Your good intentions for nutritious cooking and eating usually fall apart when Monday rolls around, right? Why not give Meal Mapping a try? This handy tool will help organize this important part of your life to give you sanity, nourishing food, and save you money all at the same time.

leftoversYou wouldn’t get in the car without consulting your map before leaving, right? You’ve got to know where you’re going, how long it will take, where you can stop for gas, and if there’s any traffic in your way. It takes planning and you need a guide to help you along the way. Similarly, you need the same kind of strategic plan in place when it comes to nourishing your body. You’ve got to take some time to map out what you’re going to eat and when you’re going to eat it. Because just like your car trip, when you plan ahead when it comes to eating, you’ll find the journey more enjoyable as you make your way to your final destination (a happy, healthy, nourished body). Welcome to Meal Mapping!

Meal Mapping is exactly like the research you do for that road trip, but for food instead. The process helps you design and sketch out your meals ahead of time. By doing so, you can avoid the “construction and traffic” of multiple grocery trips, last-minute meal decisions, and fast-food takeout. Instead, you get the nourishing food you need and you enjoy it without the stress. This type of planning benefits you in a multitude of ways – by saving you time and money, while ensuring you get the nutritious foods your body needs.

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How does Meal Mapping work? Once a week, you’ll need to set aside 30 minutes or so to find recipes, put together a menu and make a grocery list. Choose things you love, but try some new foods too. After you’ve done that, you’re set for the grocery store to pick up everything you need.

Meal mapping is an excellent planning tool, but it’s also:

  1. A great way to ensure nutritious foods end up in your fridge and pantry and eventually on your table.
  2. A simple way to do your part when it comes to the environment (think less food waste!).
  3. An amazing way to organize a very important part of your life, meaning, less stress on you!

This series of Meal Mapping posts is meant to be educational, but inspiring too. Living a nourished, balanced life takes some work and planning. In order to make the most of that work and planning, it’s important to have the right tools so that you can be successful. Meal Mapping can be that helpful planning tool for you and it’s a wonderful way to get you onto that path of a more healthful lifestyle. Successful meal mapping results in a happy, well-nourished, and dare I say, better version of you!

Stay tuned for more about Meal Mapping. The series continues with ideas on how meal mapping can help you, how it can help the environment (and your wallet), as well as strategies that help you be a successful and nutrition-savvy Meal Mapper.

 


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Sara Haas is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) based in Chicago, Illinois. She works primarily as a freelance consultant dietitian and chef, and writes on her own blog at www.sarahaasrdn.com. She’s been helping people for almost 15 years to understand the importance of nutrition on health and well-being. She can be seen on television doing cooking segments, or on the radio lending her voice for nutrition-related PSA’s, or even in some of your favorite publications giving tips on nutrition.

We’re thankful to have Sara answering nutrition questions here on the Plan to Eat blog. Send your questions to Sara by filling out this short form.

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