Winter will soon come to a close and spring is on the horizon. It’s a great time to refresh your meals with a 14-day plan that’ll make mealtime simple yet interesting (and help you avoid the end-of-season food doldrums!). The focus is on unprocessed foods with an emphasis on fresh or frozen produce, lean proteins, whole grains and healthy fats. All of our meal options are balanced, each incorporating at least three food groups, in order to help satisfy your appetite and keep you going strong all day.
Remember to eat your two snacks throughout the day in addition to your three meals. Doing so will help keep your blood sugar stable to minimize mid-afternoon slumps, decrease extreme hunger and improve brain function. The plan’s total daily calories range between 1,500 and 1,800, which tends to meet the needs of most women. However, be your own judge when it comes to how full you’re feeling – keep in tune with your hunger and fullness cues to guide you towards proper nourishment.
And make sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids like water, green tea and other herbal beverages. Dehydration can zap energy and increase perceived hunger. That’s right: People often think they’re hungry when they’re actually just thirsty.
Finally, flexibility is key when devising a meal plan. That’s why you’ll see plenty of options for substitutions throughout the two weeks. We’ve offered enough food choices to allow you to repeat this 14-day plan again and again when you need a little meal inspiration without feeling food boredom. Enjoy!
Related: Your Two-Week Spring Meal Plan
Time & Money-Saving Strategies
With the help of our CE meal plan, you’ve got eating and cooking clean down pat. Now, to make this lifestyle as light and easy on your schedule and wallet as it is on your waistline, keep a few tricks in mind.
1. Buy Large Cuts and Freeze Them
When a side of salmon is on special at the big box store, for example, go ahead and get it. Cut it down into individual fillets at home and freeze them. Just remember to label the individual packages with the date and name of the item – it’ll ensure you never have old “mystery meat” in your freezer.
2. Cook Extra Servings Tonight and Repurpose Them Tomorrow
It ’s almost the same effort to grill three chicken breasts as two, so cook three tonight and use the extra to quickly and easily make a grilled chicken salad tomorrow.
3. Try Shopping in the Bulk Section
Many health food and gourmet stores now feature spices, grains and other dry goods in bulk. Shopping there can be inexpensive because you can take as little or as much as you need.
4. Just Ask
You don’t have to buy six lamb chops simply because they’re packaged that way. Ask the butcher to break them down and sell you only four. And, at your request, the produce department will often halve larger fruits and vegetables, like a head of cabbage or a spaghetti squash.
Download the Shopping List & Meal Plan