When everything around you feels overwhelming and out of control, sometimes just knowing there’s something waiting for you for dinner feels like the warmest blessing imaginable.
Meal planning takes the wind right out of hangry sails and makes the frustration of having to decide to disappear.
You are in control. You don’t have to bend to the whims of fast food consumerism. It’s your party and you get what you want, not what the closest take out option is.
I think sometimes we make it harder then it needs to be, so here are some of the ways I’ve helped make meal planning easier for my clients.
Cook once, eat many times.
If you’re cooking it anyway, double or triple it. Nothing makes dinner happier at the end of an exhausting or surprising day then knowing dinner is literally in your freezer and ready to go. A few great candidates for this type of cooking ahead include meat sauce (for pasta), chili (meatless or meat filled, it doesn’t matter) and soup.
Go easy on yourself.
There are times when soup and sandwiches are the kindest meals you can provide. They are quick, nutritious, comforting, and satisfying. Homemade soup gets bonus points from me because you can personalize it according to your own tastes and nutrition but adding extra nutrition to a can of store bought soup works just as well, whether you add a handful of frozen vegetables or some sliced vegetables and fruit on the side.
Go meatless once in a while.
I love cooking meatless meals. They are quick to prepare, satisfying, and filling. Some great candidates include vegetable curries, meatless chili, and rice and beans.
Keep meal starters in your freezer.
I routinely batch cook/prepare larger portions of proteins, starches, and broth to keep on hand in my freezer. This makes busy days and over scheduled nights easier to work around when it comes to eating in rather than out. Some of the cooked foods that freeze really well include pork loin, boneless/skinless chicken, and rice.
Hopefully some of these ideas help to jumpstart your imagination! If you’re looking for a hand in finding your kitchen happiness, I’m happy to schedule a phone call with you so we can explore what working with me would look like.
*Stacy Westman is owner and operator of The Meals Maven, a personalized meal planning service that opens the realm of home-cooked meals to everyone, no matter what kind of kitchen experience they have had in their lives.
As a health and wellness advocate, Stacy seeks to improve the relationship her clients have with food through meal planning and nutrition. She offers hands-on help with meal prep and cooking, pantry audits, kitchen organization, personalized meal planning, custom recipe development, and more. With 15 years of personal and professional meal planning experience, she provides a compassionate and intuitive dimension to each life-changing session while making it as fun and joyful as possible.
Book just one session with Stacy and you will clearly see how her approach to food truly is planning for happiness.