Eat Better in 2023 ~ Meal Planning Guide

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eartland Foodie Family if you’re anything like me, you struggle maintaining a healthy diet, much of it may have to do with planning. Feeling stressed about what to make at the end of the day can often feel like an overwhelming task in which you will revert to what’s easiest, drive-through dinners, pizza delivery or a late night bowl of cereal instead of a well-balanced meal. Planning your meals in advance as well as having a fully stocked Heartland Foods freezer makes meal planning so much easier and convenient, especially for busy weeknight dinners. As you may know, Heartland Foods delivers individually packaged, vacuum sealed, flash-frozen meats and & vegetables right to your freezer. ( view our product list here)

 

Homemade, nutritious meals don’t have to be difficult and they don’t need to take up all of your time; de-frosting, seasoning, not to mention all the cleaning up. Stock your freezer and enjoy quick-thawing products that transform into home cooked, delicious meals with our easy meal planning guide. This meal planning guide is designed for any level of cooking skill with simple recipes and freezer-to-oven convenience. Make eating better quality food a habit!

 

Let us introduce you to the 5-5-5 of Meal Planning. 

 

There are five principles of meal planning – Adequacy, Balance, Variety, Moderation and Nourishment. 

And there are five steps for creating a meal plan – Choose a day for meal planning, consider your schedule for the week ahead, choose your recipes, schedule your meals for each day and make a grocery list for any ingredients.

There are five main benefits of meal planning as well – saving money, eating healthier, less stress, less waste and saving time. 

There are five principles of meal planning – Adequacy, Balance, Variety, Moderation and Nourishment. 

Adequacy

By adequacy, we mean eating enough to support our bodies through day-to-day activities like school and work, and we’re giving ourselves fuel to support physical activity. Be sure to plan for enough snacks, fluids and meals to get you through the day without feeling sluggish. 

Balance 

We’ve all seen the plate divided up with each of the food groups. Make most of your meal vegetables and fruits – ½ of your plate. Go for whole grains – ¼ of your plate. Protein power – ¼ of your plate. Use healthy oils such as avocado oil and olive oil in moderation. Be sure to drink plenty of water to sustain and hydrate you through the day.

Variety

Change it up and get nutrition from a variety of foods. No one wants to get stuck in a rut eating the same foods day after day. There are endless healthy recipes that can be found online, including in our blog!

Moderation

 Learning to listen to your body and when you are full can sometimes take practice. Often our bodies are dehydrated rather than hungry or we eat when we’re bored or feeling stressed.

Nourishment

People eat for reasons beyond hunger and the biological need.  Enjoyment. Take the French approach to food – Celebrate It! The act of eating by truly savoring the flavors by being mindful and eating slowly. Explore new cuisines with friends or make your family recipes that bring you back to a special time. There should be pleasure in food. Food for the soul.

And there are five steps for creating a meal plan – Choose a day for meal planning, consider your schedule for the week ahead, choose your recipes, schedule your meals for each day and make a grocery list for any ingredients you may need.

Choose Your Day

The first step to meal planning is as simple as choosing a day to start. By choosing a specific day of the week for meal planning, you’ll begin building it into your routine, which will help it become a habit. 

What’s Your Schedule?

Think ahead. What do you have scheduled this week – soccer practice, dance recitals, or a work meeting? You may need some quick and easy or even skip a night if you’re going to be out of town. Our heat-and-serve meals are perfect for busy weeknights. 

Make Some Choices

Select your meals. This is where the fun begins! You should know what your week ahead looks like and how many meals you’ll need to cook. Scour the internet. Buy a new cookbook. Ask friends for their favorite recipes. Just be sure to not plan that three hour smoked brisket on a busy night!

Create a Schedule

Up next, scheduling out your meals for the week. Take the recipes you chose and pick a day of the week for each. Be sure to allow for some flexibility in case something unexpectedly pops up!