Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Meal Planning for Lazy People

BREAKING NEWS: Eating healthy is not always easy, nor is it always fun.

But "they" say abs are made in the kitchen and I've never had abs in my life so who am I to argue?

I've discovered that with a little preparation, even the laziest of lazies (ahem) can meal plan for a week without too much difficulty. 

Thus I present to you: Meal Planning for Lazy People.

I had a chicken-only picture but I deleted it. So pretend this is
just chicken.

Step One: Pick a protein.
Whatever your heart desires: chicken, turkey, pork, or fish if you don't mind being "that guy" in the office. Bonus points if it's pre-marinated. Also, I like to buy in quantities that are easily divisible so I don't have to do linear algebra to calculate my portion sizes. For example, I'll buy .75lbs AKA 12oz of chicken and know that it makes two 6oz portions. But if you like calculating the math of a .87lb portion size, who am I to stop you? 

Step Two: Pick a veggie.
Or multiple veggies if you're feeling fancy. I'm a fan of squash (but not butternut because you need a damn machete to open it), zucchini, green beans, asparagus, and broccoli. This part is like a choose-your-own-adventure of laziness, depending on how much prep your selected veggie(s) requires. 

Step Three: Pick a starch.
Brown rice, quinoa, wheat pasta-- whichever you prefer. I tend to go for the Minute Rice Brown Rice because, well, lazy. 

Step Four: Accessorize.
If you failed to heed my sage advice about pre-marinated proteins, you're gonna want some type of seasoning/sauce/marinade involved. Go Italian with basil and oregano, Mediterranean with lemon and garlic, Mexican with chili powder and cumin. There are a million pre-mixed spice blends (select light sodium if you can) or you can go wild and make your own by experimenting. 

Step Five: Cook and Serve.
Prepare each component using your healthy method of choice. Bake, grill, steam it in your dishwasher (saw someone do that on "Extreme Cheapskates" once. Does it actually work? ...asking for a friend). Portion everything out evenly so you know the points/calorie counts for your meal. Done!

The chicken's cooked, the marinade just makes it a strange color.

Here's how I did it last week, which took all of 40 minutes including cooking time: I preheated my oven to 375 while I sliced one squash and one zucchini. I tossed the veggies in a ziplock bag with a drizzle of olive oil and my favorite seasoning salt. The veggies went on a cookie tray on the top shelf of the oven and my pre-marinated chicken breasts went in a dish on the bottom rack. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping the veggies halfway through. While everything's baking, I made brown rice. Each meal (6oz chicken, 1/3 cup brown rice, ~3/4 cup veggies) ended up being about 335 calories or about 10PP on Weight Watchers. 

Maybe I'm weird, but I have no issues eating the exact same meal multiple times in a row. If you'd prefer more variety, it's easy enough to swap in different veggies or a different protein, or change your seasonings to mix things up. 

Have any meal planning tips to share?


  1. Sounds good, but I could never eat the same thing four times in a week! I am lazy too, but also picky. I don't eat leftovers either. The veggies do look delicious though.

  2. Ahh it's like you are speaking to my lazy soul this morning! We actually did much, much better with Meal Plans this week. I am proud of us! We ended up with 10 tupperwares full of Crock Pot Mexican Pork, BBQ Pulled Pork and breaded chicken and veggie! That's pretty damn amazing for us since we usually resort to making sandwiches on a daily basis!

  3. Great tips! I definitely will be referring to this post when I'm figuring out my meal plan. Anything that I can make in a crock pot on Sunday and portion out for the week ahead is a winner in my book. And I have no problem eating the same thing during the week, especially soup or chili!

  4. Great tip girl. I don't mind eating the same thing everyday either. If I don't have to think about it just becomes routine and that's a win in my book

  5. I can eat the same thing for days too. Not weird at all. I make soup a lot (especially in the winter time) to freeze. It's easy to make a big pot to freeze in portions and take out when you need it. Easy peasy.

  6. Great idea! I'm terrible at meal-planning and definitely need to get in a better habit of doing that.

  7. I was about to ask you if the chicken was cooked. HAHAHA! I love your whole process on dividing portions. You crack me up!

  8. i like your lazy ways :) even the posting of a pic that is meant to be something else. :)
    have you ever had chicken breast baked in salsa, i got the recipe originally from kraftfoods.com (which i think still exists) of course it calls for kraft items, but i buy the store brand (im not only lazy but cheap), so you defat the chicken, and throw salsa on top, it calls for sour cream, but my husband doesnt like it, and i would never eat it all before it goes bad, so i just omit it. then when its done i put some mexican blend cheese on it (if the chicken breast is 3 oz, and the cheese is 1 oz that is 6 points, cause salsa is free at least in my head it is). it is super yummy, maybe things like how long to bake it and what temp might be good. eh here is the recipe http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/chicken-nacho-bake-108694.aspx
    im also obsessed with chicken quesadillas, we eat them at least 1 time a week.