Meal Planning Tips & Tricks From A Registered Dietitian
By: SweatNET Columbus
Plan, Plan, Plan!
Create a grocery list ahead of time around a couple meals you want to make for the week. I usually plan for 3-4 meals/week at home and 1-2 meals out. This will save you time AND money.
Look at sale items at your grocery store. This not only saves you money, it can also give you ideas on what meals to make. For example, if it’s buy one, get one free chicken thighs, I’ll choose that as my protein and base one meal around that.
A co-worker and I created a grocery list template that you have access to. Feel free to use this to help you organize your list and plan your meals for the week.
There are also apps that you can download that help make your grocery list. I use “To Do” which allows you to invite other people so they can also add to your list. This way, if you live with others, everyone can help add food items they want to the list vs. you being the only one responsible.
Keep it Simple Sweetie
Choose easy options to save you time or if you’re not as confident with your cooking skills. Some favorites of mine include:
Rotisserie chicken, already marinated meats
Pre-cut veggies, frozen or canned chopped veggies Frozen fruit, applesauce
Single serving packages of tuna/chicken
Veggie burgers or pre-cooked turkey/beef burgers
Always Have Easy Staples On Hand
You really can pull together a fast and healthy meal from your pantry and freezer.
Pasta with sauce such as pesto or marinara (pro tip: choose lentil pasta or cheese tortellini to increase the protein content)
Frozen/canned veggies and meat Beans and rice
Frozen meals (there are lots of healthy, lower-sodium options)
Frozen breakfast sandwiches, frozen waffles
Bread, bagels, English muffins, buns (pro tip: freeze bread products to make them last longer)
Make Some Items Ahead of Time
Cook a big batch of these things to easily re-heat throughout the week:
Roasted veggies, roasted potatoes
Meat, tofu, hardboiled eggs
Grains (rice, pasta, quinoa, etc.)
One-pot meals such as casseroles or soups
Taylor is a SweatNet Ambassador and a registered dietitian who treats individuals struggling with eating disorders/disordered eating. As a self proclaimed foodie and fitness lover, she has a passion for helping her clients heal their relationships with food, exercise and their bodies. She has taught group fitness in the past, but now simply enjoys the luxury of being a student. She wants to help others find a form of movement they enjoy vs. something they feel like they “have to” or “should be” doing. Additionally, promoting inclusivity to welcome different body shapes & sizes in the fitness community is very important to her.