It’s the end of January already! Who joined me in the Meal Planning Challenge this month? I’d love to hear your feedback, what struggles you had, what successes you had! If you didn’t join us, it’s definitely not too late to get a jump start! As you’ve read in my prior two blogs (Part 1, Part 2) meal planning can transform your health, wellness and pocketbook all at the same time. Yes, it does take a commitment of time once a week to plan things out and it does take prep time to get things organized, but stick with it and you won’t look back.
As my final blog in this series I’m talking about cheat sheet meals…no, this isn’t a blow your diet ‘cheat’ meal, but these are lists of types of foods and ways to cook them. Blend them together and you immediately have a week’s worth of healthy meals in less than 10 minutes of meal planning time! Best of all, these ingredients are simple, quick, inexpensive and best of all healthy!
Meal Plan Cheat Sheets:
- American: Turkey breast, lean ham, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, garbanzo or black beans, shredded white cheese blend or blue cheese
- Mexican: Ground Turkey breast, red peppers, jalapenos, onions, salsa, tortillas, cilantro
- Greek: Olives, hummus, garbanzo beans, feta, red pepper, cucumber, shrimp, tomatoes, rosemary
- Italian: turkey sausage, oregano, shredded parmesan, basil, tomatoes, garlic, capers
- Asian: Ground turkey, garlic, ginger, water chestnuts, bamboo, orange marmalade, amino acids (soy sauce alternative), onions, mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, snap peas, avocado, cilantro
- Texas (because here in Texas, you ALWAYS have BBQ as an option): Chicken, BBQ (or buffalo) sauce, jalapenos, corn, grilled onions, pickles, homemade greek ranch dressing, cilantro, blue cheese
- Salad: Think-taco salad, bbq chicken salad, Cobb (American) salad, Asian salad. Or a twist on salads, we love all of the above as ‘lettuce wraps’.
- Pizza: We LOVE homemade pizzas and can get a great whole wheat thin crust from our grocery store to build them on! Think: buffalo chicken pizza, Greek pizza, Italian is a no-brainer!
- Slow Cooker Tacos: This is my ‘go-to’ on busy work days: throw my meat in before I go to work with the coordinating sauces—salsa/bbq/Italian dressing—and some diet soda (don’t laugh, but it keeps the meat extra moist)—let it cook while I’m at work and then add in sliced up veggies to cook in the slow cooker the last 45 minutes. Set up a family ‘DIY Taco Bar’ with whole wheat or organic tortillas and ALL the above are great—BBQ Chicken Taco Night is one of our favs!
- “Spaghetti”: because I could eat pasta every day of my life, I had to find a healthy alternative. Pick one of the above and either serve over organic/low carb pasta (it’s out there and doesn’t taste bad) OR my favorite, serve over spaghetti squash that you can find in your fresh veggie section. Italian “spaghetti”-squash is a family hit!
- Panini Night: You can change the taste of a sandwich just by cooking it differently. I use my trusty old George Foreman grill (that I’ve literally had since college) and we’ll have panini night. Greek paninis are one of my favorites! Serve them with a side of homemade sweet potato coins that are just drizzled with sea salt and olive oil and DELISH!
So my fellow healthy eaters…there you have it! January’s series on healthy meal planning. With the above ideas, I just gave you another 25+ meal options if you pair the above ‘types’ of meals with the ‘means’ to prep them! It’s been a blast blogging about my meal planning because I know what it can do for your health! Jump on board…it’s never too late! Also, be sure to download our healthy grocery shopping list if your just getting started to help you stay on track. Until next time.