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Mastering the Meal Plan

Mastering the Meal Plan

We all have different gifts and skills. Some of us are planners; we like lists, organization, and very few surprises. Although this might not describe you…or me, it doesn’t mean we can’t reap the benefits of mastering the meal plan.

When it comes to meals, planning ahead means:

I save time and money, and who doesn’t need more of both?

I have peace of mind during the day because I know I won’t have the 5pm-what-to-make-for-dinner-panic-attack

Grocery shopping is so much more efficient. I know exactly what I need so I spend less time at the store.

I reduce food waste food because I already have plans to use what I buy.

Instead of shopping every few days, I shop once a week. Perishable foods, like leafy greens and certain vegetables, are on the menu early in the week so they don’t go bad.

…and finally, if you have made a promise to yourself this year to eat healthier or go vegan, your chances of success increase dramatically when you are prepared. 

If fifteen to thirty minutes a week can save you stress, time, money, AND help you to uphold the promises you made to yourself this year, wouldn’t you say that’s a valuable investment?  I sure would. So here’s what my meal plan looked like last week. My hope is that it will inspire you to invest in yourself and plan yours for the week ahead.

Monday – Pasta Night

I like making a simple, but healthy pasta dish at the beginning of the week for a little extra comfort after the jolt of busy-to-work-and-school Mondays after a relaxing weekend.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie for two (3 cups greens + 2 cups liquid + 2 cups fruit, add nuts, seeds)

Spicy Chickpea SaladLunch: Spicy Chickpea Salad pita with spinach and avocado




pasta broccoli cashew cream sauceDinner: Pasta with Broccoli Cashew Cream Sauce and Roasted Butternut Squash





Tuesday – Taco Tuesdays

Tacos are a great theme that can be carried through for weeks. With so many combinations of delicious and healthy fillings, we always look forward to Tuesdays.

Quinoa breakfast bowlBreakfast:  Hearty Breakfast Bowl




dijon lentil beet saladLunch: Dijon Lentil Beet Salad




Roasted Veggie TacosDinner: Roasted Veggie Tacos





Wednesday: Soup n’ Something (Salad or Sandwich)

Soup is a perfect meal for any season. Warm, hearty soups can take the sting out of a cold winter day while raw or cold soups help to cool us when the heat is on. Pairing a soup with either a salad or sandwich leaves lots of room for variety and creativity.

Breakfast: Green Smoothie

Lunch: Spicy Chickpea Salad over salad greens

Spicy Thai Coconut SoupDinner: Spicy Thai Coconut Soup and green salad with citrus segments, avocado, and sliced almonds. Hint – don’t dress the whole salad. Leftover salad makes a great lunch, but not if it’s soggy.




Thursday: Buddha Bowl Night

Buddha bowls are a great solution for bringing together a variety of ingredients without a lot of preparation. Pick a grain or noodle, add some greens, plant protein (like nuts, tempeh or tofu), a seasonal vegetable, and a quick sauce and you can make endless combinations.

Avocado toastsBreakfast: Avocado Toast (whole grain bread, mashed avocado, sea salt, sesame seeds, lemon juice)



Lunch: Leftover soup and salad

Noodle bowl with Miso-Tahini SauceDinner: Noodle Bowl with Miso-Tahini Sauce





Friday: Make Ahead Casserole

Friday nights are a time to unwind. It’s easy to turn to takeout to make dinner stress-free, but by making a casserole in advance, it means all I have to do to enjoy a healthy, wholesome dinner is to preheat the oven.

Yogurt Breakfast BowlBreakfast: Yogurt Bowl (non-dairy yogurt, ground flax seed, hemp seed, berries)




Lunch: Dijon Lentil Beet Salad in a pita with lettuce

Eggplant LasagnaDinner: Eggplant Lasagna (made earlier in the week), green salad




When I look at the week ahead, I check the fridge and pantry to see what ingredients I want to use up and start there with my next meal plan.



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