Best Meal Planning Idea Ever
I cannot believe I never thought of this. My friend posted this on Facebook. (shout out to Laura!) When I saw it, my head exploded. Why have I never thought of this? But she posted that this is what her family of 5 is doing during the quarantine.
It’s so simple…I don’t know why it never dawned on me to do this.
Are you ready?
Two meals a day.
I am having a family meeting at breakfast today and announcing our new schedule. We are going to two meals a day. One will be somewhere around 9-11 am, and the second one at 3-4 pm. There are so many benefits to this, I can’t even begin to list them all. But I’ll try.
Reasons to go to two meals per day.
- Less work for whoever has to do meal prep and cleanup.
- Allows you to try intermittent fasting, which even Harvard says has some benefits.
- We get to eat more cooked breakfast meals like pancakes and eggs, which I don’t make often enough.
- Allows for more meaningful family time in the evenings, since meals are completed at an earlier hour.
- Snacking won’t be as much of a detriment to overall daily calorie counts.
- For many families, it’s easier to gather the family together twice a day instead of 3x a day.
- If you eat a healthy snack earlier in the evening, you’re much less likely to eat a late-night snack, which are very detrimental to a person’s health.
- Slow cooking meals like roasts and crockpot meals can be started at the same time you are preparing the first meal of the day. Again, less time in the kitchen for the preparer.
- Lunches tend to be the least healthy meal of the day. It’s when we’re much more likely to eat fast food or other unhealthy items (like prepackaged crap we send in with our kids’ lunches). This eliminates that opportunity.
- It eliminates the problem that many families have when it comes to youth sports. Do we eat dinner at 4 or at 9 pm?
- Normally I only try brunch recipes around a holiday. Now I can try more of them.
Ok, I get it. Sure, it works for now. But at some point, our kids will go back to school. But, remember this. Most school years are only 180 days. That means that we still have the opportunity to do this more than half the time.
But I’m hungry when I first wake up!
Hey, I get it. Sometimes I am too. Though my usual routine is to have my coffee the first hour, then eat. But if you’re hungry first thing in the morning, eat. Just eat small, and don’t eat something high in sugar. Americans have a terrible habit of eating dessert items that are disguised as breakfast item early in the morning. This wreaks havoc on your blood sugar.
Some ideas to grab first thing in the morning:
- high protein yogurt
- cottage cheese
- hard boiled egg
- chick peas (dried)
- trail mix that is high in protein, low in sugar
- protein/granola bars that are low in sugar
- drinks/smoothies that are high in protein, low in sugar
- peanut butter on a low-sugar something, like low carb slice of bread or half a bagel
- consider trying to feel full on water
Eating a pile of sugar first thing in the morning, which a large percentage of Americans do, is horrible for our overall health. While it might feel odd to eat hummus or edamame first thing in the morning, you get used to it. In fact, America is one of the few countries in the world that has a high-sugar breakfast, and this has come to be solely because of marketing. Many countries (with overall better health and life-expectancy) eat things like rice and beans for breakfast.
Put simply: Learn to like savory more than you like sugar.
So here we go, a free printable for us to start planning two meals a day. I am so excited about this!twice-a-day-meals
This meal plan idea sucks!
Disagree with my new idea? That’s ok. I get it. I didn’t say it was for everyone. So, lucky for you, I have plenty of 3-meals-a-day printables too. You can find them here. Click that image and you will find several sets of printable templates and shopping lists for those who wish to stick to 3 meals per day.
I hope you are as excited about this as I am! Enjoy!