Meal Planning for Beginners

One of the biggest excuses for not eating clean is “I don’t have time.” And though that is a pretty valid reason, it shouldn’t be taken as such. Eating well is not only good for your fitness goals and health but for your well being, especially as you age. Luckily, one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for success is by meal planning.

It may seem overwhelming in the beginning, but once you practice it once or twice, it will feel like second nature. Here is a breakdown to help you tackle meal planning.

Step 1: Assess your eating situation

Your eating situation can differ from week to week depending on routines, schedules, and events. Here is how you can assess your eating situation.

1. How many meals do you need to plan for

Take a moment to look over your schedule for the coming week. Then look at everyone else’s to get an idea of how many meals you will need to create.

2. When do you have time

If you have a crazy week ahead of you, make a quick note to make more slow cooker meals and meals that can be served on the go. Meals that are “cook once eat twice” are great for these weeks. For those days you don’t have time that is where The Spot Cafe comes in to help.

3. Your Food Mood

Check the upcoming weather for the week as you cravings and desire for certain foods may change i.e. if it’s raining you may be in the mood for soup.

4. Eating on a budget

If you want to eat well at an affordable price try shopping seasonal produce and sales.

Step 2: Physically map out your meals for the week  

1. Grab a pen and write it down

Write down the meals you plan to make down on a piece of paper

2. Sketch out your week

You can start with vague phrases like leftovers, packed lunch, Dinner at The Spot Cafe, just so you have an idea.

3. Add them up

Tally them up so you can see for the week, “I’ll need 2 packed lunches, 2 quick dinners…”

Step 3: Collect and Calendar your recipes

Now that you have an idea of how many meals you need to make for the week you can start finding delicious and healthy recipes.

Create a master list

Start looking for quick and easy meals online and printing them or create bookmarks for all of them. This way you will have a place to look for new meals when you don’t have as much time to research. You can start with the meals you traditionally make and then slowly incorporate new ones as you go.

Finding new dishes

Finding new dishes is not hard. Online there are a plethora of quick and easy, but also healthy recipes. You can also check out cookbooks or magazines for inspiration.

Remember, the more you practice the better you will become. By setting aside a little time in the beginning of the week, you’ll be setting yourself up for success for the rest of the week. Also, The Spot Cafe is here to help you succeed with our Break/Lunch Club where you can get meal plans tailored to your needs.

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