Set up for success

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We’ve decided on our Why (Whole-Food, Plant-Based diet).  Now we need to look at how we can succeed.   Healthy eating starts at home, but we have moved away from spending time meal planning, shopping, prepping and cooking due to our busy lives.

Who isn’t running behind on a Monday morning as we organize and get ourselves and our family out the door to work and School?  The quick money for lunches for family and a stop at a fast food establishment for our breakfast feels like our only option.

So… now we need to stop and make a plan.  Success in our diets comes with small steps and a plan.

Whole-food, plant-based is not relying on processed food or eating out.

To start lets schedule in a time out for planning.  Think of scheduling an hour on a Friday night or Saturday is to sit and make a plan for the upcoming week.

Your plan will consist of:

Pantry check

What is in your pantry and how can you utilize it in the coming week.

Meal plan

This could be 1 meal or 3-4 meals that you will plan. If you are looking through recipes look for meals that you can use the leftovers for lunches.  Meals should include fruits, vegetables and plant protein where possible.

Grocery list

What ingredients do you need to make the meals?  Write them out and then check to see what you have on hand and what you will need to purchase.  If you need spices consider getting them in the bulk section and only enough for the dish you are making.  Spices are expensive and don’t have a long shelf life.  By buying just enough you will save on your grocery bill.

Shop

Head out with your grocery list and purchase just what is on the list.  Don’t get caught by buying things that are on sale or look good as this can add to the cost and you may not be able to use the items.

Prep

Set aside 60-90 minutes to prep for the week.  Prepping may seem like a big chore but will save you time and money during your week. 

A prep list could look like the following:

Wash, chop and store vegetables

Roast a pan of vegetables

Cook dried beans, legumes, rice and other protein items.  They can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days but also frozen in 2-cup portions for easy meal prep.

Make a slow cooker meal that you can enjoy one night and freeze the rest for an easy meal later in the week.

Staying On Track

Get your family involved with the prepping and meal decisions.

Use a white board to list the meals and lunches for the week.  Add notes where you need to take something out of the freezer in the morning for the evening.

Include healthy snacks that everyone can enjoy while waiting for dinner.

If you find you are overwhelmed then work on 1-2 meals the first week.  Start stocking your pantry with ingredients to make quick and easy dinners. You can pick up books from your library with easy meal recipes or Google recipes.

What are some of your favorite tips for meal planning and prepping?