creating a meal plan

There are many, many valuable reasons out there to create a meal plan every week. It saves you from making multiple trips to the grocery store, ensures that you don’t buy groceries you don’t need (which saves money and translates to less food waste), and also means that the “what are we having for dinner” thoughts at 5:00pm are eliminated. Which is one of the worst thoughts ever, don’t you think? It is definitely the thought that makes me lean towards going out or grabbing take-out on the way home.

I’m going to show you how I create my weekly meal plan and subsequent grocery list – I hope that you will share your tips if you are a meal planner, or if you aren’twhat is holding you back from being one!

Step One: create an outline of dinners:

  • 1 new recipe (from a cookbook, pinterest, etc.)
  • 1-2 simple: rotisserie chicken or some other similarly easy meal
  • 1 fish
  • 1-2 pasta night (or stir-fry, taco, pizza, crock pot, etc.)
  • 1-2 open nights (for going out, take out, dinner with friends, etc.

*if you don’t plan specific veggies with the meals, be sure to pick up a few fresh and frozen vegetables for dinners

Step Two: create a list of the standard breakfast & lunches:

  • eggs, cereal, oats, frozen waffles, toast, yogurt
  • sandwich supplies, salads, frozen meals

I go really simple on the outline – no fancy paper or spreadsheet – just a sheet of paper so that it can be easily changed.

Step Three: create the shopping list. Be sure to include staples in your list (not having garlic for a recipe is horrifying)!

Step Four: go shopping, and do as much meal prep as you can ahead of time! Sometimes paying a little extra for vegetables that are already cleaned and ready to go can make a huge difference in how much time it will take to you prepare the meal. Or if you have time on the weekends, you can prep vegetables and make grains before the week gets busy.

Step Five: eat and enjoy your home cooked meals!

Or, I’ll do it all for you. :)

Do you plan out your meals every week? What does your process look like? 

old school superfoods

Not a day goes by where we don’t hear of the latest and greatest health foods (think goji berries, chia seeds, kombucha, etc.) and it might make us look in our own cupboards and groan with the thought of another $150 trip to Whole Foods.

Today though, I’m not going to tell you about the newest superfood – I’m going to tell you about the old school superfoods. They aren’t really fancy, they aren’t really new, but they are superfoods, and you should be consuming them!

Green tea is a centuries-old superfood and for good reason! The catechins found in green tea can help to prevent cancers and heart disease,  lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and also increases your caloric burn. It is best to have at least 2 cups to receive the benefits, so sip it in the morning or afternoon!

Flaxseed might just be having a comeback, I saw tons of flax and flax products at Expo West this year. It is full of protein, fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. The flaxseed must be ground to reap the benefits so make sure you are buying it already ground or grinding it yourself. Throw it on cereal, yogurt, into smoothies or baked goods.

Eggs are loaded with nutrients, but please, eat the whole egg! The choline found in eggs helps regulates brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems and is also full of lutein and zeaxanthin which are beneficial for eye health. They are also one of the only foods that naturally contains Vitamin D. The high protein content is just an added bonus.

Garlic has been touted for years as a natural antibiotic but it also protects against certain cancers (breast, prostate and colon) and can even help lower cholesterol levels. Add roasted, sauteed and raw garlic into everything.

Blueberries contain one of the highest levels of antioxidants found in fruits or vegetables. They are also full of Vitamin C and fiber while being very low in calories – 80 calories per cup. Serve over cereal, in smoothies, on salads or by the handful.

Do you regularly eat these superfoods? How?

top 5 ways to eat vegetables at breakfast

There is something so….healthy about starting your day off with vegetables. It just feels so good.

Don’t roll your eyes, I swear it’s true!

Ideally, we would eat vegetables at every meal, not just lunch and dinner. I know that vegetables at breakfast really throw some people off, but it doesn’t have to. It can be delicious, nutritious and totally normal. :)

Here are my favorite ways to incorporate vegetables into breakfast. Try it!

Top 5 Ways to Eat Vegetables at Breakfast 

  • Eggs + Greens: I’m a big fan of eggs and greens – sauteed or raw! Try  sauteed kale or chard or fresh arugula or herb salad greens.
  • Fresh Juice or Smoothie: Vegetable juices are great (need to get out the juicer) and adding some spinach into a smoothie is an easy way to get a few servings of vegetables in.
  • Salads: They aren’t just for lunch! Try a breakfast inspired salad, like Breakfast Cobb Salad or a salad with fresh fruit and nuts.
  • Scrambled Eggs or Omelet: This is probably the way most people are most accustomed to eating vegetables in the morning. Try peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, etc in your next scramble or omelet.
  • Asian Inspiration: Brown Rice + Sauteed Vegetables + Splash of Sesame Oil & Soy Sauce.

Are you scared of vegetables in the morning or do you add them to breakfast? 

healthy breakfast ideas

Last week, when I shared my favorite 1-minute snack ideas with you all, I got a request for breakfast ideas.

I used to be the person who could eat toast and peanut butter or oatmeal and peanut butter for days on end, but now I’ve noticed that I need a little more variety in the morning.

 

(source) FYI: this is NOT what breakfasts look like in our home. :)

Here are my favorite healthy breakfast ideas to give you some inspiration for your morning meal – please add yours to the list!

Healthy Breakfast Ideas: 

  • breakfast quesadilla or burrito: tortilla + eggs + veggies + cheese + salsa
  • protein pancakes (recipe from meals & moves)
  • breakfast sandwich: egg + english muffin + cheese
  • smoothie: frozen fruits + leafy greens + milk + protein blended together until smooth
  • (fun!) oatmeal (tips on oatmeal and recipe ideas)
  • protein plate: hard boiled egg + banana + peanut butter
  • rush breakfast: protein/granola bar + apple
  • paleo inspired cereal: fresh berries + chopped nuts + milk
  • eggs: 1-2 eggs + toast
  • greek yogurt parfait: 1 serving greek yogurt + fresh fruit + 1 serving cereal or granola
  • amped up cereal: high fiber cereal + fresh fruit + 1 Tbsp nuts  or nut butter + milk
  • macrobiotic breakfast: brown rice + miso soup