If you’ve answered the call of hunger only to find you don’t know what to eat, then you’ll love this post
When trying to meet your nutrition goals, one of the most important things on your journey, is planning, now I know not every woman, wife, mom or singleton has the planning habit down, and that’s ok, we’re all different and if this is you, this blog will help you start, or improve this habit if you already have this meal prep locked down.
So, what is “meal prep”
According to Wiki the definition is: “Meal preparation, sometimes called meal prep, is the process of planning and preparing meals.” In a nutshell that’s what it is, but, what’s great about meal planning is that you can match it to your cooking expertise, dietary needs & personal tastes, and to take the pressure off it doesn’t need to be ‘fit for the gram’ if, like me, cooking isn’t your thing.
As Nutrition Coach I often hear clients will say “I’m too busy for breakfast, I don’t have time for breakfast, or, I’m just not hungry in the morning, but don’t understand why I snack so much before lunch time? If this is, a few things you can do is prep & pack your breakfast the night before so all you need to do is literally take it out the fridge and eat. Overnight oats are quick & easy to prepare and will help keep you fuller for longer due to the slow releasing energy from the steel cut or organic rolled oats, & reduce those snack cravings
BENEFITS OF MEAL PREP
SAVES YOU TIME
Meal prepping actually saves you a LOT of time, and that includes pre-preparing ingredients or cooking for the week ahead. I like to call it “Meal Prep Sundays”, there’s nothing worse than returning home from the Office (if you’ve gone back to work under the new conditions) you’ve had a really long day, the journey home, all you’re looking forward to is getting home & relaxing in a Epsom salt bath, or simply kicking off your shoes, relaxing in the loungewear set you just purchased, and unwinding from the mental acrobatics of the day you’ve just had, only to be harshly brought back to reality, when you get home and then remember you have to cook dinner, there goes that bath!
Sista friend, I’ve been there, but what if I told you, with this extra preparation, this will give you the more time for yourself, your spouse, or children (if you have them) that you crave, desire and dream about especially after a long day.
Saves you money
Being able to celebrate the double whammy of portion and cost control is a win win in my eyes. You may find it useful to shop in terms of meals, as opposed to shopping for individual items. So, if you decide spaghetti bolognaise is on the menu, you can buy a packet of lean 5% beef mince, Mediterranean vegetables, a family size pack of tomatoes to make the home made sauce, and add in some herbs and seasonings, and that can be a two or 3 day meal, and freeze the rest for the week after, or the next time that your taste buds crave a good ole “spag bol” (as its known in London)
Stress FREE lunches
If you’re accustomed to the dieting lifestyle then you’ll have noticed there are times or days where food can be all you think about, especially the foods you enjoy and are trying you ‘hardest’ not to eat, until, eventually, you crack because you just want or need to have (insert thing here) it’s tiring, it’s draining, and definitely is not fun, nor stress free, however
In my experience, one of the most important benefits of preparing your meals ahead of time, is that it can help reduce the stress that sometimes comes with healthy eating, and that not knowing what to eat
It’s important to know though, that there isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to the prep side of things, it’s a process where, as you advance on your journey you’ll find ways that help you create and plan a simple, routine, whilst adding in nutrient dense foods to your diet as you advance your healthy eating goals daily.
I WANT YOU TO SUCCEED
So I share with you some of my tried and true tips.
So, if you usually eat out several nights a week, then your meal prep goal could be to start by preparing dinner. The key is to identify and start at the places where you’re most weakest, or the meals that need the most attention, whether lunch or snacks. It’s also important to start off with a few proteins, carbohydrates, that are slow releasing in energy (sweet potatoes, grains, that sort of thing) starting off slowly will help minimise the overwhelm, especially if you’re not really used to prep and planning your meals normally
Make a list
What to buy! Unless you’re a chef at heart, you may not automatically know what to put together, straight off the bat, and that is ok, preparing a shopping list before hand, will help you get a head start for the week, don’t forget to add in spices too, healthy eating doesn’t need to be bland, lightly seasoned meals are just as tasty, if you love flavour, you could let the lean meats marinate for a few hours, or overnight so the meat will really take in all the succulent flavours.
One of the things that I love to do is bulk shop, stock up once a month, on lean meats, proteins, and frozen veggies, and top up on fresh fruits and salad, to also go with my main lunches. If you need help with how to meal plan, reach out to me here for some tips
Let’s go shopping
Now, all that’s left to do is to go shopping, for those that may be stuck as to what to buy, or want some ideas as to what food groups to eat from, you can, download my free guide here