Healthy Weekly Meal Plan with Grocery List

Man-Woman-Cooking-Salad-Kitchen

Eating healthy isn’t easy for most people.

The demands of work and family make it difficult to carve out enough time each week to map out a full menu of healthy meals, let alone shop for all of the necessary ingredients.

There are options that are easy to resort to when mealtime rolls around – and most aren’t very good for you.

  • Breakfast: A stop at Starbucks, hitting the McDonald’s drive-thru, or the box of donuts someone brought into the office
  • Lunch: Running out for a sandwich, grabbing something from the vending machines, or just working straight through
  • Dinner: Going out, picking up a pizza on the way home, calling UberEats, or for a healthy alternative, stopping at the grocery store for a pre-cooked meal.

That’ll get you through the day, but your body – and your budget – won’t be better off for it.

The right way to do things: taking a couple of hours on a weekend day to map out a healthy meal plan, making a shopping list and going grocery shopping. It might take a little while to get into the routine (and to stop resenting the time it requires). But the weekly meal plan/grocery list approach will help you save money – and it will leave you feeling healthier and better about yourself. It should help with weight loss, too.

General Guidelines for Healthy Eating

We all know the basics of healthy eating.

Emphasize healthy foods like veggies, fruit, whole grains and lean proteins, limit carb-heavy foods like bread and chips, and limit the stuff you know is really bad for you (yes, even the ice cream). Oh, and also be mindful about portions.

Or you can find an enormous number of printable meal planning guides and healthy meal plans online; most also include grocery shopping lists. They’re not only great for day-to-day menus, but they’re terrific resources when you’re searching for alternate meal ideas or new recipes.

One of our favorite healthy meal planners is the Clean Eating Meal Plan from eatingbirdfood.com, because it focuses on healthy recipes while requiring a minimal amount of meal prep.

But for our own weekly meal plan, we’ve adapted the menus from shape.com’s 7-day meal plan because it requires a small number of ingredients which are repurposed throughout the week – meaning low-cost shopping, very little prep time (you don’t even need a slow cooker), virtually no food waste and a good amount of variety.

One-Week Meal Plan for Healthy Eating

Sunday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with homemade salsa, whole-wheat toast
Lunch: Canned low-mercury tuna with salad greens and homemade vinaigrette, brown rice
Dinner: Roasted chicken breasts (roast an entire chicken and save the chicken thighs), roasted broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes roasted in olive oil (also roast extra vegetables for use later in the week), brown rice

Monday
Breakfast: Oatmeal with almond butter and raisins
Lunch: Whole-wheat pita filled with salad greens, chickpeas and vinaigrette
Dinner: Frittata made with leftover roasted vegetables from Sunday

Tuesday
Breakfast: Smoked salmon and avocado, whole-wheat toast
Lunch: Chicken salad made from leftover chicken, salad greens, parmesan, vinaigrette
Dinner: Tacos or quesadillas made with whole-wheat tortillas, leftover roasted vegetables and low-fat cheddar (if desired), served with salsa and mashed avocado

Wednesday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, salsa and avocado served burrito-style
Lunch: Homemade hummus (pureed chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil) and whole-wheat pita
Dinner: Chicken soup made from low-sodium broth, brown rice, leftover chicken and vegetables

Thursday
Breakfast: Oatmeal with almond butter and raisins
Lunch: Whole-wheat pita filled with salad greens, chickpeas and vinaigrette
Dinner: Leftover chicken thigh meat sautéed with black olives and tomato sauce, served over quinoa

Friday
Breakfast: Smoked salmon and avocado, whole-wheat toast
Lunch: Avocado, chickpeas and vinaigrette tossed and served over salad greens
Dinner: Roasted vegetable casserole made from leftover roasted vegetables, brown rice, egg and parsley topped with low-fat cheddar cheese (make enough to have leftovers)

Saturday
Breakfast: Scrambled eggs, salsa and avocado served burrito-style
Lunch: Leftover roasted vegetable casserole with quinoa
Dinner: Pita pizza made with tomato sauce, leftover roasted vegetables, olives and parmesan

Shopping List for the One-Week Meal Plan

Determine specific amounts to purchase depending on the size of your family.

Fresh roasting chicken
Small package of smoked salmon
Small can of low-mercury tuna

Parmesan cheese
Low-fat cheddar cheese
Eggs

Whole-wheat bread
Whole-wheat pita
Whole-wheat tortillas
Brown rice
Quinoa
Oatmeal
Whole-grain oatmeal

Sweet potato
Broccoli
Cauliflower
Zucchini
Brussels sprouts
Salad greens
Avocado
Garlic
Lemon
Olives
Parsley
Raisins

For these recipes and for the pantry:

Tomato sauce
Low-sodium chicken broth
Canned chickpeas
Salsa
Olive oil
Dijon mustard
Cooking spray
White wine vinegar
Salt, pepper, sugar

An Even Easier Way to Eat Healthy

That meal plan and shopping list is about as easy as it gets if you want to plan and shop for a week of healthy meals in advance. But it does still require some time and effort – two commodities in short supply for many busy people.

An even more convenient way to get the job done and save time is to use a meal delivery service, which lets you select your meals from an online menu and then delivers them to your home every week.

Not all meal services are the same, though. Most deliver recipe cards along with the ingredients needed to make each meal, in what they call a meal kit; that’s not exactly convenient, since a lot of prep time is still required. Some services deliver already-cooked meals, but they’re frozen when they arrive at your door – the meals may have been “healthy” when prepared, but most of the nutrients have been frozen right out of them.

The meal delivery service that stands apart from the rest is Factor. Their meals are designed by in-house dietitians, prepared by gourmet chefs and made from the highest-quality, gluten-free ingredients. What’s really special about Factor, though, is that the meals (many of them created specifically for keto, Paleo, low-carb or plant-based diets) arrive refrigerated and still fresh, ready to be heated in the oven or microwave and eaten in minutes.

There’s no need to worry about making your own meal plan, spending hours at the grocery store or wasting time chopping vegetables and prepping ingredients. Factor does all of the work – all you have to do is enjoy the healthy, delicious food they deliver.

To learn more about Factor, click here.

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