Dec 9, 2014

Clean Eating Meal Plan

When I think about what helps me the most with my health and fitness goals, it is PLANNING & PREPPING. Why is this? Because we eat what is convenient. When you have your fruits and veggies all cut up and ready, and in the visible forefront of your refrigerator, those foods are the ones you will eat!  

I like to do all of my weekly planning and prepping over the weekends. I develop my meals for the week, make my shopping list, and do my grocery shopping on Saturdays. Then on Sundays I do all of my food preparation and portioning. That way I can go into "auto-pilot" mode during the week, making my intake a no-brainer! 

If you are looking for a place to start, try to keep things simple. Don't overthink things! I use the same foods from day to day because, #1 - I really love to eat the foods I use! and #2 - it keeps the prep easy. You can make foods up in a larger batch, and portion them out into servings so that your meals are all a grab-and-go for you. Once you get used to doing this and it becomes routine, then you will find yourself experimenting with different ways to combine the foods you have come to enjoy in creative and new ways to change things up. 

You will find that you can use the same ingredients, but by using different combinations or seasonings, drastically alter the flavor! Many people have the misconception that eating healthy is expensive. That doesn't have to be the case! My staples are old fashioned oatmeal and eggs for breakfast, Plain Greek Yogurt, Cottage Cheese, chicken breasts, Tilapia, whole wheat pasta and couscous, and LOTS of fruits and veggies. Fresh are great, but a bit more expensive. You have to work with your budget. Canned are more affordable, but also contain a lot of sodium. We use a lot of frozen veggies in our household.  Getting your whole family on board is the way to go! That way you won't find yourself making different meals for each member of the family, and you will enjoy eating your meals together.  I feel SO guilty feeding foods to my kids that I don't or won't eat it myself. My rule of thumb is that if it isn't good for me, it is not good for my kids, either! 

Here are some ideas of meals and snacks you can use to get yourself started. Remember to space your meals 3 hours apart, eat 5 - 6 mini-meals per day (depending on your activity level), pair a lean protein with complex carb at each meal if possible, keep processed foods to a minimum, stick with whole grains, avoid sugars and processed sweeteners (my favorite natural sweeteners are honey and pure maple syrup). Also watch your beverages! Sodas, alcoholic drinks, mixed coffee drinks...water is best! Aim for half your body weight in ounces each day. 

How do you keep yourself on track? TRACK!  Keep a food journal, use an app for your iPhone. I love or, or even an old-fashioned paper and pencil. Record EVERYTHING that you put in your body. If you don't do this already, TRY IT. It will hold you accountable to your intake and nutrition. 

Happy planning!!!