Hi friends! We’re back to Monday. Ugh. Sometimes I get serious Sunday blues because I start thinking about Monday. Yesterday was one of those days, even though I knew it would be a nice week at a local client this week. I kept reminding myself of that fact. There is no reason to get so worked up and bummed out!
Since yesterday was Sunday I did something that I typically do on Sundays that a few people have found interesting – meal planned. One of the ways that my first AdvoCare 24 Day Challenge changed my life is that it got me in this habit of meal planning on Sundays. It’s a wonderful habit! You find yourself with meal options and the food to actually make those options during the week when you are so tired you don’t want to think, let alone come up with a recipe and go buy the food to make it. I want to share with you how I go about doing this for a few reasons:
1. A few people have asked and genuinely seem interested when I told them.
2. I used to be one of those people who thought meal planning was way too restrictive and would never work for me. If you are one of those people, listen up!
How I Meal Plan (In 500 easy steps! Just kidding)
Pre-planning: Determine how I am going to keep track of the meals I want to make, my grocery list, and how to find my recipes.
I keep a note on my phone (in the iPhone Notes app) of the meals I am planning out.
As you can see, I just list 1-7 and put the meals I’ve picked here. I only plan dinners. I eat pretty much the same thing for breakfast every day (egg, toast, avocado… egg, toast, pesto… toast, PB, fruit) and eat leftovers for lunch. I do put my breakfast food and snack food on my grocery list, but not my list of meals. Also, 1-7 are just arbitrary point holders and do not correspond to order I’ll make meals or nights of the week. None of that here!
My grocery list is also on my phone (iPhone Reminders app). I add items as I go through recipes and delete items as I put them in my cart in the grocery store.
I pretty much exclusively use Pinterest to find recipes. Between the home page, the Food & Drink category, and some random searches based on a craving, I’m able to find any recipe I want. I usually pin the recipe to my Meal Makers board. If I don’t like a meal, I will delete the pin later.
Step 1: Add any meals that I have a hankering for into my meals list and the ingredients I need to buy on my grocery list. This is the easy step!
Step 2: Start browsing Pinterest for meal ideas. Start with my home page, checking to see if anything jumps out at me. Then browse Food & Drink. Usually as I browse, I get an idea and search for my idea. Pin, add to meal list, and add ingredients to grocery list.
Step 3: When I’m running out of ideas, and nothing is really looking crazy good on Pinterest, I’ll start thinking about stuff I have already in my fridge or pantry that might need used. Spaghetti sauce? Search for a fun pasta dish. Spinach? Search “spinach” on Pinterest. Pin, add to meal list, and add ingredients to grocery list.
Step 4: When meal list is full, go grocery shopping.
Step 5: During the week, ask husband what he’s feeling like from the meal list each evening. I have all of the ingredients to make these meals, so actually going about making them isn’t bad! That’s it!!
I love this process because it’s fun to do, it’s easy to do, it’s customizable, and it gets me organized. For example, if I know that I’m going to be commuting a lot one week and don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen, I will only pick out meals that won’t take much time to put together. By not assigning a meal to a specific night of the week, I don’t feel restricted. I need options! Even if I love a food, if you tell me I have to eat it and only it for dinner, I won’t want it. I feel so flexible by having options and being able to pick what I want each night. I just love it. If you’re looking for a better way to plan meals for the week, actually find a plan, or to switch things up, you should try this out. Let me know if you love it too!