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Since I am tracking my macros much more closely, I am learning to meal-plan more effectively. For the most part, I actually really enjoy doing it. There are a few times when it will get slightly frustrating, like when I am over in one area and under in another and I have re-plan and figure out how to balance myself out. But it starts to get easier once you have been doing it for a couple of weeks. You start to get used to it, and have a feel for what works.
This is a spreadsheet I play around with when I am trying to plan my meals for the week. It’s basically just something I can plug different meal choices into and play around with until I get my macros right for each day. Once I have found what meals will work for the week, I type up a shopping list of all of the ingredients that I will need for the week. I usually do my grocery shopping on Friday evenings or Saturday afternoons. Sunday is meal prep day, in the afternoon I will cook any of the meals that need to be ready ahead of time.
This is what meal planning this week looks like (don’t mind the tiny white legs you can see at the top of the photo…Wallowitz thinks the kitchen island is his spot. It’s almost pointless shooing him off or taking him down because the next second he’s back up!).
What you see:
“Meat Muffins” – these were super easy. I just cooked up some bacon and sausage, filled a muffin pan with a little bit of each and cracked an egg into each. I baked them at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, let them cool then wrapped them up. I made a total of 21 muffins, and put half in the freezer. They’re a great little grab-and-go breakfast item, I just heat them up and eat them with breakfast.
Gluten-free Spaghetti Squash and Sausage Casserole – I like casseroles for meal planning because you can make a large casserole and it gives some great leftovers. This recipe is this week’s casserole, and probably my favorite.
Sweet Potatoes – sweet potatoes are easy to bake (I actually just microwaved them this week, took a lot less time) and they are a great slow-digesting carb source for a pre-workout meal.
Paleo Tangy Glazed Chicken Thighs – chicken thighs are another one of my go-to meals to cook for meal-prep, mainly because you can buy a large package of them for pretty cheap. I bought a large pack of 10 chicken thighs and used this recipe to bake them. Pretty simple, and they always taste great!
Quinoa “oatmeal” – not paleo since quinoa is a grain, but yummy, and a good slow-digesting carb for pre-workout. I had some cooked quinoa that I mixed in a saucepan with coconut milk, maple syrup, cinnamon and pecans.
Greek Yogurt – again, not really paleo since it is dairy and it has cane sugar and fruit pectin, but it’s great for a little extra protein and carbs. I like Siggi’s greek yogurt because there is not a lot of ingredients or additives. The ingredients on the strawberry are Pasteurized Skim Milk, Strawberries, Cane Sugar, Fruit Pectin, Live Active Cultures. It really helps fill me up too.
What you don’t see:
Frozen Tilapia filets
Cans of tuna
Veggies (a large bag of organic baby carrots, brocolli, avocadoes)
Fruits (bananas, dates, dried cranberries)
Other things I like to keep for pre/post workout meals:
Wildway grain-free Granola – it’s paleo and a great filler. Tastes great mixed in greek yogurt or kefir.
Udi’s Gluten-free Granola – not paleo since there’s oats, but gluten free. I also like this mixed with greek yogurt for a pre-workout meal.
Rx Bars – paleo, and the dates in them are a good fast-digesting carb for post-workout.
Neli & Beidi’s Coconut Water – by far the best tasting coconut water I have had. And great for post-workout carbs.
What are your meal-planning tips and tools?