Lux Work Out: Healthy Menu Planning

Ever find yourself stressing over your daily meals? I mean we all like to grub down, but deciding on what that meal from day to day and week to week can be a true challenge. And when it's pure hunger talking, we can make poor eating choices. Nobody likes to make hangry choices! Meals can vary from week to week and depend on work schedules, after school activities, evening commitments, travel plans, etc. Let's dive into what meal planning consists of and how it can shape a healthy lifestyle for you.

How Many Meals To Prep - We like to call this meal inventory. Take a few moments to think about what you have going on next week and the number of meals you are responsible for.

Time Management - If you have a crazy busy week coming up, make a mental note to be on the lookout for quick,  slow cooker or make-ahead meals that can served up in a hurry. Mental preparation lays in a great start!

Food Mood Dude - Things like the weather, a change in season and food cravings can impact what sounds good on any given day. Thinking about these things beforehand will make recipe selection process faster and meal times easier on everyone. Because sometimes those spontaneous choices don't help shape our figures.

Weekly Eats:

1. Grab a pen and paper. Journal it out until you get the hang of it. Write the days of the week on the left side of the page and the meals you want to plan across the top. Sounds pretty basic, but this will act as a road map for you to follow. A food map!

2. Sketch out your weekly eats. Vague descriptions like quick dinner, leftovers, or packable lunch will do the trick. Don’t forget to plan for leftovers and make note of special dietary restrictions.

3. Add them up. Note how many meals you’ll need, grouping together similar ones. For example: 3 quick dinners, 2 packable lunches… this will help you prepare!

4. Your grocery budget. Sales, coupons, give yourself a number. Look into some recipes too that will detail some of the items you will need on your market run. This can be a tricky step and require more planning.

5. Recipe Run-Down. Having a list of go-to meals is one of the easiest ways to expedite the meal planning process. Consider trying one or two new recipes and use a few old favorites to fill in the gaps. Every time you find a new meal you love, add it to the rotation! What's your go-to? Is it healthy?

6. New creations! Finding delicious, healthy recipes isn’t hard–you just need to know where to look. Pinterest, Food Mags, the world is your oyster! Now get to cookin.