Sometimes I forget what a loaded question, “Do you eat breakfast?” is. You get those who think it is the holy grail of weight loss. Others who insist that breakfast is actually the devil incarnate. To be honest, I don’t care who’s right. All I know is I turn into a growly, grumpy, will-eat-everything-in-sight monster if I don’t eat breakfast. Meal planning saves my family from dealing with that monster.
Every week I dutifully plan out what I will eat for breakfast. I know what I am eating this week, next week, the week after that, and every week until it warms up. Oatmeal, oatmeal, and more oatmeal. I adore a warm bowl of oatmeal, filled with fruit, nuts, seeds, and whatever else I have on hand. Once it warms up? Bam, it’s smoothie time.
But you don’t care about my breakfast habits. I mean maybe you do? You do you, boo.
What you should be worried about are your own. If you don’t eat breakfast, skip this portion of meal planning. If you do, here’s what you need to keep in mind.
Go ahead and ask yourself if you’re willing to eat the same thing everyday for breakfast. Yes? Cool. No? Also cool. Now consider how much time in the morning you’ll have to prepare and eat your breakfast. No, don’t figure out your ideal or act like you’ll get up 30 minutes early to cook something up. Be realistic, and do the following.
1. Decide how much time you have each morning.
2. Pick a realistic breakfast for each day.
3. Sit back and relax because man, that was easy
I’m about to let you in on a huge secret. This is all there is to meal planning. Well, this is all there is to simplified meal planning, but don’t you feel relieved already?
Picking a meal you really, absolutely love (or at least like, but just as a friend) comes in really handy for lunch planning, because I promise it is so much easier to eat the same thing every day for lunch. The biggest hurdle you might have with lunch planning is figuring out when you’ll prepare and pack everything up.
Go back and look at your calendar again. Will you have time to prepare and pack your lunch in the morning? Are you eating at home? Would it work better to take a couple of hours on the weekend and cook up enough for the week? Use the same process you used for breakfast, and you’ll be all set.
No matter what articles or posts I read about meal planning, the authors almost always seem to overcomplicate things. Constantly presenting it as overly complicated discourages some people from taking care of what is a relatively easy and straightforward process. So ignore the Instagram queens and healthcare gurus handing out dozens of lists on the “right” way to meal plan. Keep it simple, and you’ll be ready to learn more about dinner meal planning soon!