Friday, May 31, 2013

The Lara Project: Planning Your Noms

I totally spaced that May has 31 days and not 30 so you almost got a post about measuring updates today. Which I'm honestly kind of glad about because thanks to the stress and emotional roller coaster that this week has been, I imagine those results would have been a little discouraging.

But that's okay.

Sometimes we fall off the healthy wagon and it can happen because of something we do or because of something we have no active control over. Point is to not beat yourself up about it and just get back on track. =)

One of the ways you can stay on track is planning out your meals.

You know, like that thing your folks did when you were a kid so they knew how to feed you all week.

Only this gets a bit more math heavy.

It's time to break out the old Excel sheet (or the spreadsheet on Google Docs).

You're going to want to set aside some decent time for this once a week. It may take more as you first start figuring it out but I tend to set aside an hour for it.

This weekly meal plan will not only help you stay on track and balance what you're eating, it will stop you from picking up those really not great things you pick up when just trolling the aisles.


When planning my week, the first thing I consider is if I have any social engagements going on and what kind of food may be involved.

For instance, when I was first making this on Friday I was going out for fondue. Now ignoring that this presented an interesting dietary challenge (I brought lots of lactaid and was fine, surprisingly), it also set my bar for that day.

If I'm supposed to be between 1,200 - 1,500 calories per day, and my serving portion was looking at about 292 calories, then I had to plan the rest of my meals accordingly. I kept my sugar low (swapped out fruits for veggies) and focused on making sure I got plenty of protein and stayed within my boundaries outlined in my plan.

After I have worked around any pre-planned stuff, I think about what I have in my fridge. To be honest, the more fresh things I eat, the more this ends up being "Basically nothing". But if say I've had some chicken in my freezer for a bit, I will try to incorporate that in to my meal planning to make things easier on myself. (Eg. Cook the chicken, then use it in a wrap for a lunch, or a salad or a pasta etc)

Then I think about what I'm really craving or what I'd like to try that week and plug those in where I can.

Once you see the bare bones of what you'll be nomming that week, you can fill in the holes a bit better. Say you have something very grain heavy in the morning (which really should be rather than lunch or dinner) then you can lean out the heavy stuff with meats, fruits and veggies as the day goes on.

If you're also tracking your workout, this can inform your meals as well. Say you have a really intense cardio workout scheduled for Mondays. You're going to want to make sure your breakfast has the protein you need to stay upright. (This can even just be a fruit smoothie with whey protein).

I've found a good way to help me plan my meals is by going through sparkpeople.com. The meal plan is free and you can substitute items or create your own (They weren't very gluten/lactose intolerant friendly, so I ended up mostly crafting my own).

Stay healthy and be good to you. <3

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