Meal Planning

How to Start Meal Planning For Lower Cholesterol

July 16, 2021

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My hope for this blog is to inspire you to get creative in the kitchen and eat good, real food!  Planning, grocery shopping, and cooking don’t have to be hard! In fact, I actually look forward to it all week. I’ll be sharing my weekly plan plus some tips and tricks along the way. I typically plan 3-4 meals per week. Here are some tips to start meal planning.

Tip #1: Use your store’s weekly sales to start meal planning

First, it will help to keep your total bill cheaper. Second, the produce will be fresher because sale produce is usually what they have the most of in stock, which is usually what is in season. In season produce = the freshest produce. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, it keeps you from getting stuck in a food rut of cooking the same 8-10 recipes over and over again. Since the sales change, so do your ingredients. Keeping your tastebuds happy and fueling your creativity are key for home cooking!

So, without further ado, let’s dive into my first week of eats! Starting with the groceries:

This load was on the lighter side thanks to some Farmer’s Market finds, pantry goods, and a stockpile of meat in the freezer.

Tip #2: Buy in bulk when meat goes on sale!

Usually meat goes on sale for 30-40% off. So, stock up and put it in the freezer. This will help keep your grocery bill down and you will always have an option in the freezer if you don’t have time to make it to the store. Another great option is to split a locally raised cow, lamb, pig, etc. It may be hard to find farmer’s to connect with so I suggest working backwards from the butcher instead since they are usually more visible to consumers. The meat honestly tastes better! Knowing the farmer and seeing where the animals are raised matters. The vast majority of the beef you will see on My Weekly Eats comes from the farm across the street from my parents house. I fly with a cooler full of frozen beef 2-3 times a year 🙂

Meal 1: Buffalo Chicken Loaded Baked Potatoes

Loaded Buffalo Chicken Baked Potato

I baked the potatoes, roasted the chicken, and made the buffalo sauce on Sunday. When dinner rolled around I just needed to heat it all up. Spinach added for a bit of extra green. Click here for the recipe!

Meal 2: Chickpea Pasta Macaroni and Cheese with Broccoli

Healthy Mac and Cheese with Broccoli

This was my first time trying chickpea pasta. I received a box of Banza as a sample and I was impressed. One serving has 14g of protein and 8g of fiber! Combined with the protein in the cheese and the fiber in the broccoli, this meal was a nutritious and delicious! An easy go-to when you start meal planning, find the recipe here.

Side Dish: Curried Cauliflower with Raisins

Curried Cauliflower with Raisins

Special twist on this curried cauliflower, I tossed the cauliflower with 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree in addition to 2 tbsp curry powder and 1 tbsp melted coconut oil. The pumpkin gives more nutrients and a brighter color! Served alongside the legs from the roasted chicken. Get the recipe.

Bonus: Chicken Broth

Slow Cooker Chicken Broth

Tip #3Buy the whole chicken!

Reasons I love whole chickens: cheaper than buying the piece, crispy chicken skin as a reward for roasting, and homemade chicken stock that tastes better than the box and is cheaper.

Every time I roast a chicken I’ll make broth. If I don’t need it in a recipe then I’ll freeze it for when I do. In the fall and winter I usually drink it throughout the week, though. A nice way to warm up and easy recipe to have the back pocket when you start meal planning! Find the how-to for roasting the chicken and making the broth here.

The recipes will be posted soon and, in the meantime, start meal planning!

  1. Virginia Beth Blount says:

    Hi, Ashley, I am overweight, high cholesterol, can’t take statin drugs due to migraine headaches, very acidic body so limited on acidic fruits, allergic to MSG, nitrates & artificial sweeteners, have COPD & asthma, 70 yrs old and out of shape. I don’t know if I can take your classes, unless they are late at night. That’s why I look for ideas online which is easier for me. Thank you, Beth

    • Ashley Reaver says:

      Hi Virginia, thanks for the message! The classes are all at your own pace so you’ll never miss a class since they start when you want them to start!

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