Meal planning takes a bit of effort, but once it’s done; it is always turns out to be worth it. There is a lot of talk about how hard it is to eat healthy, but I believe there are a few simple steps you can take to make healthy eating a natural part of your routine. Meal planning is one of them! The act of meal planning brings less stress to start out my week, and in turn less stress in my everyday life. I think it’s a habit worth forming, so I’ll tell you how it helps me.
There are fewer decisions to make.
One of my favorite parts of meal planning is that once it is done, I don’t have to spend time and energy each day thinking about what I am going to make for dinner that night. I don’t have to enter into the recipe blackhole, better known as Pinterest, and I don’t have to browse the grocery aisles daily in hopes for inspiration. There is no question whether I am going to order takeout or resort to pasta because I have all the ingredients on hand and the mindset to cook a delicious homemade meal.
I save time and money.
When I meal plan for the week, I’m able to save time and money in multiple ways. First, we spend less time and money on meals out and pre-packaged foods. Second, I can plan multiple meals based off of the same vegetables, like a big salad one night and a stir-fry the next. This saves money because I’m not wasting any food, and time because I can clean and chop the vegetables all at once.
I eat healthier.
This is similar to above, but I also eat healthier because I’m cooking more homemade meals. A dinner plate at a restaurant is not usually half filled with vegetables, as it can be at home. And restaurants tend to add way more oil, butter, and salt than we do on our own. Plus, when I plan out the times that I am going to eat vegetables and keep them on hand, I am more likely to reach my five a day. Lastly, it’s much easier to be satisfied with a piece of baked salmon and roasted broccoli when you don’t have to look at a menu filled with 20 different pizza and pasta dishes. It’s easier to resist temptation when you have a plan.
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