I have always been more of a planner than a “fly by the seat of my pants” kind of girl. But when my husband and I welcomed our third child in less than four years, planning was a whole new ball game. We promptly implemented a few quick and easy changes to our week and all of a sudden, things were a little easier. Most of these changes occurred right in our kitchen. Check out these meal planning benefits and see if they could change your life for the better, too!
I found that if I sat down every Sunday night and wrote out our dinners for the next week, it made me feel less stressed. It was easier to write out a grocery list because I knew exactly which ingredients I would need. No more last minute runs to the grocery store because there was not enough food in the house to make a complete meal. No more worrying all day about what I was going to make. It had already been decided.
Easier to make healthy choices
You know those times when you are on your way home from work or school, are very hungry, and don’t feel like you have the energy to make dinner? So do I. These times it may seem easier to stop at a drive- thru. Having a pre-planned meal means there is no more stopping for fast food. You already grocery shopped for all of the healthy ingredients you needed to make tonight’s dinner. All you have to do is get home, and make it! And if you are like me, your crock pot is your very best friend and your dinner is already hot and ready.
Save more money
Who doesn’t like saving money? Pre-planning our meals has helped us to price shop at different stores for the best deals on produce and meats. And if we plan ahead, we also cut down on eating out which is a huge expense.
More stable blood sugars
When living with diabetes, choosing a food or recipe that you know will not overdo your carbohydrate limit makes for more stable blood sugars. This is the goal for living a fulfilling, healthy lifestyle with type 2 diabetes. More stable blood sugars decrease the risk of blood vessel damage that may result in debilitating health issues.
Tips to remember:
- Meal planning can lead to lower stress levels and better enjoyment of meals.
- Stable blood sugars are key to living a healthy diabetic lifestyle.
- Try sitting down one day a week to plan the week’s meals.
- Consider pre-chopping and freezing favorite ingredients such as peppers and onions for easy meal additions.
- If you have questions regarding proper meals for you, talk to your physician or request to meet with a Registered Dietitian for guidance.