You may have to experiment with this, but try to determine the best day to plan and more specifically how many days you will plan for. I like it hot, I like spicy…okay not as in seasoning but seriously mixing things up will do a lot of great things for your taste buds, your health and your eating mentality. To make planning a little bit easier make week night themes based on the amount of time you have each night.
In all of this, it isn’t necessarily about being rigid but more in knowing that you have the food on hand and you have an idea of what you can make with it. As a gift to you, I have created a meal planning chart that I give to my clients to help them plan out their weeks and I am going to give it to your FREE. As a nutritionist, I have a passion for helping you use real foods to create realistic changes into your life by incorporating good nutrition for the whole picture of health and wellness. Many people wing it when it comes to planning out a week’s worth of meals, hoping that a grocery haul full of healthy products will be enough to get by.
To get started on your clean-eating adventure, try one of these five apps, which make meal planning a total cinch. Thanks to an easy-to-navigate interface where you drag and drop recipes (or keywords like “burgers” and “salad”) into a home screen organized by meal, this app is great for disorganized dieters who need a simple way to map out their weekly diet, sans all the crazy bells and whistles. With over one million drool-worthy recipes in its database, Yummly is the ultimate resource for casual chefs looking to whip up some fresh ideas.
Need to pull the groceries together, but don’t have the time — or everyone in the same place at the same time to figure out wants and needs? Normally I’m not the most organized of people but this, this is an area of priority in my life. Remember, this isn’t meant for you to obsess over but rather to help you be prepared with food on hand and take an extra burden off your weeknights.
Eating the same foods over and over and over may sound appealing, kind of like you are in control, but let’s be honest, it is pretty darn boring to everyone involved. Plus, you know that one healthy meal makes two or if your lucky three healthy meals without extra cleaning time. I scan the freezer, refrigerator and pantry for things we have on hand, especially produce. Cutting all of your veggies for a week and getting as many meals ready as you can saves time both in cooking and cleaning plus it takes the thinking out of it.
I typically will use this chart to write out my plan, cross things off and go through a couple times before I settle. She specializes in helping her clients to see the whole picture of health and wellness and enjoys developing healthy grain free recipes and writing about various health topics.


But if you’ve ever found yourself throwing out expired produce or meats (and then promptly ordering takeout for dinner), it’s time to relook at those grocery shopping habits. By merely outlining your meal strategy, healthy choices — and thus, healthy weeks — become no-brainers. Whether you need help actually creating a well-rounded grocery list or are looking to expand your recipe repertoire, read on for the best meal planning apps around. Once completed, you can email or print out the generated grocery list (sorted by aisle — so helpful). Filter app searches by prep time, nutrition or type of cuisine, then save favorites to your “Yums,” a virtual recipe box. Meet AnyList, which allows multiple users to add items to a singular shopping list, either manually or with the help of our girl Siri.
This course-minded app has a built-in timer on iPad, which can help you make multiple dishes at once. This will help you stick with it and allow for structure in your life, and why not make it fun? Usually it isn’t long before you drive something into the ground and dread eating it again. All this involves is making extra and thinking a little outside the box on how you could create something else from it. Just to give you an idea my themes are Monday slow-cooker, Tuesday and Wednesday experiment x 2 or 3 (I like to cook new foods, you may feel better if you stick to what you know for a while), Thursday grill, Mexican Fridays, Eat-out Saturdays and Breakfast Sundays. When you get home from work, exhausted and your kids are running around like crazy, you can just take your prepped meal and put it in the oven without the work and without the cleaning.
She lives in a cornfield in Iowa with her husband Payton and their three daughters, Ava, Addie and Auden. Success is officially in sight — after a few taps and swipes on your smartphone, of course. After you choose the meals you’ll be making, the app curates all the ingredients to a grocery list, which can be exported to Instacart, a smartphone-based, grocery-delivery service. Personally, I’m on the weekly plan mostly because I am not that organized but also because I love to eat seasonally and try my best not to let food go to waste.
I only plan for supper and assume that that I will make enough to use it as leftovers for lunch and then breakfast is a pretty standard and consistent meal in our house.
For instance if you cook a roast one night, make this harvest salad or shredded beef burrito bowls. Food is expensive and when you are working with a budget you make it a point to try and use everything you have on hand.


After you do this for a couple of days you will wonder why it took you so long to develop this system.
With meal planning I think through what one meal will need (I always cook a meal for two so I can have the leftovers for lunch) and if some ingredients will not be used up with that one meal I will plan other meals needing those ingredients so I don’t have heaps of produce, etc rotting in my fridge.
Knowing what and when you’re going to eat will streamline your grocery shopping and save you money.
Splurge for a premium account and you’ll be able to assign shopping list items to different stores, plus create location-based reminders so you’ll never forget to pick up more chia seeds next time you pass by Trader Joe’s. However, if you are new to this real food plan you may need to plan all the way around just to make sure that the food is available when you are hungry and you are eating the right types of food at each meal. If you see something in a magazine or on Pinterest that looks appealing, write it down, find a recipe and experiment. You will be amazed at how much easier this makes your life, you just have to get over the dreaded task of packing a lunch.
The app will aggregate a grocery list that also shows you the price of ingredients if you shop at one of the stores utilized in the app.
Again, this is not to obsess over or to create a diet-like mentality, it is only meant for the sake of time and to reduce stress. One of my favorite ways to keep it spicy is to try and re-create foods I’ve eaten at nice restaurants. Honestly, on nights when the meal is really delicious there may be some fights as to who actually gets the leftovers.
Let them each write down a dish that they would like to have that week, the safe foods and expand from there. Plus, I may have a slight obsession with flipping through food magazines and scouring food blogs and Pinterest.
My hubby usually wins as he is the first one up in the morning and thus the first to leave the house, leftovers in tote.
Having a schedule of what you’re planning to eat, even if it is just for dinner, will help you save time while sticking to a clean eating diet.
Getting family involved in planning is one of the greatest ways to get them on board with healthy eating. It’s a great way to be creative, experiment with new recipes and most importantly help you stick to a budget.



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