How to meal plan for the week – tips for setting yourself up for healthy eating all week long! How to plan out your meals, gather inspiration, grocery shop, get organized and make healthy meal planning fun. I’m also sharing my fan favourite recipe for Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites!
Today we are getting busy in the kitchen! I’m finally sharing my meal planning process. As you know, meal prepping has been my thing for a long time! But now with a 3-month-old, our schedules and priorities have shifted more than ever. I don’t have as much time to spend in the kitchen making food or meal prepping for the week! Instead of just scratching the process altogether, something I’ve been doing in place of meal prepping is meal planning. They’re slightly different from each other, but equally as effective when it comes to eating healthy and delicious meals all week long!
Without further ado, let’s hop right into my ideal meal planning routine that makes it so much easier to plan, prep and eat healthy all week long in hopes to inspire you in the kitchen! It has saved us money, less food waste and less time thinking about what’s for dinner every day.
The first thing I do is what I like to call the clean-out. This is where I go through my fridge, cupboards and pantry and get rid of stuff that’s expired or just no good anymore. After that, I’ll wipe everything down, clean the surfaces and get a good idea of what I need to use up or stock up on.
This clean-out also gives me a better idea of ingredients that I have on hand that can easily use to make a meal. This way I’m not buying all new things, I’m actually using what I have in conjunction with the new items that I plan on picking up. A lot of times if I see stuff that’s been there for a while that has yet to be used, I’ll usually try to incorporate that into a meal that upcoming week.
Also, can we just agree on how nice it is to start the week with a freshly clean and organized fridge? I mean, we eat out of it every day so it’s important to make sure that everything is clean and visible so nothing goes to waste!
So now that I know what food I have in my kitchen, I like to sit down and take the time to pull some inspiration on what to make throughout the week. Whether it’s flipping through cookbooks, browsing Pinterest or scrolling through Instagram for new recipes I want to make, … I like to revisit the ones that I’ve saved when it comes time to actually prepping and making them!
We all know that it’s easy to get into the rut of making the same things every week, and you can easily get bored. I like to make healthy eating fun and exciting and try out new things that I may not have cooked before. Of course, I also love to pull inspo from my own cookbook because although I created all of the recipes, I oftentimes will forget about them (mom-brain) or even revisit an old recipe that I haven’t had in a while.
Sometimes I’ll create a recipe on the spot, and if it turns out really yummy I’ll write it down in a notebook and revisit it when it comes time to meal planning.
Using a weekly meal planner and grocery shopping list makes things so much easier when it comes to planning out your meals for the week. I’ve created this HealthNut Weekly Meal Planner and Grocery List Bundle just for you – and right now you can get it for 20% off at the HealthNut Shop! It’s digital and printable, so if you want to use it on your iPad or even print it off and laminate it (like I’ve done), it’s very versatile. Head over to the HealthNut Shop to get yours for 20% off now!
Something we’ve been doing lately that saves a lot of time and energy is to order our groceries online. It’s convenient and saves a lot of time and effort. As a new (sleep-deprived) Mom, anything that saves us time and effort is a huge win! As a bonus, this also helps with budgeting because you can add all the items to your cart and really see how you’re spending your money.
Once we pick up our groceries, I like to organize the pantry, re-stock the kitchen and fill up the fridge with all our fresh and healthy produce. There’s something so satisfying about organizing your fridge after you’ve already cleaned it out, and knowing that you’re setting yourself up for success with delicious home-cooked meals for the week!
Another way that I like to set myself up for success for the week, is to prep some healthy snacks that are easy to grab when you’re busy and on the go. I don’t know about you – but I need snacks throughout the day to fuel me in between working, breastfeeding, and just being a Mom!
Some great meal-prep-friendly snacks are my Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oat Bites, One Bowl Hemp Banana Bread, Chewy Trail Mix Granola Bars or these Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites from The HealthNut Cookbook! These Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites are such a delicious healthy snack, they never last long in our house (ahem Mr. Matt loves his snacks)! But one other trick I use to make meal prep last longer is to double batch any snacks or baked goods. This way you can always freeze half if you have extra, or if you have a larger family it will last for the whole week rather than just a few days. I’ve included here a slightly modified version of my Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites from the HealthNut Cookbook. In this version, I’ve actually added Raw Vanilla Protein Powder to add more nutrients and protein to this (already) very healthy snack. This way it will keep you fuelled for longer!
Another thing I love to do when I have time is to prep a couple of ingredients or staples that I know I’m going to use throughout the week. This is considered a full meal prep, but it’s just enough to make throwing together meals a little bit easier.
For example, I usually have salads for lunch or a side for dinner – so I already know I’m going to go through a ton of lettuce. I’ll go ahead and chop up and wash a bunch of romaine and then dry it using a salad spinner. If you love salads as much as I do, this is such a great kitchen tool and I highly recommend having one. Not only does it allow your lettuce to stay nice and dry and stray crispy, but you can also store it in the salad spinner which is a fun little hack!
I will also ahead and prep some veggies that I enjoy throwing into these salads! That way when I go to toss one, all of the veggies are already washed, chopped up and ready to be enjoyed. Lately, I’ve been enjoying a mix of cucumbers, radishes, cherry tomatoes – but any veggie goes depending on your preferences and what you have on hand! This meal prep hack actually came in handy after a long day of filming the other day. We were tired, drained and about to order take out, but instead, I turned to my trusty meal prepped ingredients and threw together a delicious salad that we all enjoyed!
This proves that little hacks like meal prepping ingredients are such a life-savour when it comes to eating healthy throughout the week. I get it, we all get busy and more often than not it can feel convenient to order food. But I promise you if you do a little bit of prep, healthy eating with feel easier and you’ll feel better in the long run!
Since I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately I like to bulk prep a healthy homemade salad dressing at the start of the week. We try to have at least one salad a day either for lunch or for dinner. If you know me, then you know that homemade salad dressings are a must. Not only is it much healthier than any store-bought salad dressings, but you can really get creative with your flavour combinations! Check out my 5 Minute Caesar Dressing, Creamy Lemon Ginger Salad Dressing, or this Cilantro Hemp Salad Dressing for some ideas! I’ll also be sharing a new salad dressing recipe I’ve been enjoying lately in an upcoming What I Eat In A Day video, so stay tuned for that!
There you have it, that is how I meal plan for the entire week! It’s been such an amazing way for us to eat healthier at home, save money, waste less food and I know you guys are going to love this system, too! What do you guys do to meal plan or prep for the week? Let me know in the comments below!
Be sure to follow me over @healthnutnutrition on Instagram for daily inspiration and healthy tips, and use the hashtag #healthnuteats when you make any of my recipes!