Meal Prep Made Easy!
Are you ready for some meal prep secrets Live Fitters?
Are you tired of hunting for healthy food every time you’re hungry?
Are you tired of resorting to junk food?
Meal Prep is my specialty and I want you to love it too, so here are some strategies that I use with my clients on a daily basis!!
One of the many important lessons I teach my clients is to KEEP IT SIMPLE!
Think less. Make fewer decisions. Let your environment do much of the work for you.
If healthy food is around you and convenient, you’re more likely to eat it. If you have a trusted system for making healthy food available, you don’t have to decide to eat well. All you have to do is just show up and do it.
All you have to do is HAVE A MEAL PREP RITUAL!
Option 1: The Sunday/ Weekly Ritual
You don’t have to do this on Sunday and can choose any day that works for you. Sunday is often a time when people are more free, more relaxed, and more able to devote time to this type of task. It is also a day when we’re usually thinking ahead to the upcoming week.
Whatever day you choose, set aside 2-3 hours once a week to do the following:
1. Look ahead to your upcoming schedule and see what’s happening
Where might you need some special preparation in advance?
When are the quiet and busy times?
2. Come up with a general menu for at least the next few days.
It doesn’t have to be anything in-depth. Just get a basic sense of the food you might need to have on hand for the week ahead.
3. Build your shopping list from your menu.
This will help you be as effective and efficient as possible when you hit the grocery store, and you’ll be less tempted to buy random (and non-goal supporting) things.
4. Hit the grocery store.
Stock up on what you need for the week.
Consider grabbing a few extra "just in case" emergency items as well, such as canned beans, frozen vegetables, or other easily-stored healthy options that you can use in a pinch.
5. Once you’re back home, start prepping and cooking.
Whip up a batch of lean protein — for example, by grilling or roasting several chicken breasts/thighs at once.
Try some one-pot meals that can be easily cooked in a slow cooker, then divided into containers to be frozen or refrigerated, such as soups, stews, curries, chili, etc.
Wash and chop veggies.
Option 2: The Daily Ritual:
You can actually combine the Sunday Ritual with the Daily Ritual — by preparing the labor-intensive staples such as lean protein on Sundays and then adding some quick-prep items (such as fruit and veggies) every day. It often takes about as much time to prepare a few items as it does to prepare one.
For example, it’s nearly as fast to chop 3 carrots as it is to chop 1, or to scramble 6 eggs instead of 2.
During the Daily Ritual, you can prep a few extra items to have on hand for later in the day, or the following day.
Here are some of my time-saving strategies:
1. Oatmeal: Shake up your dry oatmeal and any other dry items (e.g. ground flaxseeds, cinnamon, protein powder, other grains, etc.) in a large container. In the morning, scoop out the dry mix, pour in some water, and pop it in the microwave. Top with fruit, add more protein if you like (e.g. cottage cheese, Greek yogurt) and enjoy a hearty breakfast.
2. Egg "batter": Whip up some eggs in a blender (with some veggies if you like); keep the mixture in a jar in the fridge for up to three days. Pour and cook as needed.
3. Salad Jars: Take a large jar and pour salad dressing into the bottom. Then add veggies, top with greens, and make sure the jar stays refrigerated and upright throughout the day. When you’re ready to eat it, shake it up and pour it into a bowl (or even eat it right out of the jar!).
4. Leftovers: Make extra portions of your dinners and save the rest for lunch the next day. Again, it doesn’t take much more time to prepare a few extra things, so cook in bulk where possible.
Option 3: Healthy meals prepared for you
Many grocery stores, from Vons to Whole Foods, now offer a wide range of grab-and-go meals like salad bars, pre-washed and cut vegetables, and individually-portioned lean protein.
There are also many specialty food store chains and local/online meal service companies that offer healthy food takeout and delivery.
This may be a viable option for you if you don’t enjoy cooking and/or are extremely busy. This could be the difference between a delicious, nourishing salad and a regrettable fast-food run. Google "healthy meal delivery" in your area and you may be amazed at the options.
Ready to get prepping?
The bottom line: Do what works best for you — your life and your goals!
You can mix and match all of these meal prepping ritual options, in any way that works for you.
Looking forward to hearing what meal planning ritual you choose! Ready, set, GO!
If you are interested in meal prepping assistance and/or a customized plan that incorporates your specific nutrition, fitness and behavior goals, I am here for YOU!
As a personal trainer and nutrition coach, I would love to guide you to making the changes and living the healthy life YOU WANT.
Schedule a free 20-minute consultation here so we can discuss your goals!