Whether you are brand new to the healthy lifestyle or consider yourself a seasoned vet, it can be challenging to stay the course when you are completely confused or bored with your options. I found when it was just me, things were pretty simple. I could just eat the same thing day in and day out, make whatever I wanted, and no one really complained.
However, throw in a husband, a couple of kids, and a business.. the game changes quite a bit. One of the things I think we have done a pretty good job with is exposing our kids to a variety of flavors early on, and we always have the “try it one more time” rule…yes, even I abide by that rule (which sometimes comes back to bite me) Still to this day (almost 33 years of trying) I can tell you I do not like olives. My kids like being able to pull the card on me when there are olives around. Paybacks.
I remember when I first started my health and fitness journey it took me a while to find a groove with my weekly menu planning and grocery shopping, and it was easy to fall off track if I got lazy or life got buys. One thing I noticed was that not planning when life was busy, just made things feel that much busier and worse.
However, over the years I’ve been tweaking and refining my system, and I feel like I have created a pretty simple system that I am able to use every single week to nail my meal plan all while keeping it healthy and on track with my weight loss/fat loss goals or any other fitness goal I might be pursuing at the moment.
One of the biggest pieces of advice I can give to you is to keep it simple. If you don’t have a lot of time during the week because your weeknights are busy, then opt for crockpot or instant pot meals, and experiment on the weekends with new recipes to throw in the mix. If you have picky eaters in your family then find some staple recipes that allow you to hide a ton of vegetables in it without being detected (I shared more about picky eaters here).
Over the last six months as my fitness and coaching business have begun to take off I have had to streamline our family’s system even more. We’ve switched over to online grocery shopping almost 100% exclusively–this helps us save money and stick to our budget because we aren’t randomly tossing items into the cart, and it also helps me stick to my meal plan and my portions. If it isn’t in the house, I won’t eat it.
My current nutrition plan still follows the clean eating principles, but has also introduced timed nutrition (eating certain macro nutrients at certain times, it is a technique that is often used with athletes and/ or body builders/ fitness models.) This has required more focus on my end. Which if you have learned anything about me, you know I am always up for a good challenge! So, what are my biggest life hacks when it comes to meal planning on a budget? Let’s get into it..
- Pick one day to do all of your shopping for the week (I order and pick up my groceries on Saturday). Schedule this on your calendar. If you are serious about creating a healthy lifestyle, you’ve got to treat it like it matters to you.
- Meal plan. Again, I sit down Saturday morning with a cup of coffee and plan 6 dinners. I think about breakfasts, lunches, and make sure I have healthy snacks on hand (Shakeology is one of our daily staples) for the whole family. My go to places for healthy recipes are Pinterest of course, or I use the Beachbody blog (beachbodyondemand.com)
- Set aside some time to do a little prep when you get home from the store. I typically will hard boil eggs, make egg cups, and pull out any protein that needs to thaw for dinners that week. If you are super short on time throughout the week, I would suggest making up a big salad and portion it out or at the very least cut up some veggies for quick and healthy snacks. You can also cook up some chicken breast on the grill or in the broiler. If you only season with salt and pepper you can use it in a number of recipes. You can also cook up some rice, quinoa, or sweet potato for some easy to grab carbs. *Whether you are on a low carb diet or not, having these slower digesting carbs will help regulate your blood sugar throughout the day.
- Keep it fresh by incorporating new recipes throughout the week/month. I usually eat the same thing throughout the week, but try to add variety throughout my days. For example, I don’t eat the same vegetable or fruit all day, but may have the same vegetable over a few days that week.
There are tons of apps available now to help you get organized with your grocery shopping. A lot of them will even keep your previous lists which can be helpful and make grocery shopping even more simple. I know how overwhelming it can be to make changes. I’ve been there! Believe me though, it is absolutely worth it to create these good habits. If you are new to clean eating or even just want to refresh your skills, I’ve created a FREE 5 day challenge. I’d love to see you there! Each day you will get some of my tips sent right to your inbox and you will be able to hang out with me and many other ladies just like you in our Facebook group.
Creating changes can be hard, but not impossible! Especially if you do it with your tribe..For more details on the 5 day challenge or on working with me fill out the contact info and just indicate how I can best serve you!
Want things to be easier and feel less stressful around food? Let me send you my FREE nutrition guide!
This is for you if... you're feeling frustrated from counting calories and you're over tracking macros, this no non-sense approach to nutrition is exactly what you need.
Inside you'll learn the basics of mindful eating while learning how to trust yourself around your favorite foods, eat without restriction, and still reach your goals! (this works even if you've been dieting for years + you're ready to get off the diet cycle for good!)