Friday, December 13, 2013

The Experts Weigh In: Meal Planning 101 (Part 4)

Image via

Now that you know the basics of meal planning, are you ready for some easy weeknight meal ideas? Yes? I thought you might say that!


Raw veggie platter with hummus

Grilled chicken: in a taco, bun or wrap with avocado and a veggie of your choice. (If you are using tacos, use this as an opportunity to have some fun and throw a taco party! Kids will love to see little bowls with all sorts of things they can layer on to make their tacos. You could also substitute fish or mushrooms for the chicken!)

A side of broccoli or other green of choice


Raw veggie platter with guacamole

Pasta night options: Baked ziti with spinach, pumpkin and cheese, pasta with pesto sauce (use kale, walnuts and some seeds to amp up the nutritional value of your sauce), spinach and cheese lasagna or spaghetti/penne with turkey or beef meatballs (or portobello mushrooms as a meat-substitute).

A side of roasted garlic cauliflower or Brussels sprouts, sugar snap peas or another green or non-starchy veggie of choice


Raw veggie platter with pesto sauce (by making your own sauce, you can sneak in avocado, kale and spinach!)

Fish: Coat in panko/almond meal/seasoning of choice to make baked fish sticks or grill, bake or lightly saute a piece of wild salmon or white fish. You could also use chicken for kids who don't like fish and make chicken nuggets from scratch.

Corn on the cob or corn/peas/edamame mixed into brown rice (makes a great side!)


Raw veggie platter with tahini dip (1/2 cup tahini, 1 clove garlic, 1 lemon juiced, 2 Tbs. tamari, and 1/4 cup water blended)

Healthy pizza night: We use Ezekiel brand sprouted muffins as the base and they are just fine for my kids and husband. Pizza parties are fun - let kids get creative with toppings and encourage them to make funny faces as they go! You can also turn the muffin into an egg pizza or a toasted sandwich using a flipped egg, avocado, cheese and tomato slices.

If pizza's not your thing, try a non-meat burger tonight (either salmon, quinoa or lentil-based).

Side of roasted Brussels sprouts or greens of your choice


Tonight is all about leftovers from the week (or something simple!). You can repeat a weeknight meal and mix things up slightly! Use fish in place of chicken and make a brown rice, chicken and veggie bowl. Try  to use up all the foods you didn't finish during the week because before you know it, it's kitchen restocking time for another week of freshly prepared meals!

Image via

When doing your weekly shopping, it is also important to consider buying foods that make for easy, portable snacks. The following are some ideas to always have on hand - foods that can easily be tossed in your bag so you (and the kids!) are never hungry on the run.

These snacks will also help bridge gaps between meals and prevent you from overeating before lunch or dinner!
  • Raw, unsalted nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans, etc.)
  • Seeds (pumpkin, sunflower) - combine with nuts to make your own trail mix!
  • Dark chocolate chips (good for a quick pick-me-up, especially after workouts - or to add to trail mix!)
  • Apples, mandarin oranges and bananas make for great portable fruit options!
  • Healthy snack bars (but beware! always check the ingredient list!)
  • Homemade nut butter sandwiches (using raw, unsalted almond butter)
  • Carrot sticks
Wow! We've certainly covered a lot of great information this past month! We looked at why it's so important to take the time to plan and organize yourself, your kitchen and your meal structure so that the 5 pm scramble doesn't leave you empty-handed! Your kitchen is the core of the home and having it well-stocked will give you the power to prepare quick, healthy meals for your family!

With some new ideas and a fresh approach on shopping and cooking, getting wholesome meals to the table won't be stressful any longer! Just follow the guidelines I've given you, and I guarantee you will have a happy and healthy family!

Kirsti Pesso is a Holistic Health and Wellness Coach (CHHC) and a certified ACE personal trainer. Currently living in Westchester, New York with her husband and two little daughters, she grew up in Australia where she spent much of her childhood in her father's professional kitchens. This instilled in her a deep connection and love for food. Her own personal journey and education has allowed her to merge her love for food with health and wellness. For the last 11 years, nutrition, fitness and holistic living have been a priority for her and her family.  With a deep passion for cooking healthy and clean meals, Kirsti has made educating her family on nutrition and healthy living, a priority. Also, having a background in psychology and social work has allowed her to connect her  extensive knowledge and education in the health and wellness fields, and help others who seek to live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Kirsti has simultaneously been running a successful freelance hair colorist and styling business and has been in the industry for nearly 25 years in Australia and New York. She has a loyal following, due in part to her holistic perspective on hair. 'Healthy In Beauty Out' was born out of Kirsti's love, passion and deep understanding that beauty is an inside job. Her business reflects a culmination of many different pillars of wellness and beauty,  and combines her talent and education in the areas of nutrition, food, fitness and hair. In addition to her freelance services as a colorist and stylist, you can seek more of Kirsti's advice on healthy living, fitness and beauty, by visiting her Facebook page. To learn more about how you can live a clean, healthy and beautiful life, join Kirsti on her 11-day comprehensive Cleanse Program. To learn more, visit her at

No comments:

Post a Comment