For most of us when we get to the supermarket or start our online shop, the list is the same. Week in, week out. We stick to the same old, same old, probably because we haven’t planned what we would really like to eat that week.
But there is so much choice out there, and so many combinations that could really fire up your taste buds and reduce the amount you’re spending. Just a few minutes planning before a shop could really make what you eat more exciting. Here are 10 reasons why meal planning can change your life!
1. It relieves the boredom
So is it chilli, bolognaise, pasta bake and roast – again?! Get out the recipe books or the BBC Food recipe web page and see what else you could do with the chicken or the mince.
Think about the veggies that you buy. Could you buy more seasonally? What else could you do with that courgette or squash?
It’s time to shake things up! Increasing variety of fruit and veg helps to give our liver the support it needs from lots of different foods.
2. It challenges your food horizons You are more than likely, much more creative than you think. Try something that you have never cooked before or perhaps something you have always wanted to try.
There’s nothing like a new recipe to reduce what can be the boredom of meal prep and also for giving you a sense of achievement.
3. A well-stocked fridge means better choices If your fridge has the right ingredients for the meals on your plan then you are far more likely to make the dish on your list! When it is not, then that's when you might give in to an order in, or take out. A well-stocked fridge increases the chances that you will make healthier choices, and that you’ll avoid feeling the guilt caused by yet another takeaway
4. Our bodies need variety So if eating the same foods bores our heads, then it also causes a similar problem in the rest of our body. The same foods mean the same vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – meaning that potentially we may be short of some. Our gut bacteria love the variety of different fibres from veg, fruit and wholegrains. The more variety, then the better and more varied our gut microbiome becomes.
Are you eating on repeat? Then it’s time to mix it up. 5. It helps you become a super-prepared-hero in the kitchen! When you’ve planned in advance then it can also save time if you either batch cook, or use meals prepared the night before to fill lunch boxes for the next day.
Most cooked food can keep for up to two days if you let it cool down and then refrigerate it properly. Think of the time and the stress you could save!
6. It saves you money Statistically it’s proven that the planners amongst us spend less. Way it up. How many times do you make a trip to the supermarket for that one item you’ve forgotten and then come out with 10 more? That local shop is also likely to be more expensive that the big store where you make your weekly shop.
7. It can help you lose weight My experience as a Nutritional Therapist shows me that people who plan, shop and cook regularly (also keeping their food diaries) are the ones who lose and maintain their weight successfully through life. Book in now for a free 20 minute chat and see how working with a nutritional therapist can help you.