Healthy Meal Planning 101: Key to Success

Healthy Food Meal Planning Scottsdale

In healthy meal planning the meals you plan on daily basis is the number one factor for reaching your health and fitness goals.

You might not use the terms “pizza box” and “serving dish” interchangeably, but if you’re like most guys, you probably could. That’s because 64 percent of men spend little or no time on meal planning. Their excuse? Time and money constraints. Unfortunately — and perhaps not coincidentally — that number parallels the 64 percent who are overweight. It’s no wonder: The inexpensive, time-saving foods that guys choose most often are also the ones that are the highest in sugar, fat, and calories, according to a recent study from the University of Washington.

Thankfully, we have a culinary solution that’ll perfectly fit your budget, schedule, and diet. The plan: Set aside 20 minutes on Sunday to fulfill our 16-item shopping list, then forget about your wallet — and collection of takeout menus — for the rest of the workweek. By following our 5-day meal plan, you’ll have the precise number of ingredients to create 10 fast, flavorful meals, all of which are designed to help you build muscle and melt fat while saving you money. (The average price of 10 meals eaten out: $85; the total price of our meals: $47.96.) Each night, you’ll simply prepare a quick and easy dinner, and then creatively use the leftovers to assemble the next day’s lunch. Call it the mixologist’s guide to eating. The best part? While the other guys are stuck on hold in drive-thrus, you’ll be rolling through the express line with your next 10 meals in tow.

THE GROCERY LIST

A balance of protein-packed meats, fresh produce, and a few versatile extras is all you need to feed yourself well week after week.

Frozen Shrimp 1 lb uncooked, medium size

Rotisserie Chicken 1 cooked

Pork Tenderloin 1 herb-flavored or lemon-garlic marinated (about 3/4 lb)

Bell Peppers 1 tray tricolor (or pick out 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)

Yellow Onions 2 lb

Baby Mixed Greens 4 oz bag, washed

Portobello Mushrooms 2 large caps

Asparagus 1 bunch

Garlic 1 head

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto 8 oz jar

Avocado 1 ripe

Mozzarella 8 oz bag, shredded

Instant Brown Rice 1 lb box

Black Beans 12 oz can

100% Whole-Wheat Fettuccine 16 oz box

10″ 100% Whole-Wheat Tortillas 1 package

THE PANTRY LIST Buy these crucial building blocks every couple of months and you’ll always have them on hand to construct meals around the clock.

Reduced-fat mayonnaise

Dijon mustard

Low-sodium soy sauce

Peanut butter

Extra-virgin olive oil

Balsamic vinegar

Parmesan cheese

Salsa

Tabasco or other hot sauce

SUNDAY NIGHT’S DINNER

ROTISSERIE CHICKEN WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES

3/4       bunch asparagus (about 8 medium spears)

2             portobello mushroom caps, sliced 1/4″ thick

1          medium onion, cut in 1/4″-thick rings

1/2       Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

1            rotisserie chicken breast or leg

Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by gently bending each stalk until it breaks — it’ll naturally snap off at the right spot. In a baking dish, toss the vegetables with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes, until the vegetables have developed a light brown crust. Serve half the vegetables with the chicken and a simple mixed-greens salad tossed with olive oil and vinegar. Reserve the other half of the vegetables for other meals this week.

430 calories, 36 grams (g) protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 25 g fat (7 g saturated), 5 g fiber

The next day’s lunch

CHICKEN PORTOBELLO WRAP WITH BALSAMIC AIOLI

1          c chopped rotisserie chicken (left over from Sunday’s dinner)

3          bell peppers

1          clove garlic, minced

1          Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise

1          tsp balsamic vinegar

1          whole-wheat tortilla

2          Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese

1          small handful mixed greens

1          c leftover asparagus, mushrooms, and onions

To chop the chicken, remove the skin and use a fork to pull the meat from the bones. Then place the meat on your cutting board and cut it into bite-size pieces — it should yield about 3 cups’ worth. Use 1 cup for the wrap and save the other 2 cups for later in the week. Chop the peppers into 1/2″ pieces. They should yield about 4 cups; use 1/2 cup today and save the rest in a plastic bag for dinner.

Mix the garlic, mayonnaise, and vinegar together to make the aioli. Brush the tortilla with the aioli, then put the cheese down the middle, followed by the greens, chicken, and vegetables. To make a tight wrap, fold the bottom of the tortilla up first, then roll it from the side.

400 calories, 43 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 15 g fat (4.5 g saturated), 5 g fiber

About the Author

, Celebrity Personal Trainer and Fitness & Nutrition Expert headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. He specializes in helping men and women achieve weight loss, muscle building, toning and other customized fitness & nutrition programs to create a Healthy Lifestyle. James offers private luxury personal training, 12-week custom workout plans, and personalized nutrition meal plans. Follow on Google+.

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