Meal Planning With Your STARTPlanner

Eating healthy is a strong desire from everyone, I believe, but it is no easy feat.  With the hustle and bustle of life it’s so easy to turn to fast food or whip up something in the kitchen that’s quick and easy, which doesn't always equate to the most healthiest option. So ask yourself, "What steps can I take to better improve my families diet and be more attentive to what we put in our bodies?"

Well, the first is discipline! We so often say, “I want to eat healthier”, “I want to lose 10 lbs”, “I need to have more self-control when it comes to eating”, “we need to eat out less”… but at times this can be so overwhelming. Where do we even start!?!? For many of us this self-talk is more of a fleeting thought. We might say, “I need to stop eating so much sugar!”, but then we leave it at that. We don’t think through the actual steps we need to take in order to carry this out. We then go about our business and before we know it we're back to our usual pattern. So we need to have the discipline to make a change.

The second part is organization! We need to be intentional about setting aside time to sit down and think through what it is we want to change or improve upon. We need to write down exactly what our plan is… what action steps we are going to take to see this through. If you already have a STARTplanner the Goals section is a great place to write this plan out. It is also why we have meal planning and grocery lists in our planners.  Like I mentioned, for many the act of figuring out a solution can be very overwhelming. We just don’t even know where to start. So, we're going to share some actionable steps with you that we here at STARTplanner have found helpful, and hope these might help you get started on the road to eating healthier.

Here are some action steps to get you started!

  • Create Meal Plans: Plan out what you will be eating for lunch and dinner for the week in order to know what groceries you will be needing. Allowing time to plan ahead will enable you to make healthier choices.

  • Make A Grocery List: And stick to it!! If you have a list already made, then you will be more likely to stick to it and less likely to grab a box of those crackers or Little Debbie cakes you eye on the end cap as you turn down the aisle. And as you are making your list, don’t put things on there that you are trying to steer clear from. Even if it’s for your spouse or child. Just don’t even have it in the house. Sometimes if it’s in the house, you’ll eat it!... more power to those who have the discipline to just say, “No!” Guess what? You also save...money! By not aisle shopping! :) 

  • Take Your Time: If you are easily overwhelmed by all the options out there or steps you need to take (i.e. no refined sugar, eat healthy fats, take daily vitamins, eat more fresh veggies & fruits, eat less processed foods, etc.), then focus on one thing at a time. Don’t try to change everything at once. For example, this month choose one thing… let’s say you want to focus on eating less refined sugar. Add this goal to your monthly "mini-goals" section in your STATplanner and write down the actionable steps you will take that month (i.e. don't buy anything with added sugar). Once you feel like you have a good grip on this, then you can start focusing on your next item on the list. Once you start getting your staple grocery lists on a regular basis this will become easier too! 

  • Set A Budget For Food: Eating out is so convenient, but this isn’t always the healthiest option. Set a budget for your groceries and for eating out. THIS WILL SHOCK YOU!... how much you end up spending on food so you can start making more educated decisions. 

  • Designate A Prep Day: Cooking at home takes time and proper planning, even more so if you want to cook healthy meals. We don’t always have time to cut up fresh vegetables every single night or cut up fresh fruit in the morning for smoothies. Find a time, whether it be during the day, at night after the kids have gone to bed, or on the weekends (and maybe you can get the kids to help), to prep as much as you can for the week ahead. That way when you wake up each morning all you have to do is take your bag of cut-up fruit out of the freezer and dump it into your blender, add a few more ingredients, and you're all set to go!

There is no better time to start than NOW!!! When you are planning for your health it is life changing. If you take the time to plan meals and your grocery lists you become healthier, less stressed, and you can even save time and money! Can I get a Holla! If this is something you have been wanting do but you just keep delaying, START NOW! 

What things do you do to help stay on track and eat healthy? We'd love for you to share with us below!