Some thoughts and discussions from me.

When it comes to staying on plan, nutritionally speaking, during the week, meal planning is KEY.

Notice I didn’t say ‘meal prep.’

While I do see value in prepping certain foods (proteins, veggies) ahead of time, I think having your plan down is far more important.

Of course, this also means being able to execute on that plan, by shopping for the groceries needed to do so.

Meal planning doesn’t have to be some hairy, scary, tedious thing. In fact, I have fun meal planning each week!

Today I’m going to walk you through my step by step method for meal planning, and share some of my favorite dinners to add to the rotation.

Meal Planning

Step 1 – Meal Inspiration

Step one is always getting some meal inspiration. I consider myself lucky to be working with anywhere from around 50 to 100 clients on a weekly basis.

In my membership community and Lean Body Boot Camps, we share ideas for meals every single day. In fact, in Sculpted Strong, we have one day a week specifically dedicated to meal sharing.

Client-inspiration

Honestly, this is where I get most of my meal inspiration. I also have a clients-only Pinterest recipe board. Every recipe pinned has been tried, tested, and approved by either myself or a client.

So, every weekend, I review what’s been posted, hop on the Pinterest board, or I’ll go to some of my favorite recipe websites and grab some dinner ideas.

Previous Menus

Another source is all of my previous meal plans. I work in Evernote for just about everything, so I’ll also look back to previous weeks to see if I’ve forgotten about a favorite recipe.

Step 2 – Menu Creation

First, I’ll cover breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. This takes all of about 3 minutes, since I usually eat the same things on repeat for these meals. I rotate between 2-3, which eliminates TONS of mental fatigue.

I HIGHLY recommend finding 2-3 breakfasts, snacks, and lunches you like, that are also on plan. Much less thought process involved. The less thinking about food, the better. ”

Dinners are where I have to get creative.

Now, if it were just me, myself, and I, I would probably rotate between 3-4 dinners, as well. However, I live with my dear husband, and he has a deep rooted fear in leftovers, or having the same thing twice in one week for dinner (or so it seems.)

And I do this part all in Evernote, in my Meal Planning notebook.

So, each week I create a new ‘note’ in Evernote, and label it with the week ahead.

Then I’ll go in and add my meals for the week. After I’ve added the meals, I’ll go in and add the ingredient list below the meal. Like this!

My clients and I love SkinnyTaste’s recipes 😉

I just literally copy/paste the ingredients with the check box feature on, so I can check off each item as I’m shopping.

Pretty easy peasy lemon squeezy, right?

Ok, so on to my dinner favorites!

Trainer Paige’s Go-To Meal Planning Dinners

#1. Shrimp & Farro w/ Tomatoes

I’m sure if you’re a client reading this, you’re not surprised at all. This is one of my favorite soups ever!! It also looks complicated, but it’s ridiculously easy to make. I also omit a few of the ingredients to make it even easier.

#2. Chicken fajita bowls

I love these because you can really make them however you want to! My favorite way is to cook the chicken on the stove with some mexican seasoning, along with bell peppers cooked until browned in another pan. Then I add rice, salsa, guac, and a tortilla.

#3. Creole Shrimp w/ Garlic Cauli Rice

for this one, I just cook the shrimp in a little olive oil with creole seasoning in one pan, and then I’ll cook up some cauli rice in grassfed butter or olive oil, with some garlic in another pan. It’s so simply, but SO tasty!

#4. Bison Meatloaf

This is another regular in our house.

For the meatloaf:1.5 lbs ground bison 1⁄3 c. bread crumbs
1/3 c. breadcrumbs
1 t. minced garlic

1 egg
1⁄3 c. parmesan Sea salt Pepper Oregano
Basil Worcestershire

Sauce:
1⁄2 c. ketchup
2 T. worcestershire 1 T. honey
Dash of hot sauce

Preheat the oven to 350. In a bowl, mix all of the meatloaf ingredients together, and press into a loaf pan. Cook for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix together all of the sauce ingredients. Spread on half to the meatloaf after 10 minutes. Cook for another 25-35 minutes, and then spread on the rest of the sauce.

Steam some frozen broccoli to eat on the side, and grab a sweet potato to add as another side.

#5. Creamy Chicken & Tomato Soup

This is the newest one to make the rotation, but I made it for some company a few weeks ago, and I’ve already made it again! I see this one being a regular as long as the temps stay below 70 degrees out. I loooove the coconut milk in exchange for cream in it.

I hope you find this helpful! I would love to know any tips or tricks you have for meal planning! XO

Paige

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