Gym? You’re golden. You know what your training plan looks like to help reach your fitness goals. But when it comes to meal time you’re reaching for the phone. Probably not to call your Mom to ask how she makes your favorite pasta sauce. Maybe to dial up your friend to meet at the local spot or more likely, you’re on the phone hitting “reorder” on your food delivery app, again.
While you wait 30 minutes for your dinner to arrive, count the number of times that app appears on your latest credit card bill. How does that compare to the number of grocery store transactions? If the scale is tipping to takeout, it may be time to start meal planning. Meal planning can be more cost effective, it can offer more nutrition (as easy as throwing in some extra veggies to your favorite dish) and can be more delicious. There’s nothing like having the right amount of spice on your baked beans. You can’t get that at a restaurant, you can only get that if you slow cook and season ‘em yourself.
Respect the grind and eat to fuel your life with my top five meal planning tips:
1. Use Your Phone
Swap the delivery app for a meal planning app like MealBoard, my personal recommendation. Include everything, your meals, snacks and workout fuel to get an overview of all the groceries you need and the foods you need to prep. The best part about this app is that you can scale recipes to the number of servings you want. Having a BBQ and want to know how many mushrooms you need for Veggie Kebobs? This app will break it down.
If you’re crunched for time, order your groceries online, with companies like Amazon Fresh and Instacart in the US. Grocery stores, like Safeway, and urban delivery services like Spud.ca also have delivery services in select provinces and states. Add fresh fruit and veggies to your cart and have them delivered right to your door.
2. Equip Yourself
Measure twice and cut once, right? Just like you learned in woodshop, you get the most out of anything by being prepared. A helpful kitchen essential for meal planning is food storage containers. I recommend a set of stackable glass containers that you can freeze, microwave, and throw in the dishwasher.
3. Chop It Like It’s Hot
Wash, chop and portion your produce so it’s ready to roll when hunger strikes. If you don’t have time to wash and chop let the grocery store do it for you and pickup pre-chopped, washed and prepped produce. Most grocery stores even carry salad-in-a-bag so you have everything you need to make a quick and easy salad.
4. Bombest Batch
5. Portions, Portions, Portions
Portion your produce, nuts, and meals into food storage containers. Then you’re not tempted to eat all the chopped carrots, or your entire batch of beaked beans, just because that’s easier than putting them together to make a meal.
Bonus Round: Prep Ready-to-Blend Smoothies
Smoothies are a quick, delicious way to pack in micronutrients and plant-based protein. Keep pre-portioned bags of spinach and chopped fruit in the freezer so you can easily grab one when you need a snack, then blend it up with non-dairy milk or water and a scoop of your favorite protein – maybe Vega Protein & Greens?
If you want to ease your way into it check out this On-The-Go five-day Meal Plan. ‘Cause you’re prepped like that.