Meal planning can be a great way to make sure you get variety in your diet as well as all your nutrional needs, whilst also helping you to shop more consistently and even save you money. However, the idea of rigid meal planning can put some people off, perhaps even take some of the spice out of life. Here are some alternative ways of getting a bit more structure in your diet without strictly meal planning.
Batch cooking can be a great way to save money and time as you can freeze any additional portions and whip them out if you want a nutritious meal without putting in the effort of cooking. You can also adapt your batch cooked meals by adding a different carbohydrate or mix of vegetables or protein to make it feel more exciting.
Create A Template For Your Meals
One way of getting in your nutritional needs is to have a good understanding of which nutritional elements you would like to get on a daily basis. This might be 5 fruit or vegetables, as well as a certain amount of protein, and a mixture of grains. If you can have these targets in mind, you can start to combine your favorite grains with different pairings of protein and vegetables to mix up your meals without changing your shopping habits significantly.
Stock Up On Staples
Related to the template meal idea outlined above, if you know what food items you like to always have ready to go, you can make sure you always have a baseline of these ingredients. These might include items that don’t expire, such as tins of chickpeas or packets of pasta, or items that you will get through very quickly, like spinach or milk. If you have a rough idea of the ingredients you use a lot, you will be able to get in your core nutrition and shop with more regularity.