The common saying goes, “If you fail to plan, you’ll plan to fail.” We’ve all experienced this at one time or another. Life gets busy, the fridge is empty, and you’re not feeling very motivated to have stuff ready for the week. Before you know it, you’re driving through the DT of McDonald’s on your way home from work, and throwing the bag of food down on the kitchen table for the kids. Supper – simple and easy.
Not so easy – this is a dangerous path that can lead to a vicious cycle. This cycle can be hard to escape from sometimes. Let’s talk about meal prepping – the taboo word when it comes to nutrition. It’s often accompanied by, “I don’t have time for that!” or “I don’t want to cook 20 different meals!” All misconceptions, so let us simplify it for you.
Nutrition is the foundation of everything that we do. It’s important that we work on building healthy habits, but more importantly, the routines to support those habits. More times than not, it’s not the habits that we lack – it’s the routine surrounding them to make these new healthy habits permanent.
Here’s 5 tips that will help you get started on simpler ways to meal prep:
Tip 1: Pick Out Your Favourite Recipes
Fortunately for you, we have a great recipe page HERE that will lead to some tried, tested, and delicious tasting favourites. From this list, grab yourself a breakfast option, a lunch option, a supper option, and a snack or two. You can even double your recipe on your lunch or dinner and fold it over into the next day’s meal to simplify it even more.
Tip 2: Plan Your Staples
Veggies and snacks are your staples. These are the things that you can count on to be your pillars. Balanced and healthy snacks are easy to forget about as we mindlessly grab processed snacks in the pantry.
Instead, plan out some fruits like apples or bananas with your favourite nut/seed butter, or grapes with a few almonds on the side.
Tip 3: Take Inventory Of Your Pantry And Fridge
This one seems like a no-brainer. If you keep the junk and processed food around, you’re more likely to consume it. Take the steps to rid these items from the house, or at least put them away where they will be out of mind if your family still consumes them (but reconsider this, as well!).
This is also a great time to go through all the condiments and throw out all of the expired stuff! You will be surprised at what is lingering in the back of your fridge that you haven’t touched since 2009!
Tip 4: Time To Grocery Shop!
Try to avoid going shopping when you are hungry, as everything will look tempting and your cart will be more full than you intended when you originally walked in. Even better if you can do this by yourself, so your kids aren’t begging for items off the shelf as you cruise by!
Using the recipes that you’ve chosen above, stick to your list of ingredients and only get what you absolutely need. This will prevent you from buying extra processed foods to refill the pantry that you just cleaned out!
Make this process as easy as possible for yourself!
Tip 5: Meal Prep Time!
Once you get home, it’s time to work on your multi-tasking skills. Remember that this is a learned skill – just like anything else. So while your first attempt at this might take a longer amount of time than you’d like, with more practice you will become quicker at this.
Try to be as efficient as possible. Put the meat in the slow cooker right away. Pre-heat your oven before you unpack the groceries. Throw the proteins into the necessary cooking steps, and then begin chopping all your veggies and other items as the meat is cooking. Put your pot of rice on while you are doing this. You can do 3-4 things at once if you are organized about your approach and are thinking ahead 2-3 steps.
Remember, if we don’t set out with our plan, the rest of the week is going to be extremely tough. On the daily, we are making thousands of decisions. You are making thousands of decisions in even your first hour of your day upon waking. So it’s not unrealistic to think of how decision-fatigued your brain is come supper time when you know you should be eating healthy but your motivation is lacking.
Set yourself up for success by taking some steps right now. This will pay off later on down the road when you are in the middle of the week and you’re tired from your workday!
Our Nutrition Coaches are always available to help set up a plan built around your routines to ensure success. Let’s dive into your Perfect Day and work together to map out what that looks like. Book your FREE Nutrition Intro HERE.