Making time to healthily can be hard but it is such a game changer! If you want to live a healthier lifestyle and enjoy the benefits that come with that understand that it takes committing time into what you eat. It comes down to evaluating your priorities and determining what you’re willing to put into it. You can be smart about it and meal prepping is one way of doing that. Meal prepping will save you time, money and help you avoid emotional eating by giving you the mental food security that prevents against impulse of binge eating later. If breakfast is set and you know what you’re getting for lunch and dinner then you will be less likely to give into other temptations throughout the day.
Tip 1: Don’t over complicate it
New recipes with interesting sauces and complex cooking techniques can be super fun to get involved with and if cooking is a passion for you then go for it! For many of us though; the time crunch means implementing these fancy ideas into our everyday meals isn’t going to work. My meal prep involves whipping up and then putting together a few key elements.
1. First is a massive batch of hummus or other kind of dip/sauce* You can find a recipe below 🙂
2. Then I roast a whole chicken or some fillets of salmon. Along side plenty of seasoned vegetables. More recipes below
3. I prep some overnight oats
4. Batch cook rice or quinoa, depending on what’s knocking about my pantry or what made it onto my shopping list
– Lunch box it up and hey presto!
For me this is sustainable, I enjoy the food I eat and it saves me time. It also saves me money I can reinvest in other things; like better quality, organic ingredients and active wear…
Tip 2: Meet your nutritional goals
Once you have worked out the nutritional needs that will deliver your goals do your research on the nutritional value of the foods you want to be eating as well as research on new foods* that will help you get your micro nutrients in. Start with your protein, then a high quality fat** load up on vegetables for volume and micro nutrients and then get a good bit of what ever condiment/dip takes your fancy on there. Following this guide as well as trying to get as many colours as possible in is a fail-safe way of ensuring satiety and getting in the variety of nutrients that you need.
Need help working out what you need and what you don’t need to keep/get your self in top condition?
Tip 3: Be flexible
Consider your lifestyle and how much you really need to be prepping. Maybe you fast in the mornings and share dinner with your family every night translating to a prepped lunch and snack 5 days a week.
Maybe you want to plan your meals for 6 days a week and wing it on your day off. Work out what will work best for you in terms of keeping track and staying on top of your diet, give it some thought and make sure it’s sustainable. If your partner surprises you with a dinner out then go for it! Remember you can always freeze what ever you prepped for another day. Make smart choices of the restaurant’s menu or make adjustments for the rest of the week, swapping a treat meal out on your day off.
Learn the difference between discipline and obsession and what that looks like for you personally. Saying no to frequent take outs in favour of nourishing pre-prepped meals serves you. Missing out on spontaneous dates because you’re too attached to your meal plan doesn’t serve you. Check in with yourself and be kind. Reward your consistency and effort with flexibility and indulgence to make your prepping a solid part of your long-term lifestyle rather than a short term diet that makes you miserable.
*Super greens, cacao powder, collagen, turmeric as well as sprouted and fermented foods are my favourite options for delivering the best nutritional value per calorie.
**Avocado, a tahini based dressing, nut butters or ghee are a few good examples. Just be aware of portions and additional calories.
Breakfast: Chocolate overnight oats with nut butter, a great post-workout option
Lunch: Roasted chicken, 1/4 cup hummus, 1 cup roasted veg. A perfect balance carbs, fats and protein
Snack: Peice of fruit and 1 protein ball
Dinner: A bowl of tempeh and vegetables with something fermented in a bowl