Meal planning does not have to be hard, but the word meal planning puts so many people in a stress that they don’t even bother trying. Actually, it’s amazing and it can help you to be more organized and stop you from cooking every single night. It shouldn’t take you more than two hours per week, once you have a regular grocery list organized full of proteins, whole grains, healthy fats and, of course, fruit and vegetables, you’re good to go! Here are three tips to make meal planning as easy as possible.
Prepare two different types of protein for the week—it doesn’t have to be chicken and fish or meat and fish, it can be as simple as chicken cooked two different ways with two different sauces. You’ll want some variety when meal planning, so prepare some breasts for Monday, Wednesday, and Friday and some thighs and legs for Tuesday and Thursday. The same goes for whole grains—you won’t want rice every night, so mix it up with some whole-grain pasta, quinoa, bulgar, or millet. These will last in the fridge for five days.
Cut up your vegetables for the week. What puts most people off is the constant chopping before each meal which takes longer than eating. So while your whole grains and proteins are cooking, start chopping. Keep them all in sealed containers in the fridge so you can just throw them in a salad or the oven when you come home from a busy day.
Make overnight oats for breakfast. This is a one-and-done prep that can last five mornings and is so filling and delicious that you won’t even need to think about what to eat. And you can add anything you want on top. All you need is a bag of oats and some yogurts—we suggest the high-protein ones. Then add your milk of choice, chia seeds (if you want), and maple syrup or honey. You will have a meal filled with all the nutrients you need. You can make it in a large bowl or put it in individual mason jars.