Healthy Meal Plan For Beginners | 5 Days Of Healthy Recipes

Looking for a simple and realistic way to eat well? This healthy meal plan for beginners will give you variety, delicious meals to enjoy, and easy to follow recipes! 

Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Don’t you find sometimes that when you have a plan in place or instructions to follow, what you hope to accomplish all falls together more easily?

Like when you want to start exercising regularly or implement a walking plan to decrease inflammation. Or when you want to try intermittent fasting or need help reducing your sugar intake

Reading about it, figuring out how the info can help you, and then taking action are all things easily done when a plan is laid out for you.

That’s exactly why I decided to map out 5 days of healthy recipes. To give you the tools you need to continue on this awesome journey to health that you’ve undertaken. 

It’s amazing, right? I’m loving this journey that I’m on because it’s constantly evolving and getting better and better every day.

So, let’s begin, shall we?

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Why Try The Healthy Meal Plan For Beginners?

It’s not hard to find reasons to meal plan:

  • You’ll no longer wander the aisles of the grocery store looking for what to buy.
  • You’ll see that you waste less food.
  • There will be no more wondering what to make to eat.
  • You’ll eat healthier in general because you won’t be tempted to get takeout.
  • If you always struggle with a certain meal, say lunch, for instance, having a meal plan takes away the question.
  • You can look in the pantry and freezer to plan meals around ingredients you have on hand and want to use up.
  • You’ll learn to meal prep so you can plan and prep in a few steps.
  • You can include slow cooker meals that allow for hands-off cooking.

What Is A Healthy Meal Plan For Beginners?

A healthy meal plan for beginners is a way to help you stay on track, whether it be for calorie count, protein intake, or even something as simple as how much water you drink.

Meal planning (see my ultimate guide here) is also a way to choose what you want to eat while following the guidelines you’ve chosen. For instance, you may be looking at an anti-inflammatory diet with fresh vegetables or a meal plan that integrates yummy protein shakes. There is SO much you can do when you meal plan.

And don’t worry – a meal plan for beginners doesn’t have to be expensive! I know how important it is these days to eat healthy on a budget and I can guarantee the meal plan I’ve detailed below is both good for you and easy on the wallet.

Overhead image of a white plate with two cooked pork chops on it.

How Do I Start A Healthy Meal Plan?

Starting a healthy meal plan begins with a desire and commitment to have a healthy lifestyle. The rest is easy! Choosing healthy recipes and doing your best to eat clean are simple ways to keep up the momentum.

Don’t be intimidated by trying to get things perfect. If you do, you’ll never start. Just read my plan below and go from there. You can always make changes and fine-tune the plan to your needs as you go along.

A few points to remember:

  • Choose recipes with few ingredients to make the prep easy.
  • Concentrate on clean eating which means fruits and veggies, lean meats, and fiber-rich foods like beans and legumes.
  • Stay away from processed foods (which don’t satisfy and leave you hungry).

And if you are looking for more helpful direction when it comes to a meal plan for beginners, remember you can join my 30 Day Healthy plan, which gives you great benefits without starving yourself, without complicated eating rules, and much more!

What Can I Eat On A Healthy Meal Plan?

There is a LOT you can eat on a healthy meal plan!

You know how important I think your macros are to overall health. And including the 3 macros (fats, proteins, and carbs) fits right into my meal plan for beginners. If you want to know more about macros, take a look at my post, How to Calculate Your Macros For Weight Loss

Based on the 3 macros, you’ll eat things like this on a healthy meal plan:

  • Proteins: There are so many options for proteins like Greek yogurt, vegan choices, and of course, chicken, fish, and beef.
  • Veggies and fruits: Power-packed veggies and fruits include sweet potatoes, broccoli, kale, blueberries and cherries.
  • Healthy fats: Avocados are a wonderful option, and so is nut butter. Salmon is great (it’s awesome for meal prep) and olive oil is the best!
  • Beans and legumes: Black beans have tons of nutrients. Chickpeas are amazing, too. I’ve got hummus recipes using both!
  • Whole grains: Quinoa is so good for you and versatile, too. You can have it for breakfast, lunch or dinner! If you want the scoop on the healthiest bread to buy (think oat and whole-wheat) next time you feel like a tasty sandwich, look here.
Close up side view of Quinoa Lentil Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette in a white bowl and garnished with tomatoes.

How Do You Plan Groceries For A Week?

Getting ready to go grocery shopping? To plan groceries for a week, I take a few simple steps. They aren’t difficult to implement and really save time and money! 

  • See what you have on hand. Check the pantry and fridge.
  • Read the grocery store sales flyer.
  • Write down your ideas for meals.
  • Want to try new recipes? Make a list of ingredients you need.
  • Schedule what meals you’ll make when. Easy to make meals can be planned for busy nights.
  • Try to plan recipes with leftovers that can be used in another meal and buy the simple ingredients to make the second meal.
  • Have a list that you add to all week as a way to plan your groceries.
  • Buy a little of everything. Frozen veggies, fresh chicken, and things like quinoa and rice can be used for various meals.
Pesto and Goat Cheese Pizza

How Do You Make An Effective Grocery List?

To make an effective grocery list, remember not to start it when you are hungry! You may add items that you wouldn’t have if you’d just had a healthy meal. But even beyond that, I have a 2 step method that I find works really well.

Step 1: Recipe ingredient list

First, I look through the recipes I’ve chosen for my healthy meal plan for beginners. I list what I need to create these delicious dishes. Every single ingredient. It may seem time-consuming but it isn’t. You can do this while sipping on a cup of coffee or a glass of infused water. Make it an enjoyable task.

Tip: It’s always good to have extras of some items, like cans of black beans or certain spices you don’t want to run out of.

Step 2: Needed grocery items

Keep drinking that coffee and group the ingredients you need into sections by grocery store department. Make a list for the fruits and veggies section, one for pantry staples such as brown rice, another for items like chickpeas and other beans and legumes. 

If you know the floor plan of your favorite store, you can group the items that way, too.

Tip: Have a grocery list on the go at all times for things you may need like cleaning supplies, parchment paper, coffee beans, and healthy natural sweeteners like maple syrup.

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More Grocery List Tips

Forgive me for going on a tangent about this. I just cannot overstate the importance of a good grocery list!

Consider these tips, too if you like:

  • I like to write the quantities of what I need as a way to be efficient.
  • Shopping at more than one store? Make a list for each.
  • If you like to snack, add vitamin boosting choices to your list (apples, tuna, almonds, and cucumbers – yum!)
  • Order online and pick up in store, prepared and ready to go! This is more common these days.
  • Set a grocery budget and stick to it.
  • Be realistic and only buy what you know you’ll use. Sure, that bag of grapes or package of oranges is an amazing price but if they’ll most likely go bad before you eat them, it’s not the same deal.
  • Take advantage of seasonal sales, like turkey at holiday time or watermelon in the summer.

5 Days Of Healthy Recipes

Horizontal image of the Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl which is sitting next to fresh strawberries, blueberries, and chocolate shavings.

Day 1

Breakfast: Chocolate Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

This dish is packed full of one of the healthy grains I told you about. Quinoa is full of nutrients (like 17 grams of protein per serving!) and pretty versatile, too. This chocolate quinoa breakfast bowl has tasty almond milk and toppings like sliced strawberries, blueberries, and dark chocolate shavings.

Lunch: Healthy Chicken Caesar Salad

Who doesn’t love a fresh and savory caesar salad? This healthy chicken caesar salad has a delicious homemade dressing made with Greek yogurt which is a good-for-you fat.

Dinner: Creamy Tuscan Shrimp

Amazing ingredients in this dish are spinach and sweet potato noodles. It’s a creamy dish that ticks all of the boxes for nutrition and flavor. It’s a favorite in my house!

Large bowl filled with slow cooker chicken and zucchini noodles.

Day 2

Breakfast: Healthy Egg Muffin Cups

Remember I mentioned meal prep? This recipe is a great meal prep solution that combines taste and tons of nutrition. Cottage cheese, quinoa, and broccoli make a fabulous grab ‘n go muffin.

Lunch: Healthy Shrimp and Grits

Do you have leftover shrimp from last night? Use them to make this healthy shrimp and grits recipe. Cornmeal polenta, cheddar cheese and whole milk are a terrific combination. Delicious!

Dinner: Low Carb Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup 

A busy day calls for a recipe that simmers and leaves the house with a wonderful aroma. I’m talking slow cooker soup – chicken noodle, that is! Carrots, celery, zucchini, spices and more make this super tasting soup.

Day 3

Breakfast: Blueberry Protein Shake

Protein powder is one of my favorite ingredients when it comes to adding extra nutrients to a dish. This protein shake has vanilla protein powder, almond milk, and Greek yogurt. If you are looking for a breakfast to start the day off right, this is it!

Lunch: Cold Lentil Salad

I call this salad a colorful superfood experience. When you make it, you’ll see why! Lentils, green onions, Italian parsley, and carrots make the base. The consistency and high protein (12 grams per serving!) make it a satisfying dish.

Dinner: Best Juicy Pork Chops

Feel like moist and juicy pork chops for dinner? You’ve got to try this recipe. It’s a healthy version of course, and has chickpea flour in the coating. Pair these pork chops with garlic parmesan green beans.

Overhead view of a white casserole dish filled with Spicy Quinoa and Black Bean Vegan Enchiladas.

Day 4

Breakfast: Chocolate Peanut Butter Overnight Oats

Bananas, dark cocoa powder and peanut butter. Is there anything better? I’ve got a few overnight oats recipes on the blog and I can honestly say they are a great pick-me-up in the morning that satisfies your hunger. Plus, they taste rich and flavorful.

Lunch: Healthy Baked Potato Soup

I’m adding in another soup because I really feel that soup is a whole lot of nourishment in one bowl! And who doesn’t enjoy soup with optional toppings that mix perfectly? I’m talking bacon bits, cheddar cheese, and dollops of Greek yogurt.

Dinner: Spicy Quinoa and Black Bean Vegan Enchiladas

A meatless meal now and then is a nice change, don’t you think? These enchiladas have quinoa, black beans and the best enchilada sauce (ready in 10 minutes!).

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Day 5

Breakfast: Healthy Pumpkin Pancakes

I love pumpkin any time of year. And in lots of ways, including pumpkin pie and pumpkin smoothies! These pancakes use pumpkin puree, either canned or fresh, making them so easy to throw together.

Lunch: Perfect Avocado Toast

Talk about a lot of goodness in one dish – that’s perfect avocado toast. I like to top mine with an egg (sunny side up) and black sesame seeds. This is a power-packed lunch that can be varied (try bacon and avocado toast or spicy avocado toast). There are 13 grams of protein in this simple lunch dish.

Dinner: Crock Pot Shredded Beef Tacos

Why not use your crock pot more than once in this meal plan for beginners? Tri-tip roast is the star here and made even more so delicious with toppings like cheese, salsa, and tomatoes. 

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More Healthy Meal Plans

Next time you wonder “how do I create a healthy meal plan,” you can smile. It’s all done! You’re all set now with a healthy meal plan for beginners. You can mix and match your choices and even look further into the blog to choose other recipes. They are all nutritional and ideal for the healthy lifestyle you are leading. Enjoy!

Be sure to check out my other meal plans, too!

This post contains affiliate links for products I use regularly and highly recommend.

Lacey Baier

Hey y’all, I’m Lacey Baier and I’m so glad you’re here! I’m a healthy lifestyle influencer and the creator of this clean-eating blog and YouTube channel, A Sweet Pea Chef. My recipes have been published on Food Network, Good Morning America, FoxNews, Tastemade, Fitness Magazine, and much more. I live in Dallas, Texas with my husband and four kiddos. Let’s get started!

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