Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

Meal Planning: Your Ticket to Freedom


It's 5:30 p.m. and you're heading home after a long, full day. All of a sudden your mind turns to the daily question, "What's for dinner?"

Whether it's just you or whether you're preparing a meal for a whole gang, it's not an energizing prospect to imagine planning, shopping for or cooking a meal from scratch at the end of a long day.

That's probably why the fast food businesses are booming and why our health is suffering from the effects of these "easy" foods.

If you think meal planning is an unnecessary step, or that it would create a strict regimen that you'd be trapped by, read on about how meal planning can free you from worry and improve your health and well being.

REASONS FOR MEAL PLANNING

Less time and money spent at the grocery store

When you plan your meals out a week at a time, your trips to the grocery store become much more manageable. You know exactly what you'll need and you'll be less susceptible to "impulse" buying. Sometimes, when I'm feeling REALLY efficient, I even write my list in order of where I'll find it in the grocery store. Plus, buying the ingredients to cook a meal from scratch usually costs much less than the ready-made version.

Healthier meals = healthier you and your loved ones

When you're planning ahead, you'll have much more control over what you eat, and you can consciously choose to improve the health of your meals.

Better-timed meals

If you BEGIN planning and cooking dinner when you get home, it could be quite late before you're sitting down to eat it. The closer to bedtime it is when you finish dinner, the less likely you'll have time to properly digest and for your body to absorb what you've eaten. For breakfast and lunch, having the meals planned out can help remind you to STOP and EAT them.

Variety

When we choose our meals in the moment, based on what's fast, easy and enjoyable, we tend to stick to a few standby's and don't branch out very much. Nutritionally, this leaves us lacking. We also risk getting bored with our food and looking to fast food or unhealthier options for "excitement".

HOW TO PLAN YOUR MEALS FOR THE WEEK

1. Keep some spontaneity. You could just plan one part of the meal. For instance, if you know that you always have plenty of fresh of frozen vegetables that you can choose from, then simply plan "chicken, potatoes and vegetables". Then you can still have some spontaneity in your meal.

2. When you have time, make "frozen dinners". Make a double or triple recipe; package the leftovers in single (or family-size) servings and freeze.

3. Factor in schedule changes. Maybe the night after the big meeting or the night of the soccer tournament aren't the best nights to cook a meal from scratch. Plan a quick meal, take-out or your own "frozen dinner" for those nights.

4. Aim for balance. With the week spread out before you, look for balance between heavy and light meals, vegetarian and meat-based meals, and a variety of different-coloured fruits and vegetables.

5. Plan while you're in the kitchen. That way you can easily check for the ingredients of the dishes you're planning. If they're not there, add them to your grocery list immediately.

6. Keep an active grocery list through the week. That way, when staples run out you can add them to list.

7. Grow your recipe collection. Use the Internet, the cookbooks of your friends and family, magazines, etc. and find new things to try. One new recipe a week will keep things exciting!

8. Get some expert advice. Consult a trusted source such as Canada's Food Guide, or better still get individualized meal and nutrition suggestions from a registered dietician or a holistic nutritionist.

9. Make it a team effort. If you're feeding others as well as yourself, make the planning a team effort so that everyone gets some of their favourites through the week.

10. Always follow your plan, except when you don't. There are going to be things that come up, days that you just don't feel like eating what you've planned, or days when you've forgotten to do your nightly prep. Create a list of healthy stand-by's that you can throw together with the staples in your own kitchen. If you're on the go, be prepared by having a list of healthy choices at your favourite restaurants.

A meal plan is not a rigid "diet" or set of orders. The meal plan serves you, not the other way around.

Start now with tomorrow's meals. What can you defrost or partly prepare tonight to make tomorrow's meals easier and healthier?

(c) Copyright Linda Dessau, 2005.

Linda Dessau, the Self-Care Coach, is the author of "The Everyday Self-Care Workbook". For free resources, including your own Meal Planning Worksheet, visit http://www.genuinecoaching.com/resources.html


MORE RESOURCES:

Got Milk? Activity makes nutrition memorable for students
fox4kc.com
LENEXA, Kan. — One local school is getting creative and learning about nutrition by asking one question: Got milk? Students at Holy Trinity Early Education Center spent some time Wednesday making milk mustaches as part of their nutrition class.



Pensacola News Journal

NUTRITION: Nourishment for your relationship
Pensacola News Journal
PART 2: NUTRITION. Eating healthy isn't always the easiest thing in the world. In fact, it's sometimes quite difficult to make yourself want that salad or fruit instead of that donut. While a splurge from time to time is to be expected, keeping your ...



NJ.com

Nutrition classes available for Bayonne residents on supplemental nutrition ...
NJ.com
BAYONNE – Nutrition classes and other educational activities will be available for SNAP-eligible residents at the Bayonne Economic Opportunity Foundation starting today, city officials announced. SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is ...

and more »


Boston Globe

Six myths about nutrition and health
Boston Globe
Fact: Vegetables are typically frozen at peak ripeness and may be more nutritious than fresh vegetables bought from the produce department out of season, said Joan Salge Blake, a registered dietitian and a clinical associate professor of nutrition at ...

and more »


Fox News

What is the most nutritious vegetable you can buy?
Fox News
The CDC recently ranked 47 of America's most common fruits and vegetables, and 41 out of 47 tested were determined to be “powerhouse” sources of nutrition. Each of the fruits and vegetables were analyzed on a scale that measures the amount of fiber, ...



UNICEF Connect (blog)

Why nutrition and breastfeeding are crucial to sustainable development
UNICEF Connect (blog)
The recent Global Nutrition Report made the case for nutrition clear: all countries and about half of the world's population are affected by malnutrition. Yet, progress is being made, and accountability systems for nutrition are being strengthened ...

and more »


Pensacola News Journal

Love Well. Live Longer. Romance through fitness, nutrition and communication
Pensacola News Journal
Being in a relationship requires a commitment to a big task. You have to consider the needs of your partner and work to create a life that makes you both happy, because if only one person is happy, things will eventually go sour no matter how hard you ...



Bioscience Technology

Diet and nutrition essential for mental health
Medical Xpress
Evidence is rapidly growing showing vital relationships between both diet quality and potential nutritional deficiencies and mental health, a new international collaboration led by the University of Melbourne and Deakin University has revealed.
Diets, Nutrition Essential for Mental HealthBioscience Technology

all 4 news articles »


1011now

Debunking Nutrition Myths On 10/11 News
1011now
LINCOLN, Neb. Every day you're bombarded with nutrition information on the news, social media and through your friends or family. However, determining what's accurate and what you should pay attention to isn't always that simple. I went to Amber ...



EW Nutrition appoints key account manager for poultry
WorldPoultry.net
EW Nutrition is located in Germany (headquarter and subsidiaries Agrochemica and Humavet) but is present in different locations with EW Nutrition USA (Des Moines), GRASP (Curitiba, Brazil), EW Nutrition Japan (Gifu), EW Nutrition China (Beijing), EW ...


Google News


Advertisement



Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.