“I wanted to eat healthy, I just didn’t have time” We have ALL been there. I mean life is busy. I get in from class and am straight back out the door off to do something else.. So I understand! Last week I got “too busy” to eat anything all day and when I got home finally at 7 I practically inhaled the whole kitchen. DON’T do that. So, if I had meal planned and prepped, I could have easily avoided this issue and I wouldn’t have been starving the entire day either.
I love to cook, I mean home cooked meals are unquestionably the best (and healthiest) option if you do it right, but wow it can be time consuming!! Plus having those dishes, pots, and pans pile up every night is a total pain in the butt. So why not avoid all that hassle by making your meals for the week ahead of time?? They are ready to go, you won’t have to struggle over cooking at each meal, its just a WIN-WIN in every direction!! I would select your easiest day to spend a little time in the kitchen and get ready for the week, for me, my day is Sunday because I am winding down from the weekend and preparing for the busyness of the week to come.
When I meal plan I think of how much I will be needing of each food group for my different meals. It is very useful to create a meal plan so that you can have a visual of your week and write out each meal/ snack. I love using pinterest to find new ideas and recipes!!
There are 2 ways of prepping:
1. You can cook all of your protein, veggies, and sides and portion them out into portioned containers so they are ready to pop into the microwave and eat.
2. You can cook all of your proteins, veggies, & sides and place them each into their own large container, then portion them out as you make a meal–> this is ideal if you are feeding a family
I like to prepare for about 5 days out and alternate my meals/ mix up the basic foods to make different meals so that I don’t get bored! Food prep can seem complicated, but really it is quite easy and not at all time consuming once you get the hang of it!
Sit down and come up with a meal plan for a week and know how much you will need of each item so that you can go into the store armed with your grocery list and not overspend! Make sure that you have enough tupperware to fit all of your meals and then lay them out on the counter so that as your food cools you can begin portioning it out! (A scale and a measuring cup are helpful for this).
Now comes the time when I excel in my skill of multitasking.. And if you are anything like my mom then you hate reading “alot of words and directions.” So here are the basic guidelines of what I recommend doing:
- Wash and cut up veggies– some for the steamer & some to keep raw for snacking on with hummus
- Wash and cut up fruit– give the fruit a chance to stand up to other snacks like potato chips by having it easy to grab-n-go!
- Cook lean proteins– I put chicken in the oven, lean turkey in the skillet, & tilapia on the foreman; I also boil eggs for an easy snack
- Cook complex carbs– rice for sides, quinoa for sides/salads, protein pancakes & oatmeal for breakfast
I chop up all of my fresh veggies and toss them in the steamer. My find of the week is my rice and veggie steamer- cook them both at once, um awesome!! Then I season my fish/ chicken and toss it in the oven and throw the lean ground turkey in the skillet. After the chicken/fish is done I toss more veggies such as asparagus and squash into the oven. Then, I begin working on my breakfast foods. Once everything has cooked, cooled, and been portioned out into separate meals, you’re ready to take on the week!!
I also like to chop up fresh fruits like pineapple, mango, berries, apples, and place them into containers or Ziplock baggies so that I can have snacks throughout the week without the fuss of cutting things up. On my busy schedule, I am all about the “grab and go”. It is also a smart idea to portion out your snacks such as nuts into portion baggies so that you don’t overdo it!
Here is an example a meal plan that I made for the 21 day fix:
*Note– I made this meal plan for my 1200 calorie meal plan, meal plans will vary due to your caloric intake needs!!
If you would like help with meal planning/prepping/your eating habits please feel free to shoot me a message, I would love to talk to you!!
P.S. It is wise to only eat the snack after dinner if you are hungry or if it is before 3 hours of the time you go to sleep!