Are you “meal planning challenged?” With school routines and shuffling kids to activities, I constantly struggle with preparing healthy meals and healthy snacks and for my family. Before I give you tips & tricks to stay healthy, lose weight and meet your health & fitness goals, we have to get a grip on Meal Planning! This is your opportunity to embrace becoming a Meal Planning Ninja! Although you do get better over time, please don’t make this more difficult that it needs to be. Enjoy the process and heck, I get my kiddos involved to help any chance I can.
SEE MORE: What it is Meal Planning, How to Meal Plan, Actually plan and Prep your meals, Time to Shop, Time to cook.
Here are a 9 tips that help me stick to my healthy diet and also some great tricks in preparing family meals:
1. Eat Frequently– eat small portioned meals every 3-4 hours. Breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner. I have my shakeology everyday for breakfast to kick start my metabolism (with 1/2 banana, 1 tbsp nut butter, ice & blend)!
2. Go light at night– Begin your day with your biggest meal, then slowly minimize each meal to keep your body burning. I pre-package carrot sticks, celery, grapes or whatever else in snack size baggies on Sunday afternoon. This allows healthy snacks for the entire family! Did you see the picture I posted of all the snack bags 1st week of school?
3. Limit your portions– When eating frequently, the portions should be small meals to rev up your metabolism. Protein should be the largest portion, then veggies and finally carbs like sweet potatoes or brown rice. If you are looking to trim down, eliminate carbs after 4:00 pm. Most adults & children do not get near enough protein, fruits & veggies in their diet.
4. Eat Lean– To get a lean, mean, sexy machine, you must eat a “clean” diet. This includes lean proteins (chicken or fish), fruits, veggies and healthy fats like avocado, nuts and olive oil. Get your FREE Clean Eating KICKSTART Guide HERE!
5. Avoid Dairy & Limit Alcohol– If you are willing to try alternatives, you can find rice milk, almond milk and tons of others on the market. If you can’t live without dairy, at least try eliminating it for 14 days. An occasional alcoholic drink, in moderation is ok, but try to avoid it for the next 2 weeks. If you give up the above for two weeks, you will see a BIG difference in your tummy!
6. Hydrate– It is so important to stay hydrated with water. Aim for a gallon per day or a min of 64 ounces per day. Add lemon or line to water for extra zip. Tea & coffee are ok if you use stevia to sweeten, but they do not count toward your water allowance. Avoid ALL juices and sodas!
7. Supplements– I love P90X® Results and Recovery Formula as it really does help with soreness and replenishes my body after a tough workout. Shakeology is a MUST because it is an easy way to give your body a nutrient dense meal that tastes delicious! Also a multi-vitamin with minerals and a high quality Omega 3 is important as well. I take the core nutrition pack. Our kiddos love the Omega Swirl Omega 3 by Barlene’s.
8. Trick and Tips to preparing “Clean” healthy meals for my family include: pre-cooking up chicken breasts on Sunday afternoon. Freeze the remainder in family size portions to pull out of the freezer on busy nights and/or individually freeze the chicken breast for easy lunch on the go. I also stock up on the steamer frozen veggies. In the matter of minutes you can have a grilled chicken and vegetable dinner. Checkout –>> 9 Clean Eating Tips <<–
9. Grandma will be proud! A time saver is using the slow cooker. There are several crock pot or slow cooker sites out there to find easy healthy crockpot recipes. A group of girlfriends and I have created a meal swap where we get together and swap a healthy meal to cook in our own crockpots. It’s the easiest way to have 5 different meals, but simply prepare just ONE! Here how it works; Each person makes the same meal, times the number of people participating. For us, we have five friends involved, so I made five of the same meals, and Tanya made five of the same meals, but a different recipe and so on… Here are some of the healthy crockpot meals we have cooked up. Don’t forget to grab your FREE 5 day crockpot meal plan: Get your FREE 5 Day Crockpot Meal Plan and take the Challenge!
- Chicken and corn chili
- Vegan Mexican Quinoa
- Meatball and Veggie Soup
- Sweet potato quinoa (delicious and unexpected)
- Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
- 5 Ingredient White Chicken Chili
- Quinoa Vegetable Salad
- Tomato Turkey Vegetable Soup
- Yummy Oatmeal
- Lemon Rosemary Chicken