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03.01.2015
According to a fairly recent Gallup poll, although a significant portion of Americans (six in 10) have flirted with the notion of losing weight, only about 27 percent of are actually attempting to control their actual potion sizes and maintain a healthy eating regimen. Although most adults start their weight-loss routines with a certain amount of enthusiasm, after a couple weeks of mismatched dieting, those routines tend to fade away. Of all the major mistakes most dieters tend to make in their initial weight-loss stage, caloric dishonesty and food omitting tends to rank the highest. And what’s best, the Monthly Meal Planner Template leaves little room for variation or interpretation.
My goal is to help busy families eat healthy, well-balanced meals on a budget by teaching meal planning strategies that truly save time, money and stress in the kitchen! Your Meal Plan is your flight plan for the week ahead – what you will be making for dinner (and lunch, if you get that detailed with it).
Shopping Day is obviously the day you’re going to purchase all of the ingredients you need for the week ahead (i.e.
Cut your chicken breasts horizontally into thinner breasts – thinner breasts cook faster and are also a better individual portion size. For a healthier, yet just as quick breakfast for your kids – phase out all those frozen waffles, pancakes and French toast brands you’re purchasing and replace them with your own homemade, healthier versions.
Since our kids take their lunch to school everyday, healthy and easy kid’s lunch box sides are a must in the Smith house!
Then why not download my free meal planning template perfect for creating your own weekly meal plans. It’s handy to run onions, carrots and celery through the food processor and fry them in coconut oil or butter in advance. Speaking of which, I keep a large plastic container in the freezer, and all peelings, ends of things, veggies threatening to go bad, etc (except potatoes) go in it so when I have enough bones to do broth, I have it all handy. I COMPLETELY agree with not shopping hungry as food you didn’t intend to buy seems to jump into your cart. Breakfasts are tricky because I am not a morning person and sometimes hubby’s mornings are WAY too early for me.
I spend less than an hour on Fridays putting groceries away, cutting up most of my produce. Again, research shows that protein is especially important to start your day (after all you’re breaking fast) as it helps to regulate blood insulin levels. Just planning 3-4 meals a week, especially focusing on planning those meal for busy nights, will go a long way in helping you and your family eat healthier and save time and money! Yes, I do have a set day for meal planning and for prepping (usually an hour or two) and I highly recommend scheduling time on your calendar to make out you meal plan each week. As far as meats and fish, I tend to get these at Whole Foods, Azure Standard (a co-op I belong to) and I love U.S.
Prep: cut up sweet potato into slices and put a small amount of EVOO on cooking sheet and stir to coat. I stumbled upon this Teriyaki Marinade when I was looking for a clean eating alternative to commercial marinades. 3.Saute the onions, celery, garlic, sundried tomatoes, carrots, and herbs using the same skillet. I’ve often wished I was one of those people that can just whip up a spreadsheet, and, viola, I’d have all my meals planned and my daily workouts planned and tracked.  Unfortunately, I’m a total nincompoop when it comes to using computer programs. I was totally excited when I found out that Microsoft Office 2010 has scores of templates for fitness, weight loss, healthy eating, and meal planning!  If you can’t find the template you need on the Word, Excel, or One Note applications themselves, you can go to Microsoft Office online and search for templates.
If you are looking to loose weight or inches the Measurements and Weight Tracker Template might be more up your alley. This template calculates weight and inches lost over a one month period as well as giving you an all time loss.  It also calculates your BMI.
If you don’t yet have the most current version of Microsoft Office 2010 I recommend checking it out.  There are a variety of purchase options and prices depending on your needs.
I love spreadsheets and planning things – this is a really great idea of how to stay on track! Although critics can place the blame on fast food restaurants all they please, it’s pretty safe to assume that a flailing sense of willpower might have something to do with it.
Whether you attribute it to too high of weight-loss standards or depleted energy, the kinds of goals individuals are making in their weight loss efforts are either too vague, or too determined. All snacks, meals and deserts must be logged succinctly and accordingly – any straying from your meal planning will likely be glaring. The more you leave out, the less you’ll account for, and the less weight you’ll actually lose. You can now view my Mastering Meal Planning presentation as well as download the course handout I provide to local friends who attend my Mastering Meal Planning presentations throughout the Southern California area. I’ve also included a sample (picture) of one of my meal plans for your reference, as well as free pdf downloads of my meal planning templates for use in creating your own meal plans. For example, if you have a super tight schedule on Tuesdays, plan for it to be a quick and easy-to-prepare meal night. By prepping ahead, you’ll save time and you’ll be less stressed out in getting a healthy, homemade meal on the table during busy weeknights.


Use ground meat to mix and form into meatballs and burgers that can be frozen for later use. For example, I find it super helpful to pre-chop, rinse and store lettuce for salads for the week ahead. After cutting the breasts, place them in a ziplock freezer bag with your favorite marinade. Even the healthy brands are not as healthy as homemade and they are much more expensive per serving! For example, a lot of people start with eliminating refined sugar and start making their own healthier sweet treats using natural sweeteners. I went through a nutrition class a few years ago at our local county extension service & that was so helpful in learning how to menu plan. So by adding eggs in some form, the meal becomes more satisfying and yes, also increases the protein content, which is great for many reasons. That’s why, I also serve either a boiled egg or side of turkey bacon or sausage when having oatmeal or rice porridge for breakfast.
If you start out slow and remain consistent, it’s a lot easier to build on that success. My challenge is that I am single and usually make small trips to different food stores during the week. So you are in control to determine what meals work for you based on your healthy eating goals (again see post above about setting goals) and can determine what portion sizes are best for you as well. Making meal planning a priority will really save you so much time the rest of the week, as well as keep you on track with your healthy eating goals. I actually have containers into which I directly portion off leftovers, so that they’re ready to go in the mornings.
I recently read the book Nourishing Traditions that I got from my mother in law and I must just say I was in love with it.. Wellness Meats – wish I could afford more of their products as they’re excellent! Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring until mixture thickens and water is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Cut up any veggies you would like such as mushrooms, onions, tomatoes, green peppers, and saute in evoo, add egg and let the mixture set.
In a separate skillet, saute garlic, bell peppers, onion and mushrooms (use a small amount of olive oil if necessary). Add the crushed tomatoes and diced tomatoes, broth, garlic powder, crushed red peppers, and oregano. While vegetables are cooking, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a separate skillet and cook chicken until almost fully cooked. Once all veggies and chicken have been stir fried, season with lime juice, sesame seeds, sesame oil, ground ginger, and tamari in skillet. Simple visit Free Video Course: Mastering Meal Planning to watch my free eCourse on meal planning. Taking time to really think-through this first step will save you a ton of time in the long run – no more racking your brain to try to think of what you should make for the week.
Or plan for it to be a “left-overs night” where you can simply warm-up a meal from a previous evening. Reorganizing your frig and pantry ensures you know what’s on hand, where it’s located and enables you to quickly and more efficiently unload your groceries when you return home from the market. I also like to precook and freeze ground meat for use in meals like tacos, chili, soups, etc.
Simply plan ahead to make a big breakfast (or have breakfast for dinner) and make a double batch of homemade waffles, pancakes or French toast and individually wrap and place in freezer bags the leftovers.
You can use either mini-snack-sized baggies, or if you want to be more sustainable, use mini-plastic containers that can be washed and reused. By going slowly, you’ll also find it much easier to get those picky eaters on board too.
There are a couple of reasons why I would add eggs to a breakfast of muffins and smoothies. With that said, when my boys were little, I found that yogurt, a high protein muffin (such as a muffin made with almond flour or coconut flour) and some fruit was plenty to satisfy them.
So if you were doing a dinner meal plan only, then perhaps only plan 3-4 dinners per week for about 3-4 weeks and then add from there.
I also like variety, don’t fancy elaborate cooking weeknights, and want to get more grains and beans into my food regime, while having small portions to help reduce my chunky stomach and hips. I have a post that discuss how to develop a food budget, however, the tips provided are really focused on encouraging individuals and families to create a healthy eating game plan. A great way to plan out portion sizes is to look at the number of servings listed in a recipe and then adjust accordingly.
I am so glad you’re finding this site helpful to you as you begin adopting a healthy real food lifestyle. As far as snacks, have you checked out my snacks section on the site, there are many different options from sweet to savory.


I would love to just use your premade meal plans but my son wont eat alot of things on there. Add the bell pepper, onion, and garlic; saute over medium heat until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes.
I like to see everything in black and white so this is a tool that would prove to be quite useful for me!
Ensuring you actually have left-overs for “left-overs night” is simple when you plan ahead for it – just make extra of a meal that reheats well, and “voila,” leftovers night!
If you don’t have a good propane grill, I recommend that you seriously consider investing in one! Then simply take them right out of your freezer and place into your toaster oven for a quick, yet healthy breakfast.
It helps to come up with a plan that you and your hubby agree about and then share the plan with the kids explaining why you and Dad have decided that healthy eating is important. For example, if you’re making two meals a week and eating out the rest of the time, start by planning those two meals and maybe adding one more day for a total of three planned meals. One is for the benefit of the extra protein since research studies show that high protein breakfasts better satisfy appetite, and also help to regulate blood insulin levels. You can either reduce the recipe so you don’t have any leftovers, but I recommend having at least one extra serving that can be refrigerated or frozen for a later date. Sounds like you’re very committed to nourishing your family, which is so wonderful to hear. He is almost 3 and all he will eat willingly is sandwiches and fruit, but anything else, even just placing something on a plate in front of him, he will run crying to his room. And, as you start trying new recipes, remember to add the ones your family like to your Master List of Meals.
Here’s a secret for making your own fresh-sliced apple sides for the week ahead: Cut apples and place into individual containers with a dash of pineapple juice, shake well to distribute the juice – they will stay fresh all week. As you get comfortable with meal planning and see it’s benefits, you can increase from there.
Of course, you can make a full portion if you want a lot of extra servings to store for future meals that are quick to reheat on busy nights. For example I need to remember to plan for 3 meals on Saturdays and Sundays, but only two on weekdays, or even just dinner, because I eat out with colleagues at least twice a week. He used to eat everything and was just so in love with food and he has slowly dwindled down to just a few things. In a large heavy saute pan (preferably cast-iron), heat 2 tablespoons oil over a medium-high flame. Continue simmering over medium-low heat until the chicken is just cooked through, about 30 minutes.. This preteen phase is starting to make me think I may need to get a part-time job to feed them. So if I plan on Sunday for the week, I’m already having to figure out shopping for the next Sunday, without giving myself a monster list to fill on any given day on the weekdays. Its just been within the last several years that I have been changing my habits as far as eating and being more organic.. The Lord is so good in helping us to maintain balance when we remember to present all of our concerns and desires to Him and seek His direction (Matthew 6:25-33).
So the best way to feed him is to model healthy eating and only stock your home with choices that are nutritionally sound.
I tend to pick up bags of legumes as I need them, and at the end of the week I’m getting lots of produce and some meat.
You want a balance of healthy proteins and fats, organic, pastured animal sources are terrific such as pastured poultry, eggs, beef and wild-caught fish rich in omega 3s.
Other healthy fats come from nutritional powerhouses like coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, nuts, and whole milk dairy products, which if cultured are excellent sources of calcium and probiotics. If u can give me any tips on feeding a 4 and a half year old and kinda what he should be eating that would be greatly appreciated..
If he has no issues with dairy sensitivity, cultured dairy once a day is a great source of good nutrition. And of course the mainstay is to get those organic veggies in there, raw or slightly steamed is best. But we Moms know this can be a challenge with some kiddos ?? I also highly recommend cultured veggies (also referred to as lacto-fermented foods). They are excellent because they provide the added benefit of gut-healthy probiotics and enzymes.



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