Strict meal plans work for some people and others like flexibility! I LOVE flexibility and a flexible meal planning is the only way find balance in my hectic life. I love to cook. I know what works for my body and I love offering my clients new recipes and ways to “un-diet”. My goal through this blog and my health coaching is to help men and women create lifestyles that are abundant in nutrient dense foods like complex carbohydrates, whole grains, healthy fats and more greens than you could ever ask for! And YES, complex carbs and healthy fats have been clinically proven to aid in weight loss and a healthy well rounded diet. Carbohydrates are NOT the enemy; however, processed carbohydrates are.
My style of coaching is a guided discovery approach to weight loss which is why I feel a flexible meal planning is a great way to stay on track while feeling completely in control of what you consume. The number on the scale should not be a major focus, but with a lifestyle overhaul and a focus on healthy eating, weight loss will simply be a bi-product of a healthier lifestyle! [HOW BOUT DAT?!] When you feel good on the inside I guarantee you will glow on the outside.
Over the holidays, my husband was lovingly told he was getting a gut (not by me. I love him at any shape and size. He is hot!) Anyway, he proceeded to get up from the table and do push-ups and sit-ups to make himself feel better. Shortly after, we re-upped his gym membership and he started down the path of healthy eating and regular exercise! I love when he sends me photos of kale salads and salmon plates, but I also love how he talks about feeling healthier and having more energy. You may be at a similar cross-roads right now and I hope I can help kick-start your healthy eating habits today with these tips on preparing yourself for the week ahead.
Flexible meal planning is all about having healthy items at your finger tips to help get you through the week in a healthy and convenient way. These items should be flexible in that you can adjust flavors to your mood and create new combinations all with the same base (i.e. pudding and grains). You can even prep healthy servings of protein, carbs and healthy fat for on-the-go meals and snacks. When I have a busy week ahead I take a couple of hours on Sunday to prepare for the week and today I have shared my top recipes and tips for flexible meal planning.
Preparation is the key to success my friends and anyone can easily do this!
Eggs: A sunny side up only takes about two minutes to make, but I love pre-cooking both egg cups like these or hard boiled eggs to have on hand when I am on-the-go.
Snacks: Pre package or make snacks like my peanut butter energy bites.
Grains: Make 3-4 cooked cups of the grain of your choice. I like to cook quinoa or faro to add to salads, omelets or as a side dish throughout the week.
Protein: Grill chicken for weekly pre-portioned lunches. 4-6 oz is a single portion. Make my favorite chicken or turkey meatballs and marinate meat or fish for a quick, flavorful weeknight dinner.
Chia Seed Pudding: Chia seeds are a superfood and chock full of fiber. I love making chia seed pudding for a delicious breakfast, snack or after dinner treat.
Soup: I love soup like this lentil soup to have on hand for when hunger strikes and I need a quick fix! Lentils can be eaten hot or cold and when you make this soup you can drain a bit of brother and eat them as a side dish or on sprouted toast with whole grain mustard or lettuce wrap.
Fruits and Veggies: Prep fruits, veggies and greens in clear containers for easy go-to snacks.
Pre-package smoothie bags with 2 servings of greens and 1 serving of fruit. Place them in the freezer, and when you are ready add add a pre-portioned bag to the blender with superfood upgrades like protein powder, spirulina or chia seeds and liquid. Blend and enjoy all under 3 minutes!
Call to action: This week write down your favorite items to make ahead and create a flexible meal plan for yourself. Find two breakfast items and alternate them every day. Play with flavors like banana- coconut or strawberry-cocoa. Make two lunch options, two snack options and plan ahead for a healthy dinner. I promise that once you do this a few times you not only start to feel more in control of your eating, but you will also save time, energy and more of those hard earned dollars!