Meal Planning

Did you make some changes with the new year? In my house we made a few.  The one that I’m most excited about is meal planning.  It’s something I’ve thought about for a while but never put into action.  The motivation comes mainly from being a busy mom of two these days; I’m looking to simplify and make my week as efficient as possible.  Have you read about decision fatigue? This is the idea that we can only make a certain number of great decisions in a day, by eliminating some (like what to eat) we can save energy and capacity for more important decisions including healthier choices (Read more). But meal planning has other benefits too! Helps manage grocery store spending by avoiding impulse purchases, helps with commitment to healthy food choices and reduces waste (did you know that rotting food is a big contributor of greenhouse gasses?)

Ever wonder what a naturopathic doctor eats? Keep reading for a peak.

There are a few ways to meal plan.  You can have a specific meal for each day of the week (ex. Tuesday chicken tacos with broccoli), use a specific ingredient (Tuesday chicken for dinner) or create a certain type of food (Taco Tuesdays -chicken, shrimp or bean). My family is using the second option.  On Monday’s we have tofu, Tuesdays we have chicken, Wednesdays we have fish, Thursdays we have beans. Each meal includes a large serving of vegetables -whatever is on sale, in season or looks good at the grocery store. Friday through Sunday are a bit less structured and may include occasional red meat, less healthy options and occasional convenience or restaurant food.  With this plan there’s still some variation – Thursdays might be bean tacos, bean burgers, black beans on zucchini noodles or any other legume-based meal. Breakfasts are fixed based on the day of the week (including meals like eggs and fruit, healthy pancakes and oatmeal with seeds and berries (or as my toddler calls it “oats and blues”)). There are three lunch options that we choose from including home made lentil soup and leftovers. 

This meal plan works for us; we consider ourselves “reducetarians” or “flexitarians” meaning we eat many vegetarian meals but include some meat as well.  This allows us to enjoy many health benefits of vegetarian cooking (high fiber, high nutrient density), decreases our grocery costs (tofu and beans are way cheaper than meat!) and has a positive impact on the environment and climate change while still enjoying some animal-based protein meals and avoiding deficiencies that can occur with the vegetarian diet.  While many people can benefit from eating this way, there are many who benefit from a uniquely tailored diet plan as well. If you’re not sure what your ideal weekly meal plan should look like, or you need help putting it into action, let’s connect!