One of biggest components of eating well is planning. By making grocery lists and meal plans, as well as having a well-stocked pantry and freezer, you can be assured you will eat better. Why? Because you have plenty of healthy foods, in the right quantities, and will never need to go run out to a fast food joint. (You may want to, but you won’t need to.) Plus, pre-planning meals allows you to take advantage of sales at the local grocery store. You’ll save money on your grocery bills and from not eating out as much.
So, here’s my step-by-step instructions to planning meals for the week and making a corresponding grocery list:
- In a notebook, I write down the days of the week to plan my dinners, Sunday through Saturday. (I do my food shopping on Saturdays).
- I take inventory of the meat and produce in the house that needs to be consumed ASAP. These, if possible, are turned into Sunday or Monday breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
- I look at the sales ad for my local grocery stores, zoning in on the meat sales. There are usually 1-2 great buys every week at a given grocery store. I shoot for at least 3 dinners a week being beef, so if beef is on sale, I’ll write that down on my shopping list and put those down on my meal plan…usually Monday, Wednesday, and Friday so I can use non-beef on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. If I need recipe ideas, I’ll check out The Strength Agenda, Pinterest, or even type a few ingredients into Google with the word “recipe” at the end to see what comes up.
- Taking a look at the produce sales, I’ll write in the veggie side dishes I’ll be making, then add the produce to my grocery list.
- Add carbohydrates to the meals. For Mexican, like barbacoa beef or carnitas, I’ll make cilantro-lime rice. For Asian meals, like Cashew Chicken or Beef & Broccoli, steamed rice is perfect. For steaks, chicken and pork with more traditional flavors, I’ll go with potatoes or sweet potatoes, either mashed, baked, or roasted.
- If there are any gaps, I’ll fill in with ground beef. Tacos are usually an easy and quick choice.
- Add breakfast foods to my grocery list. (I make the same breakfast in the mornings — eggs with spinach, bacon and coffee.)
- Add lunch food to the list. (This will either be leftovers, since I cook huge dinners, or I’ll keep extra potatoes, ground beef, and frozen veggies around to mix them up in a skillet).
- Add snacks and more produce for my Nutribullet shakes to the grocery list.
- Check it over to find any gaps, then head to the grocery store.
Everyone knows you should eat clean, healthy meals for better performance in the gym. But half the battle is merely planning it out. Follow these tips to eliminate any obstacles standing in the way of you eating better.