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Exciting, Simple Ways to Plan a Healthy, Hearty Meal

Updated on March 1, 2018

Planning your meals well in advance saves time and money. What’s more, it makes the meals delicious! isn't it true that failing to plan is planning to fail?

A balanced and well rounded meal should ideally consist of proteins, whole grains or healthy carbohydrates, fiber, good fats and vitamins. Ancient societies largely survived on this combination. Our grandparents were strong and agile as we were growing up, but with the advent of modern, processed, unbalanced meals many health issues became their companions. I wish they had stuck with their old diet.

Healthy eating is not about strict diets and depriving yourself. Rather, it is about ensuring that your body has all the nutrients to function optimally, help you feel alive; have lots of energy and a good mood. Have you observed that your mood is directly proportional to your sense of well being in terms of health?

Planning Considerations

As you plan your next mouth watering meal;

  • Consider your budget; how many meals you need to eat per day; the amount of time you have to prepare a meal; the number of mouths you got to feed and ofcourse your food mood. Yes, do you feel like enjoying some beef stew or should it be barbecue today?
  • To avoid wastage and save on time it is advisable to downsize the portions and also stock up on non perishables, which can then be easily accessed whenever the need arises. Dried or dehydrated foods will last much longer. Additionally, smaller portions at the various servings are always better than oversize wasteful servings, don’t you agree?
  • You need not be overly concerned with calories as demonstrated by our forefathers who ate whenever they felt like eating. Infact for many households, a huge serving of breakfast would carry them to the next huge serving of supper. There was nothing like lunch, but the trees with their fruits and other easy edibles like raw groundnuts were always at hand, beckoning and calling. If heavy gardening was anticipated, then part of the breakfast would be carried to the farm. But I digress... As we were saying, rather than worrying about calories, consider color, variety and freshness. There is indeed an obsession with calories in the current society, but history proves that the right combination of calories is what matters. The various combinations will assist each other in digestion and metabolism thus ensuring optimum function of the body. From a personal observation, poor digestion and metabolism is what leads to many issues including excess weight.
  • Finally, remember to drink plenty of clean water as this helps hydrate and detoxify the body. Do not forget that that daily exercise too, even a simple walk is immensely beneficial to you. Sitting around on the couch watching TV will not help you much, or will it?

Source

Food should be about ensuring that your body has all the nutrients to function optimally and to help you feel great; have lots of energy and a stable mood

What Should a Meal Contain?

Protein – You should aim to stock up on non perishable plant proteins like dried beans, peanut butter, canned beans and even soy. Animal proteins like eggs, dried meat and fish can also be stored for some time. Proteins help to build the body tissues, muscles and structure.

Fats Plant oils like olive oil, canola, palm, soy, corn, sunflower, peanut etc are preferable. They are easier to digest and convert into useful components for the body to utilize as compared to heavy fats like animal fats. Infact one of the bible staples was oil. The oils can be easily bought prepackaged and used for quite some time. I may not advise you on which amongst the plant oils is best, but your body will give you the telltale signs.

Carbohydrates Our ancestors have survived and thrived on carbohydrate heavy meals, with the rest of the categories consisting a smaller percentage. Carbohydrates are the energy givers. Stock up on whole grains like rolled oats, rice, flours e.g. wheat and corn flour. Potatoes can also be bought in bulk and used before expiry. Other carbohydrates may be bought as need be.

Vitamins and Fiber Fiber can be obtained from whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Fibre is necessary in getting things moving. Both soluble and insoluble fibre is needed.

Do introduce color into your life and get a boost of vitamins while at it. Aren't vitamins meant to be the natural medicines? That claim is not unfounded as I have seen many start restoring their health when they increased their serving of uncooked fruits and greens. Therefore, pile up your plate with generous amounts of vegetables and fruits. Go grocery shopping and cut up the vegetables e.g. carrots, celery, pepper, cucumbers, etc so they will always be ready for salads and snacks. Store in the refrigerator. Fruits and vegetables are especially important in our current toxic ridden generation.

Examples of Food Categories

Carbohydrates
Proteins
Fruits and Vegetables
Oils/Fats
Wheat products
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese, Other Dairy
Kale, Collard Greens, Spinach
Palm oil/Vegetable oil
White potatoes
Eggs
Cucumber, Zuchini, Tomatoes
Sunflower
Corn
Beef, Lamb, Goat meat
Peppers, Onions
Olive
Sweet potatoes, Yam, Cassava
Chicken, Turkey, Other Poultry
Carrots
Avocado
Rice
Fish
Melons
Coconut
Barley
Beans
Bananas, Pears, Avocado, Pawpaw
Canola
Pumpkin, Squash
Peanuts, Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds, Coconut, Others
Oranges, Pears, Grapefruit, Lemons, Lime, Nectarine
Butter, Ghee
Oat, Oatmeal
Soy
Berries, Apricots, Plums, Cherries
Sesame
Cereals
Lentils
Cabbage, Cauliflower, Brocolli
Peanut
Millet, Amaranth, Spelt
Seeds e.g. Pumpkin, Sunflower
Zuchini, Celery, asparagus, Garlic, Shallot, Ginger, Other Herbs & Spices
Grapeseed
Pasta
Peas
Fresh Olives
 
Quinoa
 
Green Beans
 
 
 
Local Greens and Fruits from different countries
 
The above list is not exhaustive. However, it could help you choose from each category per meal

Conclusion

You and your family deserve health and vitality. This ought not be a complicated affair. Simple pre planning and consideration of the balance in a meal in terms of nutrients should do the trick.

Remember to plan for and eat your proteins, whole grains, fiber, good fats and vitamins per meal as much as circumstances allow. Stock up on the non perishables and buy fresh produce as needed.

Source

Comments

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    • Everlyne Bakhoya profile image
      Author

      Everlyne 2 months ago from Kenya

      You are a talented cook Margie, seems to flow naturally. Maybe you don't need too much planning. Keep at the good work and great day too!

    • Everlyne Bakhoya profile image
      Author

      Everlyne 2 months ago from Kenya

      You are a talented cook Margie, seems to flow naturally. Maybe you don't need too much planning. Keep at the good work and great day too!

    • Margie Lynn profile image

      Margie Lynn 2 months ago from Beautiful Texas Hill Country

      I do hate planning, I am a spur of the moment gal! I am not very organized, maybe some day! Have a great day!

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