Stacy Beeson is our registered dietitian with the Integrative Medicine Center. She practices functional nutrition which focuses on how whole foods and key nutrients help regulate health and the process of healing. Stacy has been a dietitian for nearly 20 years.
Meal Planning for ALL
What is meal planning? Meal planning is a personal thing, do what works for you and your family. Some people plan the whole menu week by week in advance, others wing it, shopping the day-of.
If you are a Day-of planner:
Know what you’re having for dinner by 4:30 pm. Use these themes to help decide on dinner.
Do I feel like…
ITALIAN – whole wheat pasta with turkey meatballs, spinach and tomatoes or pizza
MEXICAN – burritos, taco salads, quesadilla or enchilada casserole
ASIAN – stir-fry with mandarin oranges and cashews/peanuts or lettuce wraps
SOUP & SANDWICH – Imagine or Pacific brand soups with chicken/egg salad and a cabbage/kale salad kit. Grill that sandwich to switch things up!
SEPARATES – fish/steak/turkey with vegetable and grain or starchy vegetable
BREAKFAST ITEM – frittata, egg sandwich, egg bake, waffles and fruit
If you are a Weekly Planner
Protein. Aim for fish twice a week and at least one meatless meal like beans, lentils or tofu. Plan two that are fast and easy like chicken tacos and one to two based on leftovers.
Vegetables. Aim for 3 different colors in your cart and always grab baby carrots, salad/cabbage kits. Try one new vegetable a week like sugar snap peas, Brussels sprouts, asparagus or beets. Toss a bag of fresh spinach in the freezer or choose stir-fry vegetables as go to items.
Whole grains. Starchy vegetables like potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn can fill in as grains. Brown rice, barley, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa and whole-grain bread.
Fruit. Aim for 3 colors in your cart. It’s not just for dessert anymore. Fruit can be a topping, a salad, salsa, a sauce, stuffed into chicken, and grilled or broiled on skewers.
The best way to ensure you have everything you need to prepare healthy, delicious meals is to keep a well-stocked pantry. The list below includes all the basics plus a few other ingredients that will make last-minute meals easier. You can also use it as a starting point for your grocery shopping list.