|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.
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.
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
Nutrition, Competitive Foods Rules Among Top Concerns for School Food ... - Education Week News (blog)
Barbara Quinn on Nutrition: Tips to make growing old take longer - Defiance Crescent News (subscription)
Crave Sweets? On the Weight & Mood Roller Coaster? Perhaps Its More Than You Think!
The sugar industry and the food manufacturers are capitalizing BIG TIME on the addictive nature of carbohydrates (sweets, breads, deserts) in the human body. Blood sugar-handling problems promote arteriosclerosis (plaque in the arteries), adult-onset diabetes, mood swings, weight problems, chronic fatigue, PMS and much more.
Good Fats and Bad Fats -- Whats The Difference?
As a low carb dieter, your diet is undoubtedly high in fat. And if you've done research on the different types of fats, you probably heard the two big buzz words surrounding fats today--"good fats" and "bad fats.
Summer Sun Cures
With summer comes more sun and with more sun comes an extra desire to be outdoors and with spending additional time outdoors comes ? you guessed it, sunburn.We all know the major importance of using sunscreen these days.
Beverages Boost Calorie Intake, But Many View Fluids As Calorie-free!
Beverages - and not just alcohol - are a significant if little recognized source of calories in North American diets. Yet many people seem to believe that if a calorie is ingested in fluid form, it's a freebie.
Apart from eating many of the wonderful vegetables and fruits that inhabit our planet, drinking them is equally nourishing and satisfying. Juicing vegetables and fruits can also create a dynamic taste treat, causing your taste buds to dance with undiscovered delight.
Antioxidants - Your Best Defense Against Disease and Aging
Studies support the benefits of eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. This is due to their high antioxidant value.
Nutrition, Evolution, and Having a Healthy Diet
Nutrition has everything to do with health. This isn't news, exactly, but looking around at the crazy information on the market, one wonders if anyone actually makes the connection: what you eat affects how you feel.
Food We Take Determines Our Character
When you take your food next time, take care of the food what you are taking. Because the food you take determines your character.
The Omega Zone Diet and Fish Oil
The Omega Zone Diet and specialists' opinion"Omega RX Zone - The Miracle of High-dose Fish Oil" is considered the best contribution that Dr. Barry Sears has yet made to a healthy diet.
Try a Slow-Carb Habit
Carbohydrates - found in grains, breads, pasta, and sugar, as well as vegetables, fruit, tofu, beans, and dairy - provide the body with the most efficient fuel for energy production and brain activity. They're nutritionally essential, a principle currently downplayed by the "low-carb craze".
Tips for Effective Muscle Building Diets
One of the biggest mistakes many new bodybuilders make is that they don't pay attention to their muscle building diets with the same detail, desire and determination with which they pay attention to their weight training program.You constantly see people throw out numbers such as your weight training program is 85% of your results or that muscle building diets are 95% of your results.
With the release of the new dietary guidelines, in the form of the new food pyramid, I still find that many people don't actually understand what nutrition actually means. Because of this, dietary choices can seem overwhelming.
Refrigerator Water Filters vs. Bottled Water: Round 1
Water is the single most important element for human existence, yet many people do not know much about water. Water comprises 60% of a human's body weight, counts for 80% of our blood, and comprises over 65% of our brain and muscles.
Whats Missing Could Be Making You Sick
Here's something you probably don't know. The fruit and vegetables you eat today are not as nutritious as the food from fifty years ago.
Nutrition Is Not Common Sense
I'd like to explain an important concept that most online trainers (even the "gurus") don't "get"..
Approximately 30 years ago, food manufacturers were competing against the American Homemaker for consumable dollars. Women, traditionally prepared food fed to the family and the food prepared came fresh and cheap!Food scientists knew then that we have glutamate receptors on our tongues.
Learn About Food Nutrition Facts
Food nutrition factsFinding food nutrition facts and dietary nutrition used to be almost impossible because of the mountains of facts scattered all about in libraries and books. Lets face it most of us aren't going to cuddle up to a book on vitamins and minerals.
How to Use Flax Seed
You can eat whole flax seeds but you need to chew them good to break them up. Your stomach will not dissolve whole flax seeds and many of them will come out in your stools.
I start from the premise that eating instinctively means eating healthily. I strongly believe that the body can transmit to the brain accurate information about its nutritional necessities: a moderate amount of food, and only foods that are beneficial for health.
The Many Benefits of Green Tea Extract
The Benefits of Green Tea Extract: Anti-Aging, Anti-Cancer, Weight ControlOne of the great advancements in nutrition in the twenty-first century is the scientific confirmation of the many benefits of green tea extract. Here are just a few.
Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us
Copyright © 2006 Luminati Inc. All rights reserved.