How to Meal Plan (Free Printable Included!)

Meal planning is a great way to save money and stay accountable with healthy food choices. With the busy hustle and bustle of everyday life, it’s easy to swing into the McDonald’s drive-thru if we don’t have a meal plan. However, creating an organized meal plan can be difficult.

 

How to Meal Plan

1. Decide on the Meals You Will Have

The very first step of meal planning is, well… planning your meals! Look through Pinterest or your favorite blog and pick out recipes you will enjoy. You will see many registered dietitians (which I am not) recommend eating foods you actually enjoy. Unseasoned chicken breast with a side of brussels sprouts may sound like a healthy idea, but ask yourself if you will feel satisfied with that meal. If it doesn’t sound delicious and satisfying, leave it out of your plan.

If you have some fitness goals or have been recommended some macros by a doctor or registered dietician, keep those in mind when planning. There are many recipes you can find on Pinterest that suit certain macros goals. For example, you can find many low-calorie pizza crust recipes made of Greek yogurt and flour. Or, you can find high fiber pasta dishes with a lot of greens or beans. Whatever your goal is, find a recipe that sounds delicious and nutritious!

2. Tally How Much You Will Need of Each Ingredient

Once you have picked out some recipes, you should tally up how much you need of each ingredient. I always try to stick to about five main ingredients when meal planning to make my grocery bill less expensive. Typically, you will see me picking up bread, garlic, broccoli, chicken, and tofu. No matter what, you will want to tally up how many of each ingredient you will need. Do you just need one of everything? Or, do you need five chicken breasts, two white onions, and just one bottle of wine?

3. Go Grocery Shopping!

Now that you have completely planned your meals and ingredients, you are ready to go grocery shopping! Hit the store and look for your ingredients. Using your tally chart you made, shop for those ingredients. Try to steer clear of any extras if you are on a tight budget and stick to your list. I always get caught up in the chocolate and potato chip section.

4. Meal Prep if Desired

Many people choose to prepare their meals they planned ahead of time. This helps to save time in the kitchen if you have a busy schedule. For me, knowing I have a healthy and nutritious meal waiting for me keeps me from spending money on fast food.

 

Free Meal Plan Printable!

To make your meal planning easier and more organized, I have designed a printable. It should help you remember your meals and keep track of what ingredients you need from the store. Feel free to download it or use it as inspiration for your own printable!

Meal Plan.jpg

 

5 Foods That Really Help with OCD and Anxiety​

I was diagnosed with OCD when I was 12 years old. If you’re reading this, chances are you have OCD too (the actual OCD, not the one Buzzfeed writers pretend to have).

I wrote a blog post touching on the topic of minimizing anxiety through the use of natural supplements. OCD, being an anxiety disorder, can be minimized through those supplements that I mention as well. But what about food? What foods can help minimize the frustrating symptoms of OCD?

1. Beans

As mentioned in my supplement blog post, Inositol works wonders for people with anxiety disorders. A great way to increase your daily intake of Inositol is to eat beans. According to this article by Livestrong, 100 grams of navy and lima beans can provide you up to 65 milligrams of Inositol!

2. Chocolate

Yes. Chocolate helps reduce OCD and anxiety symptoms because it reduces cortisol, also known as the stress hormone. High cortisol is directly related to an increase in anxiety, because anxiety is triggered when your brain is sensing stress or a threat. Dark chocolate, specifically, is high in zinc and magnesium! Y’all better not pick on me for eating an excessive amount of chocolate now!

3. Almonds

Almonds are very high in zinc, which plays a large role in mood balance. Studies show that those who severely deficient in zinc tend to have lower serotonin levels.

4. Whole Grains

Whole grains like rice, quinoa, and oats are very high in both magnesium and zinc, which both help to balance serotonin levels. They also provide you with many other nutrients that are important for your overall health.

5. Leafy Greens

Everyone tells you that you should be eating more leafy greens. It can get annoying because it’s hard to get past the earthy flavor of greens like spinach and kale, but they really are good for you. I put this super green powder in my smoothies, and it’s very easy to hide the taste of it with fruit or chocolate protein powder.

5 Cute and Easy Christmas Treats to Make This Year

Merry Christmas!

We’re all used to the traditional Christmas meal — Ham or turkey, stuffing, green beans, rolls, and so on. Dessert is the course that allows you some room to get creative. All of these treats are affordable, easy to make, and are great options for when you’re tired of gingerbread men and cookies.

Christmas Ornament Rice Krispie Treats by The Coupon Challenge

These Rice Krispie treats are too cute and they’re totally easy to make. I made these for my coworkers, and they were a huge hit!

Melted Snowman Sugar Cookies by Betty Crocker

These take some more preparation time, but they’re so creative and fun! Not to mention, the cookies taste great too!

White Chocolate Peppermint Pretzels by Lil’ Luna

These take only 15 minutes to make, they’re inexpensive, and they’re foolproof! The pretzels taste just as good as they look!

No-Bake Reindeer Oreo Cookies by Me & B Make Tea

Gingerbread men, move aside! These Oreo Reindeer are easier to make and they’re adorable!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry Christmas Trees by Lovely Little Kitchen

Cut up some strawberries, dip them in green candy melts, stick them on an Oreo, and you’ve got an adorable treat for your friends and family!

Let me know which treats you tried, and what you think of them! I hope these ideas made your Christmas meal preparation a little bit easier and less stressful.

Have a very Merry Christmas while you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!