I've been getting a lot of messages and comments lately about how helpful it is to have meal ideas. It's hard to know how to put a meal together sometimes. Many of us go to the store, buy ingredients that look good, but then have NO idea how to combine them into filling and nutritious meals! Well, I'm here to help!
As a dietitian, I know what makes a meal balanced and which meals will keep me full verses ones that keep me wanting more. When I make my meal plans for clients (and myself!), I always try to balance out our meals throughout the day so that we are constantly fueled and energized. This also helps us to avoid the pitfalls of hunger which can lead to cravings and unhealthy food choices!
It is also equally important to have meals you look forward to eating, as well as meals that are nutritious. If you are dreading your meal, you will NOT enjoy it, so you'll be on the lookout for something to satisfy your appetite. That is why meals should not only provide you with nutrition, but also enjoyment, flavors, and satisfaction!
While I don't want to give away ALL of my meal planning secrets (after all, that is what my clients get access to and I don't want to interfere with my services!) here are a few of my tips to help you get starting meal planning for your family!
1. Take an inventory of what you have and write it all down. Write down a list of all your canned goods, frozen foods, fresh foods, and everything you have on hand. That way, you know what you already have that could possibly be transformed into a meal, and also know what you'll need from the store.
2. Make your meals a combination of protein, carbs, and fats, and make your snacks two out of those three macronutrients. Meaning, a snack can be a protein + carb, a carb + fat, or a fat + protein. Making your meals a combination of all three will give them staying power, and your snacks, when made up of the two out of three, will be more filling and power you through to your next meal!
3. Keep a TON of spices on hand. This way, even if you plan on having chicken all week long, you can season your chicken in different ways to make each meal different!
4. Cook in bulk for leftovers. Simply doubling a recipe can save you cooking the next day, or can give you leftovers for work instead of going out.
5. Try new recipes every week. If you feel that you are bored from your usual rotation of meals, Google or Pinterest some new recipes and try those out! You can even peruse my recipes for some new meal inspiration as well. We are creatures of habit and can often fall into a rut, but it is important to also enjoy your meals and add variety to your diet once in a while, so don't be afraid to try new flavors and dishes!
I hope these simple tips can help you as you plan out your meals for you and your family. And as always, if you need a bit more guidance or want to work on a meal plan together, feel free to check out the services I offer! We can help you get started with a program and plan that works best for you and your goals.