Today I thought we should discuss MEALS. Meal planning, tips, myths, facts + more. It’s going to be a rather random assortment of things all surrounding meals so I hope we can all discuss in the comment section!
How many meals?
I was raised in a household where we ate three substantial meals per day. We usually ate together as a family at dinner time but three meals was a daily ritual. I don’t remember what year it became popular, but there’s also the concept of eating 5-6 smaller meals per day. The reasoning? To rev up your metabolism. I spent a bit of time reading studies (before writing this post) that discredits both methods to speed up your metabolism. I found that interesting. All of them concluded that exercising will effectively increase your metabolism. Build muscle!
A few other studies mentioned that keeping your blood sugar balanced with a mid-afternoon snack can’t hurt. What do you do? I actually have a hard time even eating three full meals (which is horrible).
Americans spend nearly 4.5 percent of their paychecks on dining out, an amount that has been rising steadily since 2009.
We definitely can eat out way too much when we’re busy with work or stressed out at home. It’s faster, more convenient and something about it feels cheaper (since you’re not shelling out a large amount of food in one grocery trip). But it adds up.
The key for me is to at least realize what I’m doing when I eat out. It’s really hard for me to eat healthy at a restaurant. I try to avoid grains (canola oil, wheat, rice) and soy. I also want to know where my meat/fish were raised. And smaller portions.
Tips for saving money + eating healthier
It’s easy to feel defeated and overwhelmed around the holidays. There are always cookies, candies and pies sitting around. We’re spending our money on presents and travel. We eat much larger portions. We don’t get to the gym as much when it’s this cold. Here are a few tips to keep things simple:
- PLAN YOUR MEALS. Look at your schedule and figure out when the pot roast can cook in the crockpot all day because you’re swamped. Make a list of all the ingredients you need to buy. Compare recipes and try to use similar ingredients to cut costs. Download our meal planning worksheet here.
- OPT FOR THE CHEAPER CUT. If you eat meat and are prioritizing local, organic or grass-fed meat look for the cheaper cut. Ground meat or chuck roasts aren’t as pricey and can still be delicious (tacos and pot roast…yum).
- DON’T WASTE MONEY ON EXPENSIVE INGREDIENTS. Store fresh herbs (washed and sealed in plastic bags) in your freezer. They’ll stay fresh for a month and defrost instantly when you want to use them for cooking. If you need a spice like cardamon, call up a friend or neighbor and see if you can use a little for a few bucks.
- AVOID COUPONS. Most coupons are for brand name, processed foods. Don’t go into the grocery store and shop around your coupons. Buy mostly produce. It’s cheaper anyways.
- Food Prep on The Lean Green Bean
- Our Grocery Shopping Tips
- 7 Easy Meal Planning Basics on Wellness Mama
- Freeze smoothie packs
- 73 Kitchen Hacks
How do you handle meals? What’s difficult? What tips would you share?