Learn to Eat Healthy and Cheap

A look into how we plan meals for the week & how you can too

Planning out what you’re going to eat throughout the week, is the best and easiest way to make sure your nutrition is where it needs to be

Without diving too far into the subject of dieting, I will let you in on a (not so little) secret – I don’t follow a ‘diet.’ Even when I was +25 pounds, by no means did I follow a trendy or fad diet to lose that weight. What I did do was trust what I know: lean meats, veggies galore, and (if/when) choose whole grain. The same goes for your daily meals!

I think we’ve taken the whole ‘meal prepping’ a bit too far and it too has sprung some trendy roots. I’ve seen videos where people are weighing their 99.9% lean ground turkey and fresh broccoli to the very ounce, using about a million tupperware containers, or even ordering both of these things online. Wait wut. First of all, where’s the fun?! Not to say it’s everyones favorite, but I think there is a lot of knowledge and confidence that comes from learning how to cook; you start to form this really healthy relationship with both the food you’re eating and your body.

Second, we need to think long term here. Whether your stuck in a small dorm, apartment, or even living for the first time on your own, the art of planning your meals will carry with you for the rest of your life. The goal of planning your meals is to eat healthier and feel better; two things we all hope to carry out for the rest of our lives! So, opting for bland chicken shipped from LA isn’t going to help you in the long run.

The million $ question – what is the best and easiest way to ensure your weekly meals are healthy, cheap, and satisfying?

My best answer – comes in a few answers –

The best way to get really good at eating healthy/cheap throughout the week is being okay with eating the same few things (or versions of). Also, start to love left overs. When you cook/grill/bake for the week, make enough for the next day as well. This makes things ten times easier, healthier, and cheaper for your busier weeks.
For us, breakfast and lunch are generally the same thing most days. If we go to the gym, we normally have a banana and protein shake before, which would be our breakfast. After the gym (usually around noon) we’ll have eggs, toast, veggies and fruit (lunch). So all that’s left is dinner. I think this is the biggest problem for most people, figuring out what to eat after a long day. This is where scheduling some cooking time comes in!

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{Our meal planning schedule looks like this: Cook on Sunday or Monday (depending on work) for Mon/Tues., Cook Wednesday for Wed/Thurs/Fri.} Our dinner on Monday is going to be the same for Tuesday and so on. I will say this might vary from week to week, but you have to make/follow the best schedule for your lifestyle.

If you’ve got the time but have no clue where to start, I am here to help! Like any good recipe, sometime’s its best to keep things simple – especially when you’re on a budget! Start by thinking about what kind of meat/protein source you want to have. For us, we like having ground turkey for turkey burgers, easy to bake fish, and even chicken breasts for salsa chicken. I would pick two lean proteins for your week (remember we cook two big meals a week) and work around that.

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Han’s Healthy Tip: Spices will become your best friend, sauces and glazes tend to be a bit high in calories/expensive. 

After you think about your main dish, the rest is simple!  Always make sure you have some veggies and healthy carbs to pair with your protein. We love having frozen vegetables in the freezer and brown rice or whole grain pasta in the pantry. Both make for a great side when you don’t have time to make anything fresh. Just as we did for our main course, making your sides in bulk is totally possible! I love cutting up three or four sweet potatoes, adding a bit of olive oil and thyme, and letting them roast for sides throughout the week. This will usually get us through three dinners!

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Weekly meal planning does not have to become another chore on your list! Simple recipes are often times the healthiest and cheapest option for anyone with a busy schedule. It’s really easy and often tempting to run out and grab Chipotle or a salad from wherever, but that can get rather pricy.

Stay on track throughout your week with a few tips: plan your meals, cook in bulk, always have vegetables in the freezer, and don’t forget that Saturday will come again!

I hope this helps you get through this week and possibly make it the healthiest week yet!

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