MPME Part Two: The Meal Planning Puzzle Piece

When we start thinking of the week ahead, it can be scary and overwhelming. All the things we must get done and all the deadlines that are looming over.

One of the things we can simplify and make easier, is meal planning. Planning and preparing our food ahead of time saves us time, energy and a huge headache later because that is one less thing to worry about.

By the time you need to eat or grab your lunch, everything is pretty much ready to go! So, let’s continue to deconstruct and demystify meal planning.

Everything can be broken down to the sum of its parts. A building down to its construction materials, a sport down to its technical skills and movements, and meals to its individual food components.

You can easily think of meal prepping as essentially, a puzzle. A mix and match puzzle that can be altered a million different ways to suit your tastes and needs as they change throughout the year.

Gone are the ideas of eating steamed chicken breast, broccoli and sweet potato. To break down meal planning to its bare bones, each meal is simply the sum made up of its parts.

Predominately all nutritiously balanced meals are made with a protein, non-starchy vegetables, healthy fats, and may if called for a grain or starchy vegetable.

Even though at its base, it really is that simple, we must talk about why these aspects are to be included for a balanced meal.

Some may think this is an oversimplification of meal planning, you’re right. But why not simplify it if time is already not on your side?

Why are we obligated to make elaborate meals for the week if there’s barely time to get anything done in the first place? A common mistake is to try and mimic Instagram or food bloggers’ meals.

We need to come back to where we are, start from where we are comfortable and work our way up from there.

Meal Garden offers a generalized search followed by a sorting function that allows you to choose by simplicity.

How easy is that? This is a great way to pick some recipes that are super quick and insanely easy to make.

These recipe does not require too much skill or kitchen Kung-Fu to wade through.

From there you can look through the recipes and add them in accordance to the steps we discussed in the first part of the series.

Pro tip time: when you are in the recipe search area, try clicking on the lightbulb icon. The lightbulb icon will be your best friend around here, opening the door to a whole host of helpful tools and tips. Specifically, here the icon will give you the option to either go to “Recipe Collections” or the “Meal Plan Library”. The recipe collections are just as the name calls, collections of recipes sorted into various categories for you to choose recipes from. The meal plan library will exhibit the numerous existing meal plans that have been curated and created by nutritionists for your needs and health goals (such as 6 Ingredients or Less or Abbeys Kitchen Gluten-Free Meal Plan), where the week’s meals are already preset for you! See below!

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A basic meal should have a source of protein, a source of vegetables (preferably leafy and/or dark green, non-starchy), some healthy fat and perhaps, if needed, some grains or starchy vegetables.

The reasoning behind this is to ensure we have a balanced and wholesome consumption of all our macronutrient and micronutrient needs.

To live a healthy and happy life, we must consume the whole foods that will supply our organs systems the fuel they need to function.

Lacking in any of the macronutrients would be detrimental in the long run.

We will be covering the importance of the macronutrients and highlight a few micronutrients in the next part of the series.

Stayed tuned and stay satisfied! Next week’s installment will delve into the macronutrients in food and their role in our body.