Meal Planning for Diabetes
Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to have all your meals planned out and prepared ahead of time and just walk to the fridge where all the meals ready to go? It sounds so peaceful and easy, yet we all have these ideas but why does it feel like a dream and not a reality?
Time (or lack of it) can be a challenge for everyone. Meal prep can be hard when balancing everything in your life. Take the time to plan before you shop, then stock your kitchen so everything you need for a quick meal is on hand.
How to Meal Prep for Diabetes with Little Time
Start with making time to actually plan out your week before heading to the store. You will need about 30 to 45 minutes to plan out your week. I like to pull out my calendar and see what is actually going on the upcoming week. Any meetings over dinner or lunch? Any coffee with friends? Once all your set appointments are planned out, go back and see what spots you need to plan for with food.
Next start with the easy things – breakfast and snacks. Most of the time we have the same thing for breakfast. When choosing breakfast, follow these tips for meal planning to help with blood sugar first thing in the morning:
- High fiber food – whole grains (oatmeal, whole wheat bread, wheat cereal)
- Include protein – eggs, yogurt, nut butter, milk, nuts or seeds
- Fruit instead of fruit juice – whole fruit eaten in the morning is digested a bit more slowly than juice and contributes to less of a spike in your blood glucose
- Try to eat every 3-4 hours
- Have a carbohydrate or fruit at every snack to help maintain blood sugar levels:
- Apple and nut butter
- Orange and dry almonds
- Hummus + crackers
- Yogurt + granola
- Cottage cheese + fruit
Lunch and Dinner Tips
After you have planned out your breakfast and snacks for the week, next up is the main show… lunch and dinner. Here are some tips to help you come up with ideas to make meal planning easy for you to have a successful week.
- Dinner time doesn’t have to be stressful. Here are a few ideas to pull from.
- Lunch – keep it simple and don’t overthink cooking – sandwiches, wraps, etc.
- Don’t forget about leftovers! Cooking enough for one meal and having leftovers for the following day is one of my favorite ways to cut down on time and prep.
Are you looking for more support with meal planning and your diabetes care?
We work with clients virtually throughout Texas, helping people who are frustrated with meal planning, food, and their diabetes. Learn more about our dietitians to see how you can find balance and develop long-term lifestyle habits, no guilt or obsession required.
Adrien Paczosa is a Registered and Licensed Dietitian practicing in Austin, Texas and the surrounding counties.
She is the owner and founder of I Live Well Nutrition her Dietitian practice which started in 2007 and serves clients in the Austin, Texas area in two locations. Fearless Practitioners, the division of her business that offers training to dietitians and wellness professionals.