Meal Planning in the Working World

Over the past several months, I have tried to change my eating habitats from extreme amounts of sugary and greasy foods to a minimum.  In my previous post, we touched on the tips for meal planning and how to make realistic goals we can achieve without starving yourself. Let’s face it: nobody wants to be starving when those afternoon hunger pains kick in, all to lose just 10 extra pounds…

Just because you are cutting down on your junk food and changing your diet doesn’t mean you have to eat tasteless foods. You can still salt your food and add seasoning just make sure not to over do it! Look for marinades that have low calories but will give your chicken and meats that extra flavor (plus it won’t feel like your on a diet if your food is tasting extra special). At your local grocery store you can find some great marinades and seasonings that are between 10 – 20 calories that are sure to make your next meal d’lish!

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Snacking throughout the day is a key to this diet, in reality you should be snacking 2-3 time per day between your regular meals, this will help you not over eat when you more traditional meals come during the day. Ideally, your meals should be “small in size” or smaller than you would normally eat. I know what your thinking… what about my mid day candy bar or morning donut and coffee – I feel it too. I still take my morning coffee to help wake up, but here are some other healthy snack ideas I choose from on a daily basis.


I also found these great Detox teas at my local Wal-Mart or Target which I feel really do help you release toxins in the body – they are very light which is great if you do not want to do a full detox. For those of you wanting to try a full detox I have seen a 3-Day or 7-Day Detox program, which you can find at any vitamin supply store.
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Easy Quinoa in 15 mins or less!

1.  Add 1 cup of Quinoa to sauce pan
2. Add 2 cups of Water – lightly season with salt, garlic powder & pepper to your liking.3. Bring to a boil , then lower heat to a simmer – keep covered
4. Let it cook about 10-15 mins until it is soft and small spiral like shape forms

Quinoa is said to be extremely good for you with complete protein and amino acids to help you keep your hunger away – makes a great addition to salads and daily meals.

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Meal Planning & Portion Size

The hardest thing to do is control how much you eat. Some of those tough, personal moments is saying “NO” to my Snickers at work, or having to be around a huge bowl of spaghetti… I know myself, and I’ll eat the whole thing! Recently I have tried to control how much I eat in a serving, below are some examples and video on my workweek meal planning portion control.

Great Portion Control Tool!

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You can purchase this meal measuring tool on
Amazon for about $8 -$10  Here is the link


The most important aspect is to ALWAYS be positive – take slow steps towards a cleaner and healthier life style. Remember, every little bit helps and every time you make the right choice, you are one step closer to your goal!


Watch my YouTube Video Here:


Meal Planning on a Budget

Everyone thinks that meal planning is difficult and costly – the truth is you can actually accomplish a successful weekly meal plan on a budget. The #1 thing to keep in mind is “not to go crazy” – by this I mean don’t buy everything you see, don’t over spend just to buy organic foods because they say organic on the label. The key is to buy simple foods that are healthy!

When meal planning you need to make sure to have the proper nutrients that will help reduce hunger throughout the day, eat protein, fiber and fruits as possible. Believe it or not protein can hold your hunger and get you to your next mealtime without feeling you’re starving yourself or not eating. You NEVER want to push or starve yourself – not eating can actually harm you and does not allow your body to eat nutrients to a healthy diet.
Meal-PrepA few tips…

  1. Set a weekly food budget ($50, $80 or $100)
  2. Plan for snacks (2-3 times a day)
  3. Cook enough for your 3 daily meals + 2-3 snacks as well
  4. Create a menu to follow so you do not buy excess foods.

You can download a menu template here
There are others online that maybe suit your needs better

Grown from HOME…
Start your own garden, you can create an at home garden even if you live in an apartment or house. Plant vegetables and herbs to incorporate in your diet. It will also help you save money!!

Here are some great ideas:
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 What to include in your meal planning…

  • Protein (Chicken, Red Meat & Fish)
  • Grains (Rice, Quinoa & Cereals)
  • Sweet Potatoes, Broccoli & Colorful Veggies
  • Add 1 Sweet a day (Mini Muffin, Ice Cream or Piece of Chocolate)
    Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to change everything you eat. It is a way of thinking and trying to incorporate the right food without dieting or going hungry. Here are a few recipe ideas to help you get started on your new adventure!

Basics 101 of Healthy Living

Understanding the Food Pyramid

The Food Pyramid was designed to serve as guidance on food groups and the proper daily measurements of food intake. It is important to eat enough healthy foods without over eating and having beyond the healthy amount of sugars and fats. Below is the newest USDA Food Pyramid.
MyPyramid2For those of you like myself who are more visual, here are other pyramid images that struck a chord with me. I very much enjoy these because it helps me physically see my options and keep track of how I’m eating throughout a given day. I sometimes make a few copies of this pyramid, scratching things off as I fulfill certain food groups. I also try to keep track of my water intake, as many people have difficulty drinking the recommended amount of water. One common complaint is that water is “tasteless,” this is where I turn to fruit infused water or lemon water to help me drink me water throughout the day.

Carbohydrates provide energy for the body, most importantly the brain and nervous system. Examples of these are rice, pasta, bread, potatoes and cereals. A healthy diet should be comprised of 50% -60% carbohydrates.


Proteins are required for the overall function and structure of the body’s tissues and function of organs. Some examples of these would be meats, fish, chicken and beans. A healthy diet should be comprised of about 20% proteins.


Fats are an important part of having a healthy diet and help prevent blood clotting, support brain development, energy storage and the moving of fat-soluble vitamins like (A, D, E and K) throughout the bloodstream. As part of a healthy diet fats should comprise about 30% of your daily diet.

Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body, it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.

– John F. Kennedy

Earth’s Goodness

For starters, it is important to set realistic goals you know you can achieve. Shop for colorful foods, which usually are the richest in vitamins and nutrients. Work on reorganizing your fridge, throw away everything that is junk food or high in sugars, which always seem to be the most tempting. I would spend 2-3 hours in the market and gong to the fresh mart looking for healthy options I would actually like. I made a concious effort to drink homemade smoothies, but in no way was each item in my diet fat free/sugar free. Every little bit counts and helps improve your overall feeling.
My Water Infused Recipe:

If you’re looking to spice up your water and bring a bit of flavor to the table try some infused water.   Included: Watermelon/cucumber, lemon/lime, mint leaves, and water.

You will need…

-1-2 liters’ of water, depending on how strong you want it to taste
-Part of 1 watermelon or 1 cucumber
-1 lemon or lime
-A handful of fresh mint leaves (approximately 10-13)
-Ice cubes

Let it sit in the fridge over night so that all the flavors can infuse into the water. Try making mini Mason Jar Mugs to take to work instead of sodas.
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Hi my name is Ivanna, I am the author of Eat Well. Live Well. and an avid foodie looking for the next great healthy living tips.  My passion for gardening started many years ago as a child and has blossomed into a true hobby. I love going to Farmers Markets and roaming the aisle for yummy options and trying to incorporate organic foods as much as possible into my daily life.

I encourage you to explore my blog, comment and share your knowledge with everyone! My mission to make health living  fun, exciting and easy enough that someone with little to no knowledge can jump right into a new healthy life style.

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8 STEPS to Getting Started:  Prep Yourself for a Healthier You

  1. Simplify your meals (smaller is better)
  2. Drink a lot of water (4-8 cups a day)
  3. Plan to exercise a little everyday (walking the dog or a short run)
  4. Eat every 3 hours (snack throughout your work day)
  5. Make a realistic goal you can achieve
  6. Avoid fatty junk foods (think healthy!)
  7. Limit your intake of sugar and salt (only creates more fat)