Hi ladies! If I eat good I feel good. When I feel good, I workout more. When I work out more I stay healthier. The only way that I can figure out how to eat healthy each week is to get ahead of it and be intentional in my planning. I wanted to share with you how I do that and what my weekly, healthy meal plan looks like at our house. Maybe it will help you to come up with a plan this weekend!
*If you follow me on Facebook, I share a lot of what this actually looks like in action on my stories and in my feed. Follow along here.
I have a few things that I use as a general guide that have helped me over the years:
- If your great- great- great grandmother wouldn’t recognize it as a food (ex. a cheeto)…………there’s a good chance you should at least think twice before you eat it. Check it.
- No one falls face first into a bag of carrots. If you don’t want to be found eating it this week- don’t buy it.
- Your body knows exactly what to do with whole, unprocessed foods. Eat those in abundance.
- Variety truly *IS* the spice of life! A healthy diet is also one full of variety! Avoid ‘sameness” for too many weeks in a row, switch it up!
- Watch those sauces, condiments and cheeses. You can really add up a lot of unwanted calories by piling on these things. These are for flavoring your food not drowning it.
- Drinks: Take a hard look at what you are drinking throughout the day and be sure you are drinking things that help you and don’t hurt you.
Get Set For Success
If I don’t want to eat it- I don’t have it in the house. Period. You won’t find any junk food in my house. No ice cream, cookies, muffins, chips, etc. I don’t buy it. For our home those items are for special occasions like parties and celebrations, and we usually make them from scratch. Having those things in my pantry would almost assuredly set us up for failure because when we get stressed and tired that’s exactly where we are most likely to head- to convenience, salt, sugar, and carbs. If they aren’t in the house we’ve already helped ourselves eat healthier for the week!
The Sweet Tooth
If you have a serious sweet tooth, you need to address that. Get the sweets and starchy carbs out of the house and replace them with something that will still satisfy you without hurting your health!
Hear this: White Sugar is addictive. And some people are more sensitive to it than others, so it can be hard to get off the sugar!
Try looking at Thrive Market for healthy alternatives or taking the time to bake some Paleo chocolate muffins or make some almond butter protein balls. Replacing white sugar with healthier alternatives like honey, stevia or maple syrup will go a long way toward eating healthier. I also like to keep some quality dark chocolate on hand. There’s a reason that fast foods and sugar ladened sweets are cheap and easy to get!- Steer clear.
- As a rule of thumb- I also avoid anything marked “sugar free” or “fat free” , etc. Usually they have added, potentially harmful chemicals to take the place of the sugar and the fat. Pass.
How I design a healthy meal plan
On Fridays I sit down with my laptop and a note pad for about 30 minutes and plan out our meals for the next week. Our breakfasts and lunches are made up of similar foods each day, so I know each week we will need those ingredients from the grocery store. I typically place an order for home delivery or curbside pick-up from Safeway or Walmart. I love this way of grocery shopping because I can stick to my list much easier and it is SO convenient!
1. Our breakfasts are typically eggs ( mine is 1 egg + 1 egg white + 1/2 cup of spinach, scrambled), sliced avocado w/ lemon juice and salt/pepper, arugula with lemon juice salt/pepper, ezekiel toast with grass fed butter, sometimes some blueberries and a small slice of smoked salmon. I also have my green juice at some point around breakfast.
- smoked salmon
- ezekiel bread
- lemons (for juice)
- olive oil
2. Our lunches are things like salmon cakes topped with dill sauce and salad , greek chicken bowl, leftover protein + veggies from dinner placed in a grain free tortilla topped with a yogurt or sriracha sauce. For salad dressing I use olive oil, lemon juice and salt and pepper.
- canned salmon (for salmon cakes)
- dill weed, mayonnaise (for sauce)
- hearts of romaine ( and whatever else we want for salad)
- chicken breast
- almond flour tortilla
- cauliflower (for ricing)
- greek yogurt (for sauces)
- vegetables for sauteing
3. For our dinners for the week, I will usually turn to my Pinterest board. I keep recipes there that we’ve used and enjoyed. I will quickly write down 6 recipes for our meals for the week. From that, I know what I need from the store to be able to create all of these meals and I add the ingredients that I need to the grocery order.
Here are the dinners I’ve planned for next week:
- Honey Mustard Chicken w/ Cauliflower rice and Green Beans
- Pollock Fish Taco Bowls
- Turkey Zucchini Skillet
- Baked Cod w/ roasted Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus
- Steak Bites with roasted potatoes and broccoli
- Shrimp Tacos with Sweet Potato Fries (we make these using almond flour tortillas)
None of these recipes take more than 30-45 minutes from start to finish, which is about the amount of time I have scheduled into my evening to prepare them.
On Saturday or Sunday I set aside about an hour to do some meal prep for the week. It isn’t complicated, but it is very much a key to success! This enables me to quickly throw together healthy lunches for us all week without taking up much time in the middle of the day.
- Marinate chicken breasts in olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar and oregano for at least an hour.
- Cook chicken breasts in skillet and slice. Place into glass container into the fridge. I use these glass containers now because they are the perfect size for lunch and they stack nicely in the fridge. (The plastic ones pictured are here– they come in a pack of 20).
- Mix up a Greek Tzatziki sauce by combining (to taste) Greek yogurt, cucumber, garlic, dill weed, lemon juice, lemon zest in a small bowl; season with salt and pepper. Place into another container in the fridge.
- Rice a large amount of cauliflower (or you can buy this already riced) in a food processor and place into another container.
- In another glass container mix up ingredients for salmon cakes and place in the fridge.
- Make the Dill sauce for the salmon cakes: Mayo, dill weed, lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Place in fridge.
- boil eggs (I use this little $15 egg cooker!)
- Saute’ any veggies to add to lunches. Ex. onions, peppers, garlic, mushrooms, etc.
In our house we don’t eat many snacks – mainly because our meals keep us full and we don’t get hungry in between meals. I always have protein powder for our shakes after lifting. I keep things like raw nuts, fruit, uncured salami, boiled eggs, quality cheese and dark chocolate on hand for the occasional “bite”.
We stick to 1-2 cups of coffee or espresso per day. The rest of the day it’s water. I also LOVE my Sodastream and drink sparkling water flavored with fruit all summer long. I drink green tea around 2pm before my workout, have a protein shake after my workout, and then it’s water until dinner when we will have red wine. If we go out to eat we will usually enjoy a cocktail (not sugar ladened).
P.S.– If like many of us, your alcohol consumption went up last year and you’d like to get it back to a reasonable level (or cut it out completely) I highly recommend this book: This Naked Mind by Annie Grace. It’s an absolutely fascinating read and it did the trick to help me put alcohol back into it’s proper place in my life.
I hope that you found something in this post to help you in your quest to eat healthier. Planning a weekly healthy meal plan will give you the start you need to feeling great! You will have so much more energy when you eat an abundance of good-for-you- foods! When you have energy you will naturally move more, which means you will burn more fat. Heck- Implementing a weekly healthy meal plan just might be the thing that inspires you to exercise more often as well! It sort of all goes hand in hand and your daily choices matter -so set yourself up for success! If you have any specific questions or if you have some tips of your own to share, please leave them in the comments so we can all benefit!
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