Meal Planning Made Easy
Last updated: March 2022
No, my title is not an oxymoron. In all honesty, meal planning can be made easy – as easy as 1-2-3. That is, the best strategy I have found is to complete three simple steps:
- Decide what you will eat for each meal for the week – each meal
- Think through all of the ingredients, from recipes or from memory, and make a grocery list for whatever you don’t have on hand
- Shop for the needed items at the grocery
Planning ahead is a key to eating healthy because it reduces the influence of impulse on eating decisions, like when you’re at the grocery without a list or grazing in your kitchen. When you start following a meal plan for managing your blood glucose levels, it may be easier to start out with some basic food, such as grilled chicken or baked fish with sides of steamed vegetables and a carbohydrate choice, rice, potatoes, or pasta. Include servings of carbohydrates, protein, and fat at each meal.
Starting out with simple foods will make it easier to learn how to count grams of carbohydrates in each meal. Then you can add more recipes to your menu that may have combinations of foods included, such as casseroles or chili. The key to finding recipes that will fit into your meal plan is to choose recipes that have nutrition facts listed.
Here is a sample one day menu that contains approximately 45 grams of carbohydrate per meal:
6 ounce plain Greek yogurt topped with sliced almonds and cinnamon
1 cup cooked oatmeal
¾ cup strawberries
Coffee or tea
Grilled cheese on 2 slices rye bread with sliced tomato
Granny smith apple (small)
Baby sweet bell peppers
Raw vegetables with 2 Tablespoons Hummus
Grilled chicken breast
1/2 cup cannelloni beans with rosemary
Roasted Brussels sprouts with sesame seeds
1 whole grain dinner roll with margarine
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