Meal Planning for the New Year

Meal Planning for the New Year

Happy New Year, friends! We hope 2023 is off to a smooth start for you. Tis’ the season of starting and stopping habits. With so many aspects of life to choose from, we decided to focus on one that relates to all of us…nutrition. We all have to eat, right?! 

What would it look like for all of us to be more intentional about the food we are eating? That’s a great question because we know it’s impossible to have one answer that speaks for everyone. One thing I do know is that “failing to plan is planning to fail.” It’s not always what I want to hear, but it’s true. So when it comes to being intentional about our personalized nutrition it’s imperative that we carve out time to plan and prep.

While meal planning and prep might excite a small group of those reading this, this habit also overwhelms a lot of us. So today, let’s talk about meal planning and prep with the goal of simplifying the process to fit into your lifestyle.

What is meal planning? Spending time in advance deciding what meals will be eaten throughout the week. Sometimes it’s planning dinners, sometimes it is planning more than one meal per day, and can also considering snacks. Generally, a grocery shopping list comes from here.

What is meal prep? Simply put, meal prep is the act of preparing elements of a meal in advance. Sometimes portioning food out and sometimes preparing parts of a recipe to cut down on the time spent when it’s cooking time.

How can meal planning and prep work for me? If planning and prepping is still a new habit for you, that’s fantastic. You’re already doing more than before just by considering planning and/or prepping. 

  • Start by deciding how many meals or snacks you want to plan for. 
  • Next make a list of what you need to make it happen. 
  • And finally, decide if pre-washing, chopping, or cooking ahead is a helpful timesaver for you.

Meal planning and prep can be as simple or involved as you want it to be. Choosing to focus on one meal of the day can make a big difference if you’re not used to planning ahead. The same with snacks. We all know that we don’t make our best choices when we’re hungry, so don’t wait til you’re feeling low on energy and expect yourself to make the healthy choice. Plan and prep to set yourself up for success.


By Victoria Emmit RD

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