Mastering Meal Planning: Simplifying Nutrition Without Counting Macros

Published by
Madeline Custer
February 20, 2024
March 12, 2024


Just like exercise, there are a lot of different styles and approaches to nutrition. The key is to find what works for YOU, and what aligns with your preferences and lifestyle! Whether you thrive on the precision of tracking macros or prefer a more intuitive approach like building balanced meals, the journey towards balanced eating should be empowering, not daunting. We're here to guide you through practical nutrition tips and meal planning strategies, making your time in the kitchen both efficient and enjoyable.


First, let’s lay the groundwork for a healthy understanding of food and nutrition fundamentals. You might often hear about “macros'' and “counting macros”, but what are macronutrients? 

Macronutrients (“macros”) are nutrients in food that your body needs in large amounts (hence macro!). These nutrients break down into smaller units to provide your body with energy (calories). The three macronutrients are: carbohydrates, protein, and fat.

These three macros work together to help perform essential processes in the body – like brain function, digestion, absorption of vitamins and minerals, and maintaining cell structure (think muscle repair and maintenance). The proper balance of ALL these macros allow your body to properly fuel movement, recover at a healthy rate, and generally, live your life well! 


Regardless of if you are building your plate intuitively or counting macros a little more intently, the base concept remains the same - to build a balanced meal that properly fuels your body! To do this, it is important to have a general understanding of what foods fall into which macronutrient category, so that we can fill our plate with an intentional balance of them.

Here is a visual example of how to build a balanced meal:

At Moves, we've coined this nutritional approach as the "Build Your Plate" method! Our aim is to offer a structured yet flexible template that empowers individuals to eat intuitively, without the pressure to weigh every gram or feeling the need to constantly track. This adaptable method is applicable at any life stage or aligned with any goal! Our hope is to foster a deep understanding of balanced eating, adaptable to diverse lifestyles and goals. Recognizing the uniqueness of each person's body, genetics and activity levels, the Build Your Plate approach encourages you to take a look at your overall lifestyle and customize your plate based on your current phase of life and training. Our 8-Week Recipe and Prep Guide, Meals Made Simple, expands on this method! It provides education and guidance on how to customize your plate to meet your specific fitness and nutrition goals (fat loss, maintenance, endurance, surplus, pregnancy, breastfeeding), while giving you real meal ideas and templates to remove the guesswork!


If you’re looking for a guide on how to meal plan, Meals Made Simple is our 8-week Recipe and Prep Guide - created by Registered Dietitians (and personal chefs!) to help you plan your meals easily, using a batched cooking approach and grocery lists to keep your time in the kitchen streamlined and efficient, and not to mention, delicious. Meals Made Simple can be used by those who are counting macros, or using the Build Your Plate Method! All recipes can be modified to your specific nutrition goals and needs (dietary swaps are even provided within each recipe.)

"Not only do we encourage balanced eating, but we strive to ensure you love the meals you are making as taking pleasure from food has significant benefits for your overall health. Balanced eating doesn’t mean boring eating! I hope this encourages you to try out new cuisines, ingredients and, more importantly, share them with the people you love. "

- Courtney Rushing

Meals Made Simple is the ultimate solution for streamlined meal planning that caters to your individual nutrition goals. Created by Registered Dietitians and personal chefs, this 8-week Recipe and Prep Guide offers batched cooking, customizable recipes, and grocery lists to simplify your time in the kitchen. Whether you're counting macros or following the Build Your Plate Method, Meals Made Simple empowers you to create balanced, delicious meals effortlessly. Say goodbye to mealtime stress and hello to a simpler, more satisfying approach to nutrition with Meals Made Simple.

Now let’s talk storage tips and best practices for meal prep and planning! 

Storage Best Practices for Meats & Leftovers

  1. Let cooked meat and meals cool before storing in the fridge or freezer. Use airtight containers, deli containers, or plastic freezer bags to preserve freshness.
  2. Allowing food to cool before placing it in an airtight container is essential for a few reasons:
  1. Prevents condensation: Hot food releases steam, which, when trapped in a sealed container, can lead to condensation. This moisture can create an environment for bacteria to thrive, potentially causing food spoilage or making it go bad quicker.
  2. Preserves food quality: Rapidly sealing hot food in a container can lead to a build-up of moisture, resulting in sogginess or loss of texture in certain foods like vegetables or meats. Allowing the food to cool before storing helps maintain its intended texture and quality.
  3. Food safety: Placing hot food in a sealed container can impact the internal temperature of the food. This can potentially cause the food to enter the 'danger zone' (between 40°F and 140°F), which is where bacteria multiplies more rapidly. Bacteria CAN be reintroduced to food even after it is safely cooked! Allowing food to cool to a safe temperature before storing reduces this risk.

Storage Best Practices for Herbs

  • Tender: Wash, trim, and place in a glass or jar filled with 1-2 inches of water, like a bouquet. Cover loosely with a plastic bag. Store in the fridge. (Examples: basil, cilantro, parsley, dill)
  • Hard: Loosely wrap in a damp paper towel and place in a tightly sealed container or reusable bag to prevent wilting. Store in the fridge. (Examples: rosemary, thyme)

Looking for some tools in the kitchen to help with meal prep? 

Shop our kitchen favorites! Some of our favorite and most used kitchen tools, utensils, and staples that we use on a daily basis. Check out our Amazon Storefront for easy shopping!

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