Why Menu Planning is So Important

"Planning out what you’re going to eat involves more than just making sure that you don’t exceed your daily calorie limit – it’s also about planning out how you’ll spend your calories in order to get the most nutrition you can".

Planning healthy meals is something many people struggle with. You probably know what foods are good for you, and you have a sense for what a healthy meal looks like. But putting that knowledge into practice – and planning specific menus every day – takes some effort. Maybe that’s why many people take the easy way out and settle for eating the exact same meals day in and day out.

And while there’s nothing really wrong with eating the same meals over and over (as long as they’re nutritionally well balanced), there’s a huge risk of boredom setting in. And once that happens, you’re a lot less likely to stick to your plan.

Being a Health Coach with Herbalife International,  I have the pleasure of working with some of the best doctors and dietitians in the world. Susan Bowerman, is a Registered Dietitian and Board-Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, and what I have learned from her is priceless.

Menu planning is important for many reasons.

First, planning out what you’re going to eat involves more than just making sure that you don’t exceed your daily calorie limit – it’s also about planning out how you’ll spend your calories in order to get the most nutrition you can.

So, good meal planning means that you do your best to work in plenty of healthy fruits and vegetables, to make sure you get the right amount of lean protein and some whole grains, and that you use healthy fats and sweets sparingly, for flavor.

Also, if you plan out your meals ahead of time, you can make your grocery list at the same time to make sure you have everything you need. All the planning in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t also have all the ingredients on hand.

The other thing I like to do when I plan meals is to “cook once, eat twice” as much as possible. Simply put, “cook once, eat twice” means that you cook more of a certain food for one meal, and then incorporate the remainder into a meal over the next day or two. This strategy can save you huge amounts of time when it comes to putting meals together.

Keep in mind that – even with the best intentions – plans sometimes fall apart. As much as you may want to stick to your menu plans, there will be times when you don’t eat exactly what you had intended. But, if you have all your meals planned out ahead of time or even take it one step further to meal prep through the week, it does make it easier to get yourself back on track if you do slip up.


Herbalife 1800 Calorie Menus – What You’ll Get

Each day calls for three meals, two protein-based snacks during the day, and a fruit/protein combo snack in the evening. Snacking, done properly, can help you keep your hunger in check, and it gives you more opportunities during the day to work in foods like fruits and veggies.

– The breakfast meal is about 300 calories, the protein snacks are each about 150 calories, the lunch meal is about 500 calories, and the dinner meal (including the fruit/protein snack) is about 700 calories. This means that all the lunches are interchangeable with one another – same goes for the dinners and snacks, too.

I begin each day with a glass of cranberry Herbal Aloe Concentrate in fresh water, Herbalife Herbal Tea Concentrate and a protein-rich meal replacement shake.  I like to use Herbalife Formula 1 shakes in the morning because they’re quick to prepare, they supply more protein than many typical breakfast items and they all have at least one fruit or vegetable serving which provides vitamins, minerals and fiber. Not to mention, quick and easy.

– It’s recommended that each day should includes at least 7 servings of colorful fruits and vegetables. Relative to their calorie count, these foods are nutrient-rich. I also supplement with an Herbalife product called Garden 7, which provides all the antioxidants needed to keep your immune system top notch. Like most people it is difficult to get the required amount.

– Meal Prep is something that I do every Sunday.

1800 Calorie Menu – Day One Sample

Today’s 1800 calorie menu starts with delicious green smoothie that boasts a serving of fruit and two servings of spinach – and it’s packed with protein to provide staying power.  For lunch, a tangy kale and apple salad is paired with a bowl of lentil soup that gets a creamy-tasting protein boost from Greek yogurt.  A salmon burger for dinner helps boost your intake of omega-3 fats, and is served with a green salad, some spicy pinto beans and herbed carrots.

1800 Calorie Menu – Day Two Sample

For this morning’s breakfast shake try a Blueberry Lemon Bar.  Enjoy a Greek-inspired green salad tossed with a lemony dressing and topped with grilled chicken. Dinner features ground turkey meatballs in tomato sauce over whole grain penne pasta.

1800 Calorie Menu – Day Three Sample

This morning’s shake will satisfy your chocolate craving. Try a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup (or other Nut Butter) and, for lunch, a tasty mix of greens, grilled chicken &  fruit. For Dinner stuff veggies into a whole-grain pita pocket for a delicious and satisfying meal.

BREAKFAST – Green Smoothie

  • 1 serving Herbalife Formula 1 Nutritional Shake Mix, Vanilla flavor
  • 1 cup (240ml) nonfat milk or plain soy milk
  • 1 kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup (165g) frozen pineapple chunks
  • 2 cups (60g) baby spinach leaves

Place all ingredients in the blender and blend until very smooth.***

Ask me how to get started with a daily healthy plan – Luanne Barnas 301-643-7682. Follow me on Facebook : Luanne Sacchetti Barnas


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Luanne Barnas
Luanne Barnas is a Personal Wellness Coach with Herbalife International and the owner of LaPlata Nutrition which opened in December 2007. Luanne helps people achieve their health goals, whether weight loss or gain, or just attaining a better level of health. Over the past 7 years, Luanne has personally helped hundreds of clients achieve their nutritional goals and realize the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. Luanne, a certified personal trainer, and avid exerciser, found herself still wanting to lose 10-15 pounds at age 40. At that time she felt like she ate the right foods and she exercised 7 days a week, but was not getting the results she was looking for. Her sister-in-law introduced her to a Cellular Nutrition program and taught Luanne about the power of plant based protein. Luanne began a customized nutrition program, and immediately felt the energy from the “new food” she was introducing to her body. Within a few months Luanne lost 30 pounds, 15 inches and went from a size 10 to a size 6! Within the past year, Luanne has taken her results to a new level. Incorporating Herbalife Sports Nutrition into her daily routine, Luanne has gotten herself in the best shape of her life at age 50. “I am so thrilled with my results, I want to share it with everyone,” says Luanne. Because of her incredible results and passion to help others, Luanne is also taking advantage of the Herbalife business opportunity. She loves being her own boss, and working with people in her LaPlata office, which serves close to 100 clients each day. In 2012, Luanne’s husband Ken became so inspired himself that he officially joined Luanne in the Herbalife business. Together they work as a team, teaching and training their organization to do as they were taught by the leaders in the company. Their son, Daniel, a recent Salisbury University graduate is joining his parents in the business and introducing this healthy lifestyle to the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Luanne, Ken and their team of wellness coaches in the tri-county area (and beyond) are passionately helping their respective communities realize the benefits of a healthy, active, lifestyle. For more information visit, www.luannebarnas.com, www.laplatanutrition.com or call 301-643-7682.


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