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Guide to Meal Planning for Couples Part 2 of 2

This is Part 2 of a series of blogs I'm writing to help couples be more successful with their goals by planning their nutrition together. You'll want to read Part 1 first if you haven't, then come right back to this post!

We left off in Part 1 at the grocery list making step. I recommend you do this in Google Sheets because it's so easy to copy a new sheet for the next week. You can also share it with your partner.

When I plan our meals I start with our macronutrient needs, we have a conversation about what foods we want to eat (this week Physio wants turkey burgers and sweet potato fries) and then I make a mock up nutrition plan in an app.

Entering the foods individually into and app helps me see what portions we needs to eat to hit our macronutrient goals and this is the information I need to build our grocery list.

Column A is the foods we are eating and shopping for this week. We just joined Costco so we can buy foods in bulk. We save a lot of money because we can buy foods in bulk which is part of the success in meal planning as a couple. When we're eating the same foods it makes grocery shopping a heck of a lot easier. This is an adjustment for a lot of couple, which is why I recommend coaching if you're not quite there yet!

Columns B and D are the serving sizes of the food we will be eating. We're not eating everything the same because he needs more calories than me and different macronutrients. For example, physio doesn't drink coffee but I sure do so I add coffee to the list, but write a 0 for him.

Since we're having turkey burgers this week, I'm having my sweet potatoes to fill my carbohydrate needs. He is having sweet potatoes and a whole wheat bun because his calories and carb needs are higher.

Columns C and E are the number of days we're eating these foods and how much we'll need for the Mon-Fri week.

Column F is the sum of C + E and our final grocery list! When we walk into the store we are ready with what we are buying and how much we're going to need. There is one caveat to this! We plan and list out a lot of foods in the volume measure but not in the weight. For example, I write almond milk, salsa, edamame, cashews, lettuce in cups but at the store, we're buying almost everything by weight.

At the store it is so important to know

  1. how to reach the nutrition label and

  2. how to convert the volume measure into weight.

I know a lot of people get stuck at this step so I plan to do a video explanation of how to do this. The math is knowing conversions, which you can look up on the internet. For example here is how to find out how many gram or pounds of lettuce we need to buy if we need 30 cups:

If we need 30 cups of lettuce, and 1 cup = 75 grams we need 30 cups x 75grams/cup

We need 2250 grams of lettuce.

But we really don't buy in grams, we usually buy in pounds so we need to know how many grams are in a pound. Another conversion factor. Nutrition is a lot of math!

Now divide the 2250 grams of lettuce by 453.592 grams/pound to find pounds of lettuce needed.

2250 grams/ 453.592 grams/pounds = 4.9 pounds

We need five pounds of lettuce!

Image by Unsplash

Once you're done shopping, which shouldn't take as long because you planned ahead, you're back to your abode for meal prepping!

Delegating tasks is essential to making you more successful with your goals. Healthy communication between couples is important for relationships and meal prep success!A quick review of what you're meal prepping for the week can help you know who can do what. For example, I might say "I'll need your help making 4 ounces turkey patties or chopping the cucumber." Getting this decided ahead of time will make the meal prepping process easier and quicker.

Meal prepping completes the steps. Well, cleaning does, but for the sake of this Guide to Meal Planning for Couples Blog Series, we're wrapping up at the meal prep step.

I understand that none of this comes second nature to many people which is why I offer nutrition coaching for couple and provide a lot of this planning for them. Physio & I have nailed down the process and I just want to share it with people to make nutrition easier for others too.

Let's Recap Step by Step:

1. Assess Your Nutrition Needs

2. Find Recipes Together & Have a Conversation

3. Enter the Foods/Meals Into an App

4. Make the Grocery List

5. Convert Volume to Weight As Needed

6. Go Grocery Shopping Together

7. Delegate & Communicate

8. Meal Prep Together

This is the Guide to Meal Planning for Couples Blog Series! Hopefully it helps at least 1 couple out there. IF you attempt any of these steps I would love to hear how it went and feedback. Some other ideas I have with this is a digital course, more downloadable guides, maybe even a workshop or 2 around Denver to teach couples how to do certain steps of this in real time.

Happy Sunday! Physio and I are off to grocery shopping, meal prepping then working out!

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