If you follow me on Instagram, you will have seen how I have been opening up more about my experience with postpartum depression and grief. It’s been a painfully beautiful journey to get out of the darkness, one that I have had to fight tooth and nail just to feel normal at times. It’s been a year of hard work and there have been days where I have had to just show up despite my pain and work through it. so I wanted to share with you one of the ways that has helped: Cleaning up my diet a bit and making the majority of my meals at home. It’s what has helped me lose half my baby weight in the past 2 months and has given me clarity of my mind back. In order to eat more at home, I’ve had to learn how to plan out my meals in a more effective way for the week. Now that I have 5 tips on meal planning and have a consistent plan set, I wanted to show YOU how to meal plan like a boss!
Here are my 5 Tips on How To Meal Plan Like a Boss!
1. Create Categories to make it easier to meal plan. Sometimes it is daunting trying to come up with 7 different dinner ideas off the top of your head in one sitting. It can leave you feeling overwhelmed or just cooking the same 3 things over and over again. If you need to get out of a rut and are looking for an easier way to plan, create categories for each night. Choose 7 (or however many nights you are planning for the week) of the categories below (but not limited to) and that will give you a good guide as to what you are looking for next:
For instance, your weekly plan might look a little something like this:
- M: Mexican Dish
- Tu: Vegetarian Dish
- W: Paleo Dish
- Th: Pasta Dish
- F: Soup
- Sa: Grain-Based Dish
- Su: Vegan Dish
2. A dry erase board is essential for meal plan success. Use a chalkboard, a dry erase board, or simply keep a notebook within reach. I find using a dry erase board extremely useful because I, as well as my family, can visually see it every day in plain view and know what is coming up for dinner that night. That way, I don’t have to hear the dreaded, “What’s for dinner” question at all times.
3. Use Pinterest for your meal plan prep. Using the categories you created above, create Pinterest boards for each one and start collecting ideas. This way, you can keep a good database of recipes on hand and once it’s time to set your meal plan for the week, you have plenty options to sift through and choose from. You can follow my Pinterest boards for some ideas!
4. Make sure to keep your meal plan written down. Having it written down eases the worry of remembering what’s up next. It is also helpful for staying on track with meal planning for the week (and as I mentioned earlier, it gives less opportunity to answer the question, “What’s for dinner?”). For me, it just feels good to visually see it, like I’ve conquered this massive mountain, because truth be told, I used to hate figuring out what’s for dinner on a nightly basis. Like, HATE, to the point that I would huff and puff when I had to cook or even just say screw it and order take out. Having it written down eases my worries of having to figure it out because it’s *already* figured out! I even like to cross out each recipe once I make it. I know, it’s the little things that bring me joy…
5. Take some of the work out of the week by prepping your food for your meal plan. Once I have my plan all set, I make a list of everything that I need and get all the ingredients for the week. Once I buy all the food, I come home and chop up most of the items I need for the week, snacks too! Mainly, I focus on the ingredients that take time. I have all my fresh veggies chopped so if I want to make a quick egg scramble for breakfast or need chopped onions and bell peppers in my dinner, they are ready to go and I can just toss them in. I can cut a good 10-15 minutes of prep time out of dinner just by doing this, and as you know, being a busy YOU, 10-15 minutes means everything.
That’s it! Those are my tips for How to Meal Plan Like a Boss! They aren’t mind-blowing and I know I am not re-inventing the wheel here but they are simple steps that can help you attain your goals, even if it’s as simple as making more meals at home.