Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Meal Planning

Krista answered a question this morning about meal planning. Funny, because I had someone ask me about that very recently and I thought that I might as well post about my journey to anti-meal planning meal planning.

When I first started on my weight loss journey I felt that I had to plan everything I ate.  I religiously counted calories of everything on Sunday when I made my meal plan.  I went to the grocery store on Sunday and got everything I needed.  I planned the recipes (always halving them since it is just me).

I did very good on Monday and Tuesday and then I would either still end up with leftovers or by the time I got back from the gym on Wednesday night I was tired and the plan went out the door.  I ended up wasting a ton of food (because I am after all lazy and never freeze the food I have).  I would also feel guilt about not cooking things every night.

It took me a while to find a way to make healthy eating fit with my busy schedule.  Now I give myself some slack. I don't expect to cook a full recipe during the week. I save my cooking new recipes for the weekends.  I don't count calories. For the most part, I eat clean (for me, whole grains, meat, fresh veggies, fruit, no sugar, no processed food) and I know the rough calories on what I eat.  Every now and then I will count just to see if I am right or if I need more or less.

I keep snacks and breakfast food on hand.  That way I can just grab different combinations during the week.  On Sunday I go to the store and grab stuff for salad and any veggie that looks good and is quick booking.  Sometimes I buy meat if it is on sale to cook for the week or to keep in the freezer so I always have lean protein on hand.  I also by the on-hand stuff if I am out.

Since I work out after work, I usually come home and throw some protein (enough for dinner and lunch the next day) under the broiler and while that is cooking I'l eat a small salad and steam up some fresh veggies and there we go! After dinner I will pack up my food for the next day.

In the morning I grab my lunch "bag".  Seriously, this thing is huge!

But, it does hold all my food for the day.  We're talking breakfast, AM snack, lunch, and PM snack.  Usually this thing is full.  Take today, this was all my food and I ate it all.


Cereal (in my favorite to go cereal container), banana, yogurt, salsa, chicken, salad, carrots, and a brown rice tortilla.  It was all eaten by 3pm.

I have about 5 different breakfast meals that I rotate through (Optimum cereal, Ezekiel english muffin with Cashew butter and strawberry with a egg on the side, hard boiled egg with a banana and veggie sausage, greek yogurt with blueberries and a banana).  Snacks are usually veggies, a fruit, hummus and veggies, Wasi crackers and cheese, nuts, or seeds.  Lunch is left overs made into a wrap or into a salad.  And that's it!

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