal is to make the best dietary choice of what is in front of you. Planning ahead helps improve your choices.”

Schedule Time to Meal Plan


The supper annoying part of meal prepping is the planning, which is why I do mine with a fancy drink, either, kombucha, pellegrino or a beer depending on my mood. Make an experience out it.


I start with a day of the week to plan, I try my hardest to keep it consistent but you know, life. As you start the learning process being strict with your day of the week is important until you become more comfortable with the habit.


If I stick to the day, it's is usually Sunday and I create a menu for the following week and cook on Friday's. If you are starting out with little background in meal planning/prepping, I would suggest picking the meal or time of day you struggle with most and focus on planning just those meals.


My scheduled meals are as listed:


+ First Breakfast is typically my pre workout meal before 7 am.

+ Second is to replenish after my workout around 9ish.

+ I eat lunch between 11 am - 2 pm depending on my work schedule.

+ I have an afternoon snack between 3-5 pm.

+ I often work late into the evenings, meaning I have my last meal of the day {or dinner} around 7 pm-ish.


Scheduling out when you eat is just as important as scheduling what you eat. Your schedule is going to look different than mine, so plan what makes sense in your day and stick with it.


An alternative could look like:


+ Breakfast 7 am

+ Morning Snack: 10 am

+ Lunch: 1pm

+ Afternoon snack or maybe a pre workout meal: 3pm

+ Dinner or post workout meal: 6-7 pm



Charting Out Your Menu will Keep You Organized


Full Week Menu:


This looks like a lot but ultimately, I have about 2-3 hours of cooking which is not bad compared to when I started. I would be in the kitchen for a whole day!


Meal Focused Menu:

As you become more comfortable with the process, add in another meal.


Let's Talk Portions


When I first started meal prepping I had no idea how to portion out food or what was considered a "healthy" meal. SO I did what most people did, deep dived into traditional "diet culture." I bought a food scale, did these crazy math equations to calculate my macros!!!! It was overwhelming and it's what I thought was needed to plan meals. A piece of advice -


"Meal Planning & Prepping is not only for Losing Weight"

Read your nutrition labels for proper serving sizes and trust what your body naturally craves. I LOVE Lebanese, Mediterranean and Greek food so naturally I was over chicken, rice and broccoli immediately.


Tips!


Keep it Simple

This is a great example of using proper serving sizes and a variety of color. This salad includes a protein, a fruit, dark leafy greens, oil, healthy fats and a fresh dressing. Keep it simple over complicated. Using a blood orange in comparison to a naval, offers a variety in nutrients and keeps "healthy choices" interesting. Small changes can add up to big results.







Meals to Go

Grain Bowls are a great way to get a variety of color, nutrients and they are dense = filling.

They are easy to make as a large batch and keep in the fridge for prepped meals to go.


Essential Elements of a Grain Bowl {Use any or all of these Elements} =


Grain + Protein + Cooked Veggies + Raw Vegetable + Sauce + Garnish + Crunch = Amazing!




Bring your Favorites Home

You can have pizza, tacos, burgers and all your favorites but by making them at home, you will never use the amount of salt, sugar or oils that a restaurant would use. Get your children involved, cook as a family, sit down and eat together. Create a conversation around food.










I have been doing this for years and perfecting with time. DO NOT over complicate it. Start with meals that come natural to you and if you are still struggling, let's do it together. My Holistic Eating Program is a great place to find BALANCE with FOOD and build the habits that will make you successful.



xoxo, Eleacia


Recipe Links:


Chia Seed Pudding


Carrot Ginger Soup


Honey Turmeric Marinated Chicken Drummies


Chipotle Tahini Bowl


5 Ingredient Coconut Curry


Chickpea, Carrot and Dill Salad


Baba Ganoush