The im­por­tance of meal plan­ning for great health

Great Health Guide - - CONTENTS - Me­gan McGrath

Are you too busy to meal plan? Are you too tired and too stressed to have time to pre­pare proper meals? Meal plan­ning is one of those ar­eas that can re­ally cause stress if it’s not un­der con­trol. We all know what it is like to walk into the house after work or after col­lect­ing chil­dren from school ac­tiv­i­ties and not hav­ing a clue about what we are go­ing to make for din­ner. Hurry, hurry, rush, rush, scram­ble, scram­ble – we end up grab­bing some­thing quick and easy that is not nec­es­sar­ily good for us. We are too busy to meal plan. It is one of the eas­i­est things we can do to make our life health­ier and bet­ter in gen­eral but is one of the first things we ne­glect when life gets busy. The good news is that it just takes a lit­tle bit of plan­ning ahead of time to get this area of your life un­der con­trol. You will no longer be too busy to meal plan.

Meal plan­ning will:

• re­duce your stress

• save you money

• al­low smarter food choices

• help you man­age your time bet­ter

• turn a hec­tic week into one that is much less stress­ful

• help im­prove your per­sonal health & the health of your fam­ily.

Fol­low these quick steps to get your meal plan­ning un­der con­trol: 1. MAKE A LIST OF MEALS.

On a piece of pa­per, make a list of your fam­ily’s fa­vorite meals. You’ll be much more likely to suc­ceed at meal plan­ning if ev­ery­one likes what’s put on the ta­ble or in their lunch­box. I like to look on line or in my recipe books for in­spi­ra­tion and aim to try one new recipe each week. This adds

to the reper­toire and keeps meal times in­ter­est­ing.


You can make your menus a week at a time, two weeks at a time or a month at a time…what­ever works best for you. I work a week in ad­vance. On a blank sheet of pa­per write down the cho­sen meals from your lists for each day of the week (break­fasts, lunches and dinners). Keep in mind if you have cer­tain days of the week that are busier than oth­ers, plan eas­ier meals for those days. Place your menus in a prom­i­nent place such as on the fridge door so you can see them clearly each day.


Do this and you’ll never have to walk the su­per­mar­ket aisles in a fog again! Look at the meals you have on your menus, check out the recipes and then make your gro­cery list based on what in­gre­di­ents you need to buy. Don’t for­get to check what you al­ready have. It’s amaz­ing how many in­gre­di­ents you al­ready have sit­ting in our pantry and fridge. If you can in­cor­po­rate these into the meal plan and only shop for the ex­tra in­gre­di­ents you need, you will save your­self some cash, as a bonus!


Once you have your list in hand, go shop­ping! Try and shop mainly in the out­side aisles as this is where all the fresh, un­pro­cessed food is stocked. Stick to your list and don’t de­vi­ate. Come home, put your gro­ceries away and pat your­self on the back. You are well pre­pared for the com­ing week.


By set­ting aside a small amount of time to pre­pare food for the com­ing week you are off to a good start. For me, a bit of time on a Sun­day helps set me up for the week ahead. You could cut up a whole lot of raw veg­eta­bles like cel­ery, cap­sicum and car­rot for healthy ac­ces­si­ble snacks. You might like to pre­pare a batch of soup and pos­si­bly even a casse­role. You could get the kids in­volved in mak­ing some home­made muffins or a loaf. Many things will keep in the fridge for at least a week, es­pe­cially when packed in the ap­pro­pri­ate con­tain­ers. I know this seems sim­plis­tic, but it re­ally doesn’t need to be hard! Fol­low these easy steps and you will be well on your way to be­ing or­gan­ised in this area of your life. You will save so much time and never again be too busy to meal plan.

Me­gan McGrath is pas­sion­ate about sup­port­ing and em­pow­er­ing women to­wards achiev­ing healthy, bal­anced and ful­fill­ing lives. She helps cre­ate sus­tain­able change for pos­i­tive last­ing re­sults and is proud to have helped count­less peo­ple thrive and flour­ish on their well­ness jour­ney. Me­gan has a Health Sci­ence de­gree, is a pro­fes­sional ac­cred­ited Well­ness Coach, a cer­ti­fied Fit­ness Trainer and Founder of Chas­ing Sun­rise – a Health and Well­ness Con­sul­tancy.

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