Day 7 - Meal Planning: A Key to Long Term Healthy Eating

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The last week, we have been focusing on changing our eating habits and making improvements in our nutrition to improve our fertility health.

If you have been keeping up with the Challenge, you have thrown out your junk food, packaged and processed food.  You have stocked up on a variety healthy fruits, vegetables and meats.

Now what to do with all of this healthy food? It can be like learning a new skill to begin to cook healthy home-cooked meals.

Meal Planning is key to long term healthy eating.  If you don’t have a plan, it can be easy to turn to fast food or convenience foods when you are panicked and don’t know what to make at dinner time.

Here are some tips to get started with Meal Planning:

  • Take stock of what you have in your pantry & freezer

Here is a great printable from Mom It Forward to keep a running list of food you have on hand.

  • Look over your favorite recipes

I have found some great resources for healthy recipes at $5 Dollar Dinners, Good Cheap Eats, & Kitchen Stewardship.  They have some great meal plans and ebooks to help you.  Pinterest has also been a go to resource for me for healthy recipes. You can check out my Pinterest Whole30 Recipe Ideas board for some recipe ideas.

  • Make a list of your family’s top 10 favorite recipes

This will help you when you need an easy meal or have a busy night.  Examples for my family are tacos, bbq sandwiches and spaghetti.  I know if I have these items on hand, I will have what I need if I am in a time crunch.  Since I follow a semi-Paleo diet, I also make sure I have my Paleo alternatives for these meals as well. 

  • Make a shopping list from your Meal Plan

Now that you have your favorite recipes, know what you have on hand and have planned your menu, you can make your shopping list.  A shopping list will also help you stay focused on only buying what you need for the week and help prevent food waste.  It will also prevent last minute trips to the store where you can be tempted to spend more money.

If you have never planned out your meals, meal planning can seem overwhelming.  Start with planning a week at a time.  Then once you become comfortable, you can do 2 weeks then a month at a time.

$5 Dollar Dinners and Good Cheap Eats have some great meal plans already done for you.  You can also sign up for Popular Paleo’s meal plans that are yummy and affordable.  I do not receive any compensation for referring you.  I have just found these resources very helpful for me.

I promise by planning your meals out for the week, you will have less stress come dinnertime. 

Tomorrow we will be starting our next area of focus to improve our fertility health: Exercise!

Don't forget to Share with others.  Missed a Challenge Day? Check out the 31 Day Fertility Care Challenge Pinterest Board.