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Healthy meal plans for beginners

Posted Apr 21 2010 9:00am


Creating healthy meal plans can be quite difficult when you don’t know where to start.

Everywhere you turn, you hear nutrition and health buzz words that sound like:

* eat seasonal foods

* cut out the processed foods

* shop for local foods

* avoid refined sugar

* stay away from simple refined starch

* don’t eat foods with saturated fats

* eat more fruits and vegetables

* cut back your portions to healthier portions

* get out of the supermarket and visit your farmers’ market

* don’t eat this, eat that instead

* don’t eat food that comes from a drive-thru window

* don’t eat too much salt

It’s really no wonder so many people are so confused, they don’t know where to start and as a result, they are paralyzed.

Health meal plans are the only viable solution to take control over your weight and the only way you can even get close to mastering the list that I have above is my planning out your meals well in advance.

Most people decide on what they’ll eat when they get home at night after a very long day at work, but the people who are the most successful plan out their meals in advance and they go their grocery shopping in accordance to what they intend on eating for the coming week.

Health meal plans prevent that panic feeling you have at night when you realize you have nothing in your refrigerator to eat, yet you have a family of four to feed.

Health meal plans will also help reduce if not eliminate the number of times you rely on unhealthy take away/take out foods (aka convenience foods) that are loaded with fat, salt and sugar.

Health meal plans can easily be integrated in your life by taking a few hours on Saturday or Sunday to cook or pre-cook your meals for the entire week.

There are thousands of healthy recipes that can be thrown together in 20 minutes or less; you can also plan ahead to make large portions of slow-cooking foods like soups, stews, and large meat cuts on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon, then freeze individual portions for easy meals on busier days.

Planning out your meals in advance will also ensure that you plan out healthy lunches. You’ll not only save a lot of money, but you’ll also be better able to control what you eat.

Health meal plans should be a family thing. Involve your partner and make sure to include your kids. Kids learn by modelling their parents. By including them in the meal preparation (even if they end up sitting at the kitchen island and watch you prepare), they’ll end up with a better appreciation of what they eat. These kinds of valuable lessons will ensure that your kids don’t end up turning 18, leaving for university studies and only know how to zap a frozen dinner in the microwave!

Healthy meal plans prepared as a family will strengthening the family bond and help you spend quality time with your kids.

I make a point each week to plan out my recipes and prepare the list of ingredients I need to buy to prepare one week’s worth of healthy meals. I’ve learned many years ago that it was the best way to cut back on multi-grocery shopping trips and on buying meals at the food court.

Healthy meal plans start with making the commitment to yourself, your body and your family that you’ll make healthy eating a priority!

>>> If you still don’t know how to get started with your healthy meal plans, I’d highly recommend John Berardi’s Precision Nutrition which I’ve been using for a few years now.

* Precision Nutrition System : The Precision Nutrition System is a complete nutrition program containing seven guidebooks, a gourmet cookbook ( Gourmet Nutrition ), and access to member’s only resources. It’s everything you need to get into the shape of your life. From the strategies to the food!

I’d love to know if you include a healthy meal plan as part of your priority for the week.

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