The key to any good meal planning routines is finding a few different dishes that you enjoy and using those as the core for your plan. From there you can play around with variations, using leftovers, and of course, finding a more tasty meal idea here and there.
Over time you’ll grow your very own library or recipe box full of dishes that healthy and built around a source of protein.
When you are first starting out, it is helpful to start with one protein source (let’s say a chicken breast or ground beef) and then coming up with four or five different dishes based on that.
For example, you could start with the chicken breast and fix it grilled with broccoli, baked in Italian dressing with a side salad. Or simmered in sugar-free barbecue sauce with a side of kale slaw, and leftover chicken served on a big salad or turned into chicken soup.
The ground beef could be used to make a big batch of beef and the vegetable soup turned into burgers or meatloaf or used as tacos.
Start by choosing at least four different sources of protein including eggs, fish, chicken, turkey, pork, and beef.
If you’d like, including plant-based protein sources like tofu, hemp seed, and beans, or dairy like Greek yogurt for example.
Then come up with several dishes for each.
Without a lot of planning or effort, you have a list of 20 or 30 dishes you can rotate through for dinner. After that, it’s simply a matter of coming up with a few breakfast dishes you enjoy (eggs and Greek yogurt are great choices).
You can also plan for lunches, or have some leftovers from the night before to work with. Add a handful of protein-rich snacks and you’re good to go for an entire month.
From there simply rotate through your 30-day meal plan, mixing it up and adding new recipes to try to keep from getting bored. Give it a try.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised how quick and easy it is to plan healthy, protein-based meals.