I eat much healthier when I plan what to eat. Actually I do most things better when I plan (stick to a budget, exercise, teach my children), but I actually have to take the time to plan. I have stretches where I plan a lot and things run smoother and then life gets busier or someone gets sick and I fall off the planning wagon. I am usually good at planning our monthly dinners (although I was super late this month), but the weekly meal plan isn't as consistent. I am always glad when I do it. What about you?: Have you been meal planning? Is it time to start or resume?
Today, I am sharing a detailed weekly meal plan. This one is actually from last month, as you can see by the dates. I bought a new printer/scanner at Sam's Club pre-Black Friday Sale last Saturday (does that even make sense?). This particular form allows you to track protein, carb, and fat, as well as, fruits and vegetables. All three macro-nutrients (protein, carbohydrates, and fat) are important and may be worth tracking for various reasons. People with insulin resistance or diabetes may track carbs; those getting ready for an athletic event or surgery may be focusing on protein. There are many other reasons people may find this helpful. Many foods can fit into more than one category. Combining carbohydrate foods with protein or fat helps control blood sugar. I love that fruits and veggies are listed at every meal and snack. We cannot eat too many green light foods, and they should be the foundation of our diet. To learn more about Traffic Light Eating (green light foods, yellow light foods, red light foods) please contact me. This is one of the easiest ways to jump start healthier eating!
I know it's hard to read because there is so much writing on one page and I wrote with a wet erase marker so I could reuse my laminated sheet. Clicking on the image should make it bigger, but I'll type out the Monday foods so you can get a better idea.
Monday Breakfast: Granola and milk. The protein is the nuts and milk. The carb is in the oats. The fruit is the craisins within the granola. There is no vegetable.
Monday AM Snack: Graham cracker with chocolate "hummus" and applesauce. Chocolate hummus is simply pureed dates and chickpeas. The protein is in the hummus (the chickpeas). The carb is in the crackers, chickpeas, dates, and applesauce. There is a little fat in the crackers and hummus. The fruit is the applesauce and no vegetables.
Monday Lunch: Vegetable Lentil Soup and Hot Dogs (no nitrate - all beef) and pears. The protein is in the hot dogs and lentils. The carb is in the lentils and pears. The fat is in the soup and hot dog. The fruit is pears and the vegetables are in the soup (carrot, kale, onion, celery)
Monday PM Snack: Ants on a log. The protein is in the peanut butter. The carb is in the raisins and peanut butter. The fat is in the peanut butter. The fruit is the raisin and the vegetable is the celery.
Monday Dinner: Whole Wheat Butter Noodles with Tuna, peas, cheese served with pineapple on the side. The protein is in the tuna and cheese. The carbs are in the noodles, peas, and pineapple. The fat is in the butter and cheese. The fruit is the pineapple and the vegetable is the peas.
This is just one example of a weekly plan. Most people do not need to be this detailed, but if you are tracking a nutrient of trying to increase produce consumption, this may be a good tool for you. Get a black copy of the detailed meal planning form here.
Thanks for reading!