How Meal Planning Can Energize Your Life
Here’s the deal with meal planning. You’ve decided to take steps to start a meal plan, eat healthier, and be more proactive about your health journey. But the more you think about it, the more you get overwhelmed, considering how much time and energy you don’t have. I know because I’ve been there, too.
Many people spend all their time focusing on meal planning that centers around dinner. But try to see it the same way that I do. Meal planning is like forecasting. You look at your life as a whole. Then, you look at your schedule to see the days you’re traveling, short on time, out being a road warrior, or all of the above! You take your life into account and answer the questions of how, where, when, and what you’re going to eat.
During my years as a flight attendant, I saw firsthand how people set themselves up for failure by not having a plan. Passengers would hop on three-hour flights without eating or buying any type of beverage. On my end, the airline relied on pretzels and snack packs, and we never offered any “food” that was nutritionally sound or filling. Our snacks were highly processed with refined flours, sugars, and preservatives. Even if you ate several bags, you weren’t going to be satiated. That’s why it’s my mission to help people by preparing them food that’s filling, nutritious, and yummy. And it doesn’t need to be a challenging task resting all on your shoulders.
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6 Benefits Of Meal Planning
Here are some significant benefits meal planning offers, especially when your focus is on your energy levels.
1. Stop Worrying About What’s For Dinner Every Night
The amount of time you spend feeling anxious about meal planning is time you could use for other areas in your life. Cut this time drastically and start with where you’re going during your day. Is there a grocery store or farmers market nearby? What about a trusted restaurant or another food outlet to purchase fresh, preferably local, and minimally processed foods? Take a look at your events and where you’ll be a few days out to put your planning in motion.
2. Be In Control Of The Foods You Eat
You can absolutely fight off cravings and defeat the dull rumble of an empty stomach even if you’re on the go. Yes, chips and candy are easy to grab and munch on wherever you are. But they do little to nothing for your health. Controlling the foods you eat with some planning only takes a little Q and A to get there. The best part? You’re asking yourself these questions, so you should reach the answers pretty quickly.
- Can I make a list of portable, nutritious foods that I like?
- Will there be refrigeration, or do I need to find an alternative way to keep my food cold?
- How much space do I have to pack food or drinks?
- What can I quickly eat while I’m out?
As soon as you get your list going, you’ll have a range of options to choose from in no time at all.
3. Save Money & Time To Live Your Best Life
The more you meal plan with simple yet delicious meals, the more time you have to spend with your loved ones and yourself. I get it! It sounds super pricey and time-consuming, but it really takes less time than waiting for food delivery or dealing with mix-ups.
Furthermore, meal delivery apps charge more than the actual product and include service fees, tips, and extras that add up quickly. In fact, delivery orders hike up as much as 91% more than what you would pay simply eating at the restaurant. Instead, use that markup money to buy healthy ingredients that will make more than one meal.
Let’s say you spend 10 minutes browsing the delivery eating app, 5 minutes making a decision, and an hour waiting for your order to get to your door. Wouldn’t you rather enjoy your meal and use that time to do anything else besides standing by for your one-time delivery? Plan, prepare and pack your meals, and live more of your best life.
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4. Look Forward To The Farmers’ Market
Go to your local farmers market, and you’ll soon realize it’s your favorite part of the week. Hear me out. It’s so much more than a trip to the grocery store. Farmers market shopping is connecting with your community, supporting your neighbors, and discovering incredible options all in one. When you develop relationships with the Farmers Market vendors, they call you by name and can tell you what they actually picked that morning. Talk about fresh!
Incorporate a farmers market trip into your meal routine and look forward to fresh produce all year round. You can even relish in seasonal favorites like summer squash, winter stone fruit, fall spices, and spring vegetables. Your meals will be less repetitive, and you will have an ongoing chance to explore something new.
5. Feel The Energizing Benefits Of Whole, Natural Foods
Traveling is tough, but it’s even more draining when you’re running on sugary mochas and a pack of pretzels. There are so many advantages to meal planning and staying on an eating schedule. This was my main struggle as a person who traveled to different time zones and had various bedtimes. So many years of this led to a sluggish metabolism and lack of energy. As soon as I started to meal prep and fuel my body with whole foods, something clicked! I was more alert, focused, and determined to make each day even better. Feeling this way also made it easier to stick to my schedule and remind myself to make time for meals, even if I only have a few minutes.
6. Help The Environment By Wasting Less Food
Giving the world less of your trash and more of your best self through thoughtful meal planning isn’t usually a priority. However, it does have a big impact on the environment, and future generations will thank you.
Junk foods, takeout, to-go orders, and drive-thru binges take a massive toll on the environment. All of those tiny plastic bags, wrappers, pizza boxes, and styrofoam containers pile up and take away further resources we need. Buying and preparing whole foods with Earth-conscious or reusable containers help reduce your effect on the planet. It’s also pretty cool to know vitamin-packed foods like bananas come with their own biodegradable wrapper.
Add Spice 2 Your Life Is The Answer To All 4 Meal Planning Questions
I’ve spent 20 years as a flight attendant experiencing the challenges around meal planning and answering the ever-popular four questions of where, what, when, and how. Here’s a fun fact – I figured it out! But I don’t want to keep my meal prep secrets all to myself. I want to share them with others who are challenging themselves to eat healthier, even with a super busy schedule.
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