ask the nutritionist: meal planning

I am what you call a planner. Plain. And. Simple. I have most of my weekends planned through October and while it drives some of you crazy (and you know who you are) I happen to like being organized! (Ok…it may be on the border of organization and craziness)
But the most important of planning? Meals!
I plan out my meals on a weekly basis which is also how I make my grocery shopping list. When I was in college and had lots of time I would just mosey on over to the store whenever I needed to get something. But that is not an option anymore and I like to just make one trip to the store a week – plus, it saves $$! I either write out on paper or if I’m feeling especially nerdy, I will type it out into an excel sheet. Yes. I’m serious.
I usually have a stack of recipes that I’m dying to make so I’ll usually incorporate one or two of those per week for dinner and then stick to some simple meals for the other nights. Between sports and travel we usually have about 3-4 dinners at home per week. Oh, and I always prep dinner with a glass of wine and some cheese. It’s just how I roll.
Since I usually take my lunch to work, these also must be very deliberately planned out. I secretly long to work from home so that I can make my lunches as I need them. Someday. (sigh) Lunches are usually salads with various toppings (I tend to save my creativity for dinner!) I’m also working on simplifying my lunches so that I don’t have to spend so much time the night before getting everything ready.
I don’t always plan breakfasts (it is usually my least favorite meal, unless it’s a weekend breakfast) so I usually just make sure I have the appropriate ingredients to come up with something: smoothies, fruit salad, toast, eggs, etc.
Then I plan the meals out by day, list out the ingredients that I need and I’m done! No more digging in the refrigerator at 6:30 trying to find something for dinner.
Confession: I really don’t follow a budget (terrible, I know, but I just love food!! I can’t help it) I did while doing an eating experiment a while back so this is also something that I would like to work on doing!
Do you plan out your meals or go with the flow?


Filed under ask the nutritionist, cheese, great meals, Recipes, salad, smoothie, wine

5 responses to “ask the nutritionist: meal planning

  1. Brian in Mpls

    Huge planner. Plan 5 dinners and five lunchs every Saturday and then get that stuff leaving the other two days to be free form or eat out

  2. Anonymous

    Brian is not kidding, all at 6:00 on the dot!! 😉 However I'm becoming quite the cook after this weekend. Thanks to your inspiration for the Spring Rolls and Mary Beth for the cookbook! -aw

  3. Holly

    i am a little bit of both…part of me plans then somedays i just wing it. however, i do save lots of money and time when i plan.

    happy monday!


    i'm very much go with the flow, but it seems like i eat the same things over and over. once in a while i'll try to switch it up and for that, i'll need to plan accordingly!

  5. Emily

    Haha, I should have known that you are an extra planner Brian!!!

    Holly & The Actors Diet – Even though I do plan my meals…unfortunately I don't always follow my plans exactly!!!!

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