February Meal Plan Challenge

Meal Plan Ideas Happy Friday friends!!

It's a new month-- FEBRUARY!-- and that means it's time for new challenges and goals! I'll post an update to my Janauary Goals and a full list of this month's plans tomorrow, but I wanted to get a head start and share a biggie I'm doing this month-- MEAL PLANNING!

When I lost weight for my wedding I did it by adhering to a meal plan. Now, meal plans aren't for everyone and obviously you can't plan out every single meal for every single day of the rest of your life, but what about for the next month?

There's only 28 days in the month of February and I'm starting my meal plan on the 4th. I'm giving myself FOUR cheat meals, which means, really, I only have to stick to the plan for 20 days! 20 days people!!

You might be thinking, well what good is that going to do? A LOT! 20 out of 28 days is the ratio I'm striving for-- about 80/20! Have you heard of the 80/20 clean eating rule? Eat clean 80% of the time, but allow some exceptions (20%).

The other motivation behind this challenge is a struggle I'm having a home. I've really dropped the ball preparing healthy, home-cooked meals! In January, we ate a lot of STOFFERS frozen dinners because we never had any real food in the house, because I hadn't gone grocery shopping and planned ahead. Frozen meals are easy, yes, but they're so unhealthy. We had one last week and I swear I could TASTE the sodium. Yuk! I know my hubby misses our fresh salmon and turkey burgers (I know I do!), but to get back to that, I need to MEAL PLAN.

We've also struggled lately with OVERCOOKING. There's just two of us and I think better than cooking big, elaborate meals that would feed 6, we need to shop weekly and make simple, small meals. Nothing elaborate. I can't even begin to tell you how much food we've thrown out this month (because we made a huge meal, stored it, and never bothered with it again)! I feel AWFUL wasting so much food. It's a waste of money! My solution for all of this? MEAL PLAN.

I don't have any fancy graphics for this post, but this weekend look out for a free printable from my friend Monica Rysavy to help you with this challenge! I also plan to share my personal meal plan and a calendar to mark off each successful day!

Keep in mind, however, my meal plan will be different than yours. We all have different lifestyles and priorities. Take for example: my husband is in class Tuesday and Wednesday nights. So for those nights, I'll have something like a plain turkey burger and veggies. Something REALLY simple; probably something my husband isn't interested in!

With this, also keep in mind that you'll need to get your plans  together for the month NOW. Mark off what your obligations are and don't add any more (if you can help it! I know that's hard). For example, I already know I'm going to brunch on the 9th; out to dinner for the 14th (Valentine's Day) and I'm have a Valentine's party on the 16th. Those special occasions will be when I vere from the meal plan. Otherwise, I want to stick to it completely...

Here's my thing: eating clean on the fly is hard! When you're hungry and moody and don't have anything healthy on hand, you're likely to blow your weekly calories. With a meal plan, you've thought ahead, you've got your healthy foods, and you're less likely to eat randomly!

Obviously I'm ready to step it up a knotch for February! ARE YOU READY TO STEP IT UP WITH ME?

I thought this quote was fitting: :)

Flat AbsMore info on the way... In the meantime, start thinking about those meals!

Are you going to make the egg white casserole and eat that for breakfast all next week? (I think that's a fabulous idea!)

Start thinking about when you're going to get to the grocery store, too. You'll need your groceries by Sunday to get ready for the week!

*Also, check Pinterest for ideas: there are a ton! (I searched boards for "Meal Plan")

I'm excited y'all!! Who's with me?

Images via Back On Pointe Tumblr & The Berry