Tired of feeling sluggish and lacking energy throughout the day? Have the lunch drive-thru or eat cereal for dinner more often that you’d like to admit? You’re not alone. I was like that, too—which is why I love sharing my healthy meal plans. All recipes in the weekly plans are nutritious AND delicious, using a variety of vegetables, fruits, herbs and plant-based proteins.
5 Essentials to Healthy Meal Plans
With all we’ve got going on, it’s easy to default to unhealthy eating habits. Drive-thru lunch and cereal for dinner can become the norm. With a little bit of planning, you can take control of your meals and quickly start seeing changes in your health. Whether you’re slaying it at work, running kids around town, celebrating retirement or an active fitness enthusiast, these free healthy meal plans will help you fuel your body, save time and enjoy the results that come from eating nutritious at-home meals.
Around here, we’re all about a lifestyle… not a diet. Each meal plan is carefully crafted to meet very specific needs, including diabetes, vegan, weight loss, etc. We want lasting results— and a plant-based foundation is where it’s at!
Here’s what we consider the essential 5 characteristics of a healthy meal plan:
- Weekly Menu: Knowing what to eat (and when) is super helpful when meal planning, which is why we include a menu in calendar mode for all our meal plans. I suggest printing out the weekly menu and keep in your fridge to help keep you on track.
- Grocery List: Having a list of exactly what you need to buy to make all the recipes is essential to successful meal planning. With all our healthy meal plans, we calculate exactly what you need each week to make grocery shopping a breeze. From cups of black beans, to tablespoons of whole grains to ounces of quinoa, you’ll know how much to buy.
- Daily Smoothie: At Simple Green Smoothies, we believe a daily smoothie fuels our passions. Each meal plan includes a variety of smoothies (green smoothies, fruit smoothies and meal replacement smoothies) throughout the week to boost energy and nourish your body.
- Protein-Rich Snacks: We don’t believe in being hangry— and have included protein-rich snacks to keep hunger at bay. Our tamari oven roasted almonds and apple donuts are great examples of plant-based snacks we use in our meal plans.
- Plant-Based Dinners: We use a LOT of vegetables with our meals, which is a great way to get additional fiber and nutrients into your body. Our dinners often include veggie bowls, vegan pizza and plant-based tacos— where vegetables are the star.
Healthy Meal Plan Resources
I’m not gonna lie: it takes commitment and time to meal plan, but it’s absolutely worth it. The amount of much money and time you save not having to worry about what to eat is huge! Plus, seeing the physical results that happen when you eat healthy meals is encouraging. I wanted to share a few resources that have helped me meal plan.
- Produce Buying Guide: Decided what to buy organic or conventional can hurt your head. I follow this guide to let me know what’s important to buy organic… and not worry about the rest.
- Smoothie Prep Guide: I’m the biggest smoothie fan there ever was— and have some great tips to help you prep ahead your smoothies each week.
- Salad Meal Prep Guide: I like to make my salad dressing from scratch and prep as much of my salads as I can to make it an easy grab and go meal.
Weekly Meal Plans
Create custom meal plans using Rawk the Year: Meal Planner. Take the hassle and stress out of meal planning and join today!
Incorporating a large amount of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nut and seeds is the foundation to a healthy meal plan. Incorporating small amounts of lean meat, chicken, eggs and fish is a wonderful way to boost it with additional nutrients.
Following a healthy meal plan that promotes weight loss is a great way to get long term results. You should includes meal like the following in your weekly menu: roasted vegetables with brown rice, avocado and dark leafy greens, oatmeal and walnuts, and black beans and peppers.
Refined sugars, saturated fat and highly-processed foods are the top three foods to avoid when embracing a healthy lifestyle. Avoid these three items because they are bad for your overall gut health, highly caloric and nutritionally empty, making them harmful to your body. Examples of these three foods are: soda, candy, fried foods and most foods that come in a package with more than 5 ingredients on the label.
Some of the healthiest meals you can eat are: meal replacement smoothies, roasted vegetables with a plant-based protein-rich sauce, whole grain oatmeal with berries, sauteed leafy greens with brown rice. Adding healthy meals to your meal plan menu is a great way to improve your overall health.