As the saying goes, "A goal without a plan is just a wish." This is most definitely true if your goal is to eat healthier, or just get dinner on the table during the busy work week. You need a plan to make it a habit.
Thankfully, two of my dietitian friends have written books to help you do just that--make meal planning a regular habit.
Why, though? What's so important about meal planning, and why do it?
First and foremost, meal planning is key to healthy eating, and who doesn't want to do that? But there are other benefits, too, if you've already gotten the healthy eating thing down. Meal planning helps save time and money, makes weekdays less stressful, and allows you to spend more time doing the things you love with the people you love doing them with.
The first book I want to recommend is Smart Meal Prep for Beginners: Recipes and Weekly Plans for Healthy, Ready-to-Go Meals (Rockridge Press, 2018) by Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, who is also author of The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook. At its core, Smart Meal Prep for Beginners is a cookbook so if meal planning guidance for you means access to delicious, healthy recipes, this book is for you.
Toby shares six weeks of amazing recipes such as Turkey Meatballs with Carrots over Zucchini Noodles, Superfood Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette, Baked Almond Cherry Bars and Sheet Pan Lemon Chicken. The first two weeks focus on breakfast and lunch, followed by four weeks of breakfast, lunch and dinner plans. The book also includes meal prep guidance, from shopping lists to staple pantry ingredients to storage and reheating information.
The second resource--52 Week Meal Planner: The Complete Guide to Planning Menus, Groceries, Recipes and More (Rockridge Press, 2018) by Jessica Levinson, MS, RDN, CDN--is a workbook for those who have the recipes they need but want structure and accountability for making meal planning a habit.
This workbook provides templates for planning weekly meals for a year, writing recipes, calculating price comparisons and making shopping lists. No more scraps of paper floating around the kitchen or computer spreadsheets. You can write everything in the workbook. Prior to the workbook pages, Jessica shares a seasonal produce guide as well as tips for how to efficiently and healthfully prepare balanced meals for your family.
Together, these books provide the gamut of what you need to make meal planning a regular habit. Perhaps one is more suited to your needs, but together they make for a winning combination and a great gift idea!
Both books are available for purchase on July 31, 2018 and can be pre-ordered NOW through Amazon. Click on the book title links above to access their respective Amazon pages.
Toby, Jessica and I would love to get your feedback. Please do share your comments below!