Aug 03, 2021
Work smarter not harder
It’s almost back to school time, which means, if it’s even possible, life’s about to get even busier! 😩 I thought it’d be the perfect time to remind everyone how awesome mealprepping is! Afterall, ‘saving time’ is the #1 reason people love prepping meals in advance. Or was weightloss the #1 reason? 🤔
Ok so I know that mealprepping might be a new idea to many of you. I want to equip you with some ideas & inspiration on how to start thinking about meal planning differently. No, I’m not talking about ‘dieting’, and yes, I’m talking about “for the whole family” – not just YOU. 😉
Make it a lifestyle
When it comes to nutrition, one size does not fit all and the same is true of meal prepping. Don’t be overwhelmed by social media posts of perfectly-portioned meals or refrigerators that are stocked with chopped vegetables and pre-cooked meat ready to be assembled into sit-down dinners. Figure out what works for you and stick with it! Like anything, sometimes it takes a little trial & error.
Keep it simple
You do not need to spend hours in the kitchen creating culinary masterpieces. Grilled or broiled protein, a mixed green salad with loads of veggies, and a sweet potato combine for a healthy meal that takes just minutes to prepare. *The busier your life is, the simpler your meals should be!*
Eat foods you like
It’s important to eat foods you enjoy, otherwise, you won’t stick with it. Add variety to your favorite meals by changing up the spices or adding seasonal fruits and vegetables. It may take a few weeks for your taste buds to adjust to your healthy new eating habits, so experiment until you find flavors you enjoy.
Stick to your staples
There’s no shame in eating the same meals again and again, especially if you enjoy them! Find 5 or 10 recipes or meal combinations you enjoy and rotate them based on your cravings and schedule.
Batch cook / prepare one or two meals each week
Breakfast bakes are a common staple in many meal-prepper’s homes because they’re easy to make and reheat. (Can I get an AMEN for egg souffles??) And, they’re good for breakfast, lunch, or dinnertime meals.
A Crock-Pot of chili is another favorite.
Mason-jar salads are another easy, portable meal that can be prepared to fit your macros. Be sure to layer them correctly to avoid soggy greens.
Pinterest or Google will show you how!
My husband and I routinely prep grilled chicken (12 ckn breasts at a time). After grilling is done, we’ll freeze half and refridgerate half. We mainly use it in wraps (using a large tortilla), or on top of salads, or with rice, and sometimes just as a delicious chicken sandwhich with a Daves Killer bun.
We also routinely mealprep scrambled eggs and will eat them as-is, or in a wrap.
Buy pre-washed, pre-cut veggies
While a bit more expensive, pre-cut veggies can save you a lot of time in the kitchen.
Another helpful strategy is to wash and chop a week’s worth of veggies so that you can easily grab them for salads or recipes. I do this with organic carrots & celery, and keep them in water all week. (Literally thee onlyyy way Neil will eat them)
Measure nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in snack-size bags for easy on-the-go macros. Portioning these foods will also help you avoid overeating them. We do this with Costco no-salt trail mix! I also love these: (these are not affiliate links)
Braga Organic Farms Organic Almonds
Place fresh vegetables inside a steamer bag, season with dried or fresh herbs, and steam according to the package instructions for a fast, delicious side dish that’s done in minutes and requires minimal clean up. No oven required.
Another option is to place fresh or frozen vegetables, a carb, fat (ie. a healthy oil or dressing), and pre-cooked protein in a storage bag that you can easily freeze and reheat in minutes.
Have your groceries delivered
For a fee, you can have someone shop for your groceries and even have them delivered to your house. We use Costco Instacart. I hate paying more for delivery, but I know my time is better spent either working or spending time with family. Or just enjoying some down time. Or squeezing in a workout! 😄
Make it a family affair
Involving your kids in planning and preparing meals will teach them healthy habits and increase the likelihood that they’ll eat the foods they have a say and hand in preparing.
And, you won’t feel guilty spending time away from your family because they’ll be peeling carrots right alongside you!
One more note about this: The kids/spouse will eat what you bring into the house. If you don’t want to be tempted with junkfood or processed foods, don’t buy them, don’t bring them into the house. Your family will (eventually) eat what you serve. I cannot stress this enough!
Invest in a few kitchen gadgets
An Instant Pot is a pressure cooker. Pressure cooking is faster than conventional cooking, seals in moisture, and allows you to cook frozen foods without thawing.
Crock-Pots are a great option for cooking in bulk, or ‘set it and forget it’. Life-saving!!!
Airfryers use hot air to “fry” foods to a golden, crispy finish without adding oil or other fats. A few of our members have raved about theirs!!!
A food scale *IS A MUST* for accurately measuring grams and ounces.
Food prep containers (BPA free) are a great way to store perfectly-portioned, portable meals.
Spiralizers make light work of creating vegetable “noodles”. But remember, the whole idea is to save time, so don’t go down that rabbit hole if buying a box of zucchini noodles off the shelf is easier for you.
Steamer bags are a convenient way to steam vegetables.
Storage bags snack, quart, and gallon size.
Mason jars are ideal for layering salad fixings.
If you don’t have these tools on hand, it can be a bit pricey to purchase them all at once, so decide which ones will be most beneficial to you and add to your collection over time.
You’ll be so glad you invested in some of these, they’ll really help simplify meal prepping for you!
***We recommend your first purchase be a food scale.***
As with everything in life, developing long-lasting meal planning habits takes time.
In fact, research shows that it takes anywhere from 21 to 66 days to make or break a habit, depending on how difficult the new routine is.
Some even liken forming a new habit to a jet taking off. At take-off, a jet’s engines operate at almost full power and use as much as 25% of their energy. They’re also 3 to 5 times less efficient at take-off. As the plane climbs higher, there’s less drag and it begins to operate much more efficiently. Do you see the parallel to meal planning? At first, it’s going to consume a lot of time, but as you adopt strategies that work for you, the ride will get smoother and require much less energy. But, you have to get past take-off!
Now that you know how simple meal planning and preparation can be, it’s time to commit that you’ll actually do it!
Your Fit Body team is always here to help! We’re 100% committed to your success, both here in the fitness studio and at home!
See you at Bootcamp!