Meal planning in the clean eating lifestyle is pretty crucial. Especially if you are just starting out in it. The planning and prep can get overwhelming. But if you are at all serious about starting this lifestyle, you should know that it will take work, and the first step is committing to it!
And now for some tips to creating a meal plan for yourself!
Creating a meal plan can be a simple a taking pen to paper and writing what you are going to eat everyday so that you are not standing in front of an open fridge for 10 minutes at a loss. Or you can get really serious and create a plan electronically in word, excel or however else works for you. It can be simple, or include caloric and macronutrient (fat, carbs, protein) information if that is part of your program.
Whatever method you choose, make sure it is something that you can maintain. If you are just starting out in the meal planning arena…start with just writing down what you eat to see what your habits are, and what areas you need to focus on! This will help you create a meal plan and a system that works for you, that you can follow!
Need some one-on-one assistance? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Once you’ve created a meal plan, it’s time to create your shopping list! A typical shopping list for me contains the following:
- Organic/cage free chicken breasts
- Organic/cage free eggs
- Egg whites
- Sweet potatoes
- Frozen broccoli
- Frozen or fresh green beans
- Nut butter (almond, cashew or natural peanut)
- Organic spinach, or spinach and kale blend (for smoothies)
- Brown rice or Quinoa
- Plain Greek Yogurt and vanilla greek yogurt (I love Chobani!)
- Almond milk – original or vanilla unsweetened
- Berries – any kind that is a great price
- Zucchini – green and yellow
- Tuna – canned or pouch in water
- Ground turkey
- Whole grain bread, or sprouted bread like Udi’s
- Avocados – whole or wholly guacamole packets (packets are better for travel and lunch bags!)
- Nuts – dry roasted almonds, cashews, pistachios
- Oats – quick oats, steel cut your choice
- Dates – medjool are my favorite (great pre run fuel, or processed really fine for adding some sweet to your smoothie!)
- Peppers – all colors
- Diced Fire roasted tomatoes
- Organic dark chocolate
- Hearts of romaine
- Dried berries, and fruits like apricots (great for mid-run fuel!)
I know there is generally more on my list, or more that ends up in my cart by the time I’m done, but this is a good start. This is by no means a comprehensive list, and does not include pantry staples like almond flour, chia seeds, and the sweeteners mentioned above. You might look at this list and wonder what kind of meals I can make from it, so here are some typical meals I would make from these ingredients:
- Turkey meatballs
- Sweet potato hash with grilled peppers and poached eggs
- Chipotle turkey (or chicken) shell-less tacos
- Trail mix (nuts and dried berries w/ organic dark chocolate)
- Spinach and protein smoothie
- Spinach and strawberry salad (in which case I would also get feta)
- Quinoa stuffed peppers with ground turkey
- Sweet egg whites
There are lots more options from this list above, but I this is a good start if you are needing some inspiration to get going.
Happy meal planning!