Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Meal Planning for One: Where To Start

What I love about planning meals for myself is how selfish I can be about it. After all, I'm the only one I need to please. I don't have to worry about anyone else's likes or dislikes, intolerances or allergies, eating schedules, or diet plans. I'm free to choose what I eat and when I eat. It's a nice freedom to have, although it's also a freedom that's easy to abuse. While I do focus on the foods I love, I'm also mindful of the foods I don't jump up and down about but also need to have.

When planning meals for yourself, begin with these three simple pre-planning steps. Taking these steps will let you create a meal plan that incorporates the foods you love, provides the right nutritional balance for you, and allows you to manage your cooking and shopping with efficiency.

Make a List of the Foods You Love
Knowing that you can eat the foods you love is a big motivator for building a successful meal plan. Years ago, my mother and I decided to go on a diet that was supposed to take off ten pounds in three weeks. We lasted only a week: We couldn't bear the idea of another fourteen days of eating nothing but spinach, grapefruit, black coffee, and hard boiled eggs. Take some quiet time to write down your favorite foods and then make sure they get included in your meal planning so that you never have to abandon a meal plan only because you can't stand the food in it.