Carefully planning your meals in advance will ensure you have the right ingredients on hand to prepare healthy, nutritious meals. Making a plan will help to balance your meals so you get the right amount of vitamins and minerals in your diet. It’s also a smart way to save money when you do a little planning before you head to the grocery store.
Make a chart for the week and decide what you want to eat for each meal. Be flexible if you think you might dine out for any of the meals. Think about foods you want to prepare and take an inventory of the ingredients that you already have. Make a list of the items you need to buy. Don’t forget about snacks. Add foods to your list that you want to keep on-hand for quick snacks. Fruits, nuts, and cheeses are all healthy foods that are easy to eat on the run.
Select a variety of menu items so your meals never get boring. Browse through cookbooks or surf the Internet for different recipes you can prepare. Don’t be afraid to try cuts of meat that you may not have cooked before. Substitute sautéing for frying and grilling for baking to cut calories while adding a touch of versatility to your presentations. Look for ways to prepare foods that will lower excess calories, salt, sugar or saturated fat from foods you have sworn off from. Experiment with herbs and seasonings to give your food that gourmet taste.
Colorful food, like peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, beets and squash decorate the plate and taste great. The array of colors adds excitement to every entrée. Enjoying your food is as important as the nutrition you get from it. Love your food and get the most out of every bite.
You don’t have to stick strictly to your plan, but it’s always helpful to have one in place. If you decide to dine out rather than eat in, you can always postpone each planned meal by one day or use the time-sensitive ingredients like produce and meat as soon as you can. Raw veggies are great on a salad, so if you don’t have time to cook them just toss them together and have them for lunch or a side dish at dinner.
To ensure healthy eating at every meal, plan ahead. Even when dining out, make a mental plan of what you want to eat. Eat a small apple and a full glass of water before the meal if you are afraid of overeating. Go easy on the bread and appetizers so you get the most out of your main meal. Planning ahead will always help you to eat healthy no matter where you dine.