Archive for August 25th, 2010

August 25th, 2010

Meal Planning

I had a horrible sleep Monday night/Tuesday morning. Not sure why but it could be the fact that I was up until 11pm reading my book and it was REALLY exciting! Regardless, I slept through my planned 7k run.

The good thing was that I had no plans for after work and decided tht it was such a beautiful day that I’d go out for a late run and do 8k instead seeing as I would have more time.

The Person (yes, I’m wearing make-up, I just got home from work, what more do you want?!):

The Reward:

The Route:

The Stats:

I started off too fast again. I have a bad habit of doing this but the weather was so nice and it was my first run after my race. I think my legs wanted to go forever! I had to force myself to slow down a bit so I wouldn’t burn out and then got way-laid but an older man who started chatting with me about a) the weather, b) when he came to Canada, and c) how his language has improved. He was too cute but I had to politely pry myself away from him to finish my run!

I am just loving this fall-type weather we’re experiencing, it just makes me want to be outdoors all the time!

I also wanted to share with you a dish I tried the other day. As usual, it’s an Emily original. I decided to make her Sweet Potato and Carrot Curried Lentils on Sunday and I urge you to make this dish! It was fantastic and I’ve been eating leftovers all week! It’s the perfect blend of sweet and spice. I had it on Sunday with black(!) quinoa, mixed it with Veg Biryani and spicy chocolate tofu on Monday and today I mixed it inside of a tortilla for a wrap!

The amount of lentils in here will fill you RIGHT up and add loads of protein to your meal. It’s also really easy to make and makes a HUGE batch so you can divide them into containers and freeze them for the week. Great for meal planning!

I am impatiently waiting for Emily to come out with a cookbook… 😉

Speaking of meal planning…

I am a huge believer in meal planning. Even though it’s just myself and my boyfriend I started meal planning even before we met! It’s been essential in helping me to lose weight AND save money.

Whether it’s work, school, kids, exercise, social obligations, volunteering, what have you, most of us are pretty busy people. When we get around to our meals we don’t always have the time to cook elaborate meals and some days we don’t even think about our meals until we’re hungry. Then we just grab whatever’s fast and easy, regardless of how good it is for us. Sometimes it’s easy to skip meals on those really busy days so we not only grab the easiest, fastest thing to make but we then end up eating more of it.

Meal planning zaps all of those problems! When you know what you’re going to eat and shop accordingly, you don’t have to worry about any of that stuff! You know exactly what you’re going to eat and what it takes to make.

All you need to do is carve out maybe a half an hour of your time during the week. Whenever you have the time but try to make it consistent. Have your households schedules at hand. Take a look at who’s going to be home on what day’s, are there days you won’t be in the house? Which days are your busiest? If you exercise, look at the days you’re going to be exercising (you’ll need to adequate fueling before and afterwards). Look at any and all deviations to the week and then figure out how many breakfasts, lunches and dinners need to be made.

Find yourself a few recipes per meal. They needn’t be overly complicated and if you’re a creature of habit (like I am), you may only need one meal (as in, I love my oatmeal and am fine having it most days of the week for breakfast, it’s a no-brainer for me).

Write on a calendar what you plan to make for all meals for the entire week and put it on your fridge. That way you’ll be reminded of what you’re going to make and if you have a spouse and/or kids they’ll also know what’s going on.

Make your grocery list based on the ingredients you need for these meals and go shop!

Depending on what you plan to make you may be able to prepare them ahead of time and store for the week. I am a huge fan of this! Making your stews, preparing the veggies, etc. well beforehand cuts time during your busy week! Make your batches and divide them into smaller containers and freeze (if possible). All you need to do is pull them out, heat and eat!

Try making your lunches the night before (and breakfast if possible) so you don’t have to worry about anything during the busiest parts of your day.

This also helps to cut costs while at the grocery store. Instead of standing around wondering what to get and then, inevitably, buying too much (or too little and having to go back during the week), you’ll know exactly what you need. If you can find specials or coupons to help even further, even better!

Meal planning helps you to stay consistent, can help to control portions, eases your sanity and ensures you have nutritious meals all week long without breaking the bank!

Do you meal plan? What are your biggest tips to help people start planning their meals?