Meal Planning: make life simpler, smarter and sustainable.

Every now and again I get myself into a bit of a stressful state, life feels like it’s overtaking me, I have lists of things to do, nothing feels like it’s getting done and suddenly I realise I’ve no idea what we’re eating for dinner and am running low on food. DISASTER. You know that feeling?

Hilariously as a dietitian I am often found writing meal plans for others, but then I forget to write my own. OOOPS. I love recipes, food, cooking, meal ideas and all that jazz, so actually for me sitting down and planning out the meals for the week is a relaxing and fun thing to do, it means I have time to think through the week, flick through some recipe books, bring those food ideas to the front of my brain and at the end of it I have at least one part of life under control.

Here’s mine for the next 2 weeks, I’d love to see yours!

Dietitian UK: Meal Planner

Dietitian UK: Meal Planner

5 Reasons to Meal Plan:

  1. SAVE TIME in the long run. Half an hour planning means you won’t be stood in the kitchen later racking your brains for a meal idea.
  2. Use it as a chance to check the BALANCE of your weeks meals, see the tips below.
  3. SAVE MONEY by then planning your shopping list so you don’t end up with random ingredients that you don’t need.
  4. SAVE WASTE by using all the ingredients in your fridge and planning it so you can take leftovers for lunches or fill the freezer.
  5. SAVE STRESS. Having a plan helps my stress levels, I can plan the quicker meals for busy days and know what I’m doing from day to day.

5 Top Tips for Balance over the week:

  1. Meat free Monday: Plan in some meat free days, we usually have 3-4 a week.
  2. Fishy Friday: Aim for fish a couple of times a week, oily fish contains those heart healthy omega 3’s.
  3. Reduce the Red Meat: to just 1-2 times a week.
  4. Veggie Vitality: Eat a range of colourful veggies over the week.
  5. Treats  Ahoy: Keep that takeaway or those chips to planned times, so they don’t appear on the menu too often.

Get planning those meals and please share – I’d love to hear how you do things and what meals you include.

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14 Responses to “Meal Planning: make life simpler, smarter and sustainable.”

  1. Leigh-Anne Naylor
    29 September, 2012 at 20:24 #

    Your plan is inspiring!! I haven’t made my list yet but have to set about it as I have a big eater heading home from a six month tour of Afghanistan – where has been fed very well!! I’ll need to keep up the standard, which I look forward to anyway because I love food and cooking!! I might pinch some of your ideas and one or two of your recipes! Thanks so much for your fabulous blog!!

    • 29 September, 2012 at 20:26 #

      You are so welcome and thankyou! Wow sounds like you’re going to enjoy getting back back in the kitchen. More recipes and tips to come 🙂

  2. 29 September, 2012 at 21:06 #

    We would die of starvation or live on toast/takeaway if I didn’t plan meals. The family would cease to function.

    I make our plans fairly flexible, use the slow cooker on my long days at work or plan a 30 minute meal to whip up on my return, and put the more time consuming meals at the other end of the week. Weekends I try and make sure the meals are simple so that my husband, or even the children, can prepare them. This doesn’t always work, but for the most part, we make it work relatively well for us.

    I am enjoying your slowcooker pinboard on pinterest as I would like to vary the meals I cook on work days.

  3. 29 September, 2012 at 21:16 #

    We would live on pasta and jacket potatoes if I didn’t plan…..or my brain would frazzle and I’d be in a pile on the floor 😉

    Like you Dee, our plan is always flexible and I must admit it changes as the week goes on, it’s organic, it’s alive, it flows with us.

    Slow cookers are life savers: http://pinterest.com/dietitianuk/slow-cooker-love/

    Now if only I can take a leaf out of your book and get the husband to cook more….here’s hoping!

  4. 29 September, 2012 at 21:41 #

    I am very lucky. My husband does a good roast dinner. He also makes a decent risotto. I like to cook things like bolognese (lentil or meat), tagine type meals (even though I don’t have an actual tagine), lasagne (courgette or meat), and variations on chilli (bean versions, pork and chorizo versions and chunky beef).

    I think my family are lucky to have me 😀

  5. 29 September, 2012 at 21:51 #

    Your family are VERY lucy to have you. My hubby can do beans on toast, cheese on toast, pasta and pesto….and risotto at a stretch, well that’s all he pretends he can do. Give him a recipe book and he can do much, much more.

  6. Sharon
    30 September, 2012 at 07:57 #

    That’s alot of cooking & I spend 4 hours a day on the train (commuting). I like to make 1-2 big pots (one soup, one stew) on the weekend & then I have enough for most of the week. Then resort to frittata, jacket potato, stir frys & pasta when those pots run out towards the end of the week. I love my crockpot too…

    • 30 September, 2012 at 12:34 #

      Sounds like a great plan Sharon…I must admit I like to cook, it’s often my thinking time at the end of a busy day. I only commute up the stairs to me office or down the stairs to the studio most days though 😉

  7. 30 September, 2012 at 21:04 #

    We would live on sausages & pasta for weeks & then get very bored if I didn’t meal plan! (link on blog if you are interested)

    I have been thinking (on & off for about 10 years now) about becoming a dietitian, but the qualifications & courses are all so expensive and I don’t know which one to do – are there any that are more recognised than others?

    • 2 October, 2012 at 21:41 #

      Hi Bessie, Wow your meal planning looks fab I love it! The only way to become a dietitian is through a Univeristy course, it’s a long process as there is a lot to learn, its not just the nutrition bits but physiology, biochemisty etc… I loved my training and I LOVE being a dietitian, so much fun 🙂 Make sure you find a course that qualifies you to be a dietitian and not a nutritional therapist – see my blog post on this: http://www.dietitianuk.co.uk/2012/01/18/424/

      • 13 October, 2012 at 21:11 #

        Thanks for the info Priya – I’ll have to look again at courses….

  8. 14 January, 2013 at 21:12 #

    If I didn’t meal plan I’d never get out the supermarket and the meals would be really weird combinations. That’s if there was enough food to last the week.
    Must admit they could be a little more healthy though…

    • 14 January, 2013 at 22:39 #

      Hi Nicola, thanks for your comment. I’ve made some weird combinations in my time 😉 I find meal planning takes the stress out of things. Healthier is always better, there are lots of recipes and tips on my website.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Top tips for Healthy Eating on the Cheap. | Dietitian UK - 14 May, 2014

    […] Meal Planning is key for us. I try to make one meal that then has leftovers than will turn into the next days meal – for example a roast chicken turns into soup and stock plus meat for a stir fry. Or it helps me plan the shopping so we only buy what we need. […]

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