If you’re having trouble getting started, or even sticking to, a healthy eating regimen, you may be surprised that one highly effective practice doesn’t require counting calories or hours of exercise. You simply need to plan out your meals.
When hunger strikes, it’s tempting to grab the fastest, easiest-to-make food available, but that’s rarely the best choice for your health. Planning your meals encourages you to invest in better-for-you options ahead of time and reduces food waste, while saving significant time and money in the long-term. If you don’t know where to start, follow these easy tips to help make meal planning a breeze:
1. Build meals around themes like taco night or seafood night. This can help narrow down your options but still allow you to experiment with new recipes or variations on favorites that can be added to your regular rotation.
2. Be sure to include breakfast, lunch and snacks. Whether these are meals on the go or foods you’ll eat at home, planning ahead can help ensure you have tasty, healthy options at your fingertips all day long.
3. Make it a family affair. Invite meal feedback from everyone and keep kids involved in the prep process to create more family time together.
4. Take inventory of your pantry and leftovers before heading to the store – yesterday’s grapefruit breakfast could be today’s citrus salad.
5. Shop wisely. Maximize time and money savings by shopping at a store such as ALDI, where you can find all your weekly must-haves, like fresh produce and organics, dairy, USDA Choice beef and bakery items. ALDI also offers a variety of healthy eating resources, including weekly meal plans and recipes like these Quinoa Lentil Tacos, at aldi.us/hellohealthy.
Quinoa Lentil Tacos
Recipe courtesy of Chef Michelle, ALDI Test Kitchen