Meal Planning and Shopping Lists

So this week you have heard me talking about creating habits, making goals and setting yourself up for 2017 in the best possible way. A lot of you will have made the conscious decision to try and improve your eating habits and diet. One way to do this, and one which I like my clients to adopt is through meal planning and being prepared.

Meal Planning

If you have ‘healthy’ food in the fridge and cupboards, and you have planned what you are going to be having to eat that day, then you are a lot less likely to ring for a takeaway or pick up a ready meal on the way home from work as you cant be bothered to think what to have.

Set aside some time once or twice a week and think about what you are going to have that week. You don’t have to come up with fancy ideas, or different meals for every day. Keep it simple. Then when you might have more time on the weekend, experiment and cook new recipes. We are all busy during the week, so last thing we want to do is spend hours in the kitchen.

Have a few ‘go-to’ meal ideas which you enjoy and can use every week. For me these are Bolognese with rice or spiralised veg and chicken roasted veg and sweet potato. I will have these pretty much every night during the week. Similarly for breakfast and lunch, I will have the same things every day. They meet my nutritional needs, are quick and easy to prepare and I enjoy eating them.

I have made up a simple weekly meal planner, which you can download and fill in.

Weekly meal planner

Week Meal Planner

Don’t overcomplicate things.

If you do struggle with time during the week, then you could spend an hour or so actually prepping food ready. This could be in the form or batch cooking a chilli or some soup; roasting a chicken to strip, chopping vegetables etc. Every little helps and will stop you using the excuse of lack of time.

Food Shopping

When it comes to food shopping, have a plan. How often do you go at the moment? Are you somebody who keeps barely anything in the house and ends up shopping everyday? Or do you go once a week and buy everything that you will need? There is no right or wrong way, but I would suggest you always try and have food at home as it is much more tempting to purchase the ‘bad stuff’ if you are hungry and just popping in to pick something up on the way home.

So after you have planned what you are having for the week, make a shopping list. I have made one for you and separated items in food sources. I am sure you will agree that if you go into the supermarket with a list it makes for a much quicker and more enjoyable experience!

Healthy Supermarket Shopping List

Shopping List

Fruits and vegetables – You should be aiming to get in at least two portions of these per meal. Make sure over half of them are green but try and get a good variety of sources throughout the day and week. Ie eating 5 portions of strawberries doesn’t count.

Protein Sources – Focus each of your meals around a protein source. This could be meat, fish, dairy. Protein is so important so make sure you are getting enough.

Carb Sources – Please don’t cut carbs out completely. This won’t help in the long run. Just be conscious of portion sizes, you may have to take a few extra minutes when preparing meals to weigh out what 100g of rice looks like. But this will save time and unnecessary calories in the future. Bread isn’t bad. White rice isn’t bad. Choose carb sources which you like the taste of and know make you feel good.

Fat Sources – You need fat to function optimally. But once again, just be wary of having much you are having. Don’t just pour olive oil into a pan, use a spoon and measure it out. Weight out what a portion of nuts looks like, don’t just take a bag to work and sit and chomp through the lot. Get your fat from a variety of food sources, but you may also need to look at supplementing if you don’t get enough Omega 3 fats in your diet. Avoid trans fats which usual come from processed foods.

Everything else – I have put random items here you may use to make up meals.


You don’t need to buy everything on it, and you don’t have to avoid things which aren’t on it. This is just an example and a starting point. Add your food preferences and scribble out ones which you don’t like to make up your own personal list.

Hopefully these two resources will help you with achieving your goals this year!!

Let me know how you get on!

Love Abi xxxx

Downloadable Files:

Shopping List

Week Meal Planner

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