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How to Create a Nutritious Meal Plan for a Busy Lifestyle

How to Create a Nutritious Meal Plan for a Busy Lifestyle

Many of us are finding ourselves feeling a bit burnt out. As we juggle full time jobs, families at home, social activities, and various demands throughout the day, it becomes overwhelming. It can be easy to let self care fall by the wayside when there are so many priorities put in front of us. Nutritious meals are often one of the first things to go when life gets busy, as it’s easier to reach for whatever is more convenient and quick. You deserve to feel nourished daily, and your body will thank you for fueling it properly. What you put in your body can have a bigger impact than you think, so taking a few extra steps to create a nutritious meal plan is the surest way to feeling able to take on your busy life.

Meal planning requires intention and mindfulness, making it an act of self care in itself. While it might sound like an extra chore, it will end up adding so much additional time, energy, money, and value into your life. It also doesn’t have to mean that you are eating the same things everyday, it can mean you make a few staples and have a few different ways to use them. These staples can be things you really love and look forward to eating, making it even more of a self care opportunity.

Image is of a person using a knife to slice a cabbage as apart of their nutritious meal plan.
Photo by Heather Ford

Here are some simple steps to help you create a nutritious meal plan amidst your busy lifestyle:

  • Review the week ahead. Sit down, perhaps with your partner or even a roommate, and look at your calendar for the week. Assess what your food needs will be and how many meals you will need to prepare. Think about when you struggle the most with time, and focus your attention there. For example, if you find yourself running out the door on an empty stomach in the morning, plan to make some simple protein muffins for a grab and go option.
  • Take stock of what you have on hand. This will avoid waste and save money. Allow what you have available to act as inspiration for your meals. Use them in ways you wouldn’t normally to amp up interest.
  • Find recipes that spark joy. Dying to go to Greece? Include some Mediterranean style meals. Love feeling connected to family? Make meals inspired by your heritage or grandma’s cooking. Skim through cookbooks or recipe sites for inspiration. Focus on foods that will boost your mood and energy, to keep you going throughout the week.
  • Cycle sync. When looking at the week ahead, take note of where you are in your menstrual cycle, if applicable. Meal plan in accordance with what your body needs during the phase you are in. For example, when you are in your menstrual phase, make sure to include lots of iron rich foods such as beef and spinach. Read here for more ideas.
  • Make your grocery list. Note items you can buy in bulk like meats or larger packs of vegetables. Going into the store with a plan will help avoid impulse purchases that lead to food waste later on. Make sure you are buying only what you need and not a surplus of things you know will go unused.
  • Get cooking! Set aside some time to prepare your foods. Make it as simple as possible for yourself. Make a stew in the crockpot. Roast a big pan of vegetables. Pre wash and cut up fruits. Pre-make smoothie bags and freeze them. Prep some things that you can add on top of salads, as a side with a protein, or on top of rice. The key is to make healthy choices more convenient and accessible, and never boring.


Meal planning can act as such a form of nourishment if we weave it into our self care. While it may take a little bit of time up front, creating a meal plan that works with you is key to helping yourself feel fully supported. It will save you so much time, energy, and money throughout the week if you carve out a few extra moments to dedicate to supporting your nutrition. It is also the opportunity to connect more deeply to your body and what you truly need in terms of nourishment. You might be surprised at how much value is created when a little extra time and presence is dedicated to your self care.

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Will you create a nutritious meal plan for your week? Message us @Maidenfolk on Instagram and let us know, and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter below!

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