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Meal Planning 101!

Have you ever found yourself at your local supermarket at 7pm on a Tuesday night? Dazed and confused under the harsh lights, starving, but unsure what you can cook now that would tick all of your boxes... so you compromise. I’ve been there. Lots.

In my experience it goes one of two ways- I go for a healthy meal eg. protein, a lot of veggies, maybe some brown rice. But by the time I get home and cook, I’m eating by 10pm. Alternatively, I get something that’s quick and easy, but hardly nourishing. Which is fine on occasion, but every second night? Not so much.

Does that ring any bells for you?

I got sick of running out of food + ideas on what to eat, so I took it back to basics and since then, life has improved remarkably.

Gone is the 12pm stress of what to buy for lunch (nb. It always ends up being sushi) and in is the lovingly prepared salad, jam-packed with nutrients.

Keen to take back some control? Here are my tips on getting started...

  • Firstly, book yourself in some time on your day off to plan, shop and prep your meals. You don’t need to cook everything ahead of time. But if you’re an exceptionally busy person, having a few yummy meals in the freezer can be a godsend.

  • Seek meal inspiration from some foodies who you like to cook with.At the moment I’m loving Eat Yourself Beautiful by Lee Holmes + The 20/20 Diet Cookbook by Lola Berry. I like to go through my cookbooks and tag any recipes that jump out at me, plus I also have a whole bunch of ideas saved on my Pinterest (inspire yourself here). Variety is key to making nourishing food an easy choice.

  • Use either a meal planner notepad (KikkiK have an excellent version here), an excel spreadsheet, or just a pen + paper to map out your meals Monday-Friday. I tend to keep weekends unplanned (to a degree) as I’m home less and we’re more likely to have meals out. However if you have a solid weekend routine; schedule away!

  • With your favourite recipes in mind, slot in your meals. Try to think of ways to minimise food waste and time in the kitchen. Plan ahead so you can have leftovers for lunch or even breakfast. Eg. Say you make a chicken and brown rice dish on Monday night, you could use the leftover rice for a brown rice porridge the next morning and maybe cook up some extra chicken to have with your lunch. 3 meals prepped in one session!

  • Once you’ve pencilled in all your meals, go through each one and write up your shopping list, keeping in mind ingredients you already have on hand. Then, take your little list to the supermarkets, farmers market or even just order online-and enjoy feeling organised. Bravo!

A few more things…

  • Don’t get caught up if things don’t go quite as you’d hoped and you miss a breakfast or a dinner. That’s life! The most important thing is that you have a plan in place and nourishing food on hand. Keep playing with it and find out ways in which you can plan around sleep in’s or late nights at the office.

  • Start observing what you like to eat and when, and then figure out how you can make those things as convenient as possible. Ie. Love a morning smoothie? Why not pre-pack your smoothie ingredients into a ziplock bag for a 30 second breakfast in the AM. Simple!

  • Planning your meals saves you a whole lot of time and energy during the week. Consciously use this time to instead do something for yourself; extra hours spent reading a good book, taking a lovely bath or spending more quality time with your love.

Get planning gorgeous! Share with me some of your speedy meal tips below; I’d love to learn more!

E x

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