Each Sunday evening while watching t.v. I get out my WW cookbooks and plan my meals for the week and make my grocery list.
This really helps me stay on track since I know what I'm going to eat in advance and I avoid the "What's for dinner?" issue at 6:00 p.m. in the past this has led to eating soup and sandwiches or ordering take out
so I needed to change my ways.
This also makes me buy only what I need to make these meals so I don't waste the lovely veggies and fruit that used to end up forgotten and rotting in the bottom of my fridge and saves me money and time at the store.
My best advice for meal and menu planning is "KNOW THYSELF"
. Let's face it, if you know you hate cooking then you need to work around that. If you hate chopping vegetables then you need to deal with that too. If you don't have time to make a salad for lunch then you need to make your life easier.
Instant oatmeal - great on a cold day, filling and only 2 -3 points depending on which flavour (I buy Quaker) also you can take a pack in you purse and make and eat it when you get to work.
Low fat yogurt- add fresh fruit or granola for a quick breakfast.
Bananas - you can eat them in the car or on the way to the bus stop
Granola bars or cereal bars - try to get the low fat or lower sugar kind
Tuna/cracker kits -just read the label and watch the sodium and point content - some are more than others
Baby carrots and precut veggies- no peeling and slicing required!
Low fat dips- hummous (try to get one that is not made with oil) roasted red pepper, baba ganoush...etc. These also make good sandwich spreads as an alternative to butter.
Low fat pudding - the convenience of premade packaged pudding and jello makes a nice treat especially if you are craving chocolate!
Fresh fruit - only buy what you can consume in a week to avoid wasting food.
Laughing cow light cheese triangles - great on crackers, Ryvita or with cut up celery.
Instant soup- look for low sodium options and ones with some substance. Presidentís choice have the TGBT line (Too Good To Be True) that has a nice couscous and vegetable, a vegetarian chili and a nice black bean one. Nile Spice brand has some excellent ones too.
Individually wrapped items - okay so they may cost a few cents more but I find that the box of saltines that are wrapped in fours stays fresher longer and I will only eat the one pack instead of half the box
The same thing goes for cookies and other treats. Sometimes you have to trick yourself into quantity control.
Best friends for the non-cook or pressed for time person:
Frozen veggies - they cook in a jiffy, can be microwaved and there are blends that are good for stir fries
Stir fry kits and tortilla kits - use with lean meat to make fajitas, tacos etc. add low fat canned refried beans and some rice.
Pre cut vegetables - great to toss into salads, as a snack with low fat dips and a great time saver - not tedious chopping!
Boneless/skinless chicken breast - these cook quickly, can be used in stirfries, pastas or just grilled and thrown into a salad
Precut stirfry meat - most grocery stores have this now and they are great for fajitas, stirfries etc.
Bagged salad - far too easy to use and avoids waste great for lunches and as a side with pasta for dinner
Pre shredded cheese (low fat preferably) - great for tacos, salad toppings etc.
Canned or jarred pasta sauce - pasta only takes 15 minutes or so just toss the sauce on add a side salad (bagged Ceasar kit) and you have a quick meal
Miinute rice - so it's not as nutritional as brown but hey it's better than nothing right? Just add some steamed or microwaved frozen veggies to it and you are good too go -it is still better than the drive-thru!
Lowfat frozen items such as Captain Highliner fish fillets (lemon pepper is a good one), or Presidentís choice low fat breaded chicken breasts. As some veggies and minute rice and you have a meal that is ready in about 30 minutes.