We all know what a healthy meal should look like, but after a long day the last thing you feel like doing is sourcing and cooking all the right stuff for a meal that’s actually wholesome and good for you. How are you even expected to find the time on a Monday night in between netball and homework help, hubby needs a hand with the report and all of a sudden the dog is sick.
It’s time to open your heart and embrace meal prepping. I know right, with all your spare time you already have? I know it can seem daunting but the more you plan and prep not only means you’re more likely to stuck to your plan and soon getting those meals ready will become a part of your everyday life, in between laundry sorting and being the family taxi driver. That little bit of extra prep time will save you a lot of mental energy (and actual time too!!!).
Planning ahead means you’re giving yourself the chance to eat healthy, without even thinking about it! Don’t let your tummy dictate you achieving your fitness goals! Try some of my tips and plan ahead instead.
MAKE A PLAN
Write yourself a shopping list and go to the shops with a plan so you don’t walk out the owner of aisle 5. Having a list in hand means you won’t go rogue as well as curbing any excessive spending and making sure you have the right ingredients for your healthy week. If you need help here, my online program tiffxo.com does all the planning and list writing for you automatically – just switch a few meals around in your planner and then generate your own shopping list! Too easy!
PREPPING DOESN’T STOP AT THE SHOPS
Even though you’ve done the shop for the week, time to get assembling to make the rest of your week even easier! Bulk cook your veggies at the start of the week, get out your biggest tray and bake/roast them, pre cut and portion them out so they’re ready, pre assemble your brekkies, smoothies, lunches, salad jars, oats etc.
DOUBLE DUTY VEGGIES
Get yourself a vegetable that can do both! Choose veggies that can go undercover and double duty up for your weeks needs. Buy food you can eat raw or cooked so you can get your veggies in regardless if you have 1 min or 100 hours. Use what you already have floating around in your kitchen. If your recipe calls for spinach but you only have some kale, swap it over and give yourself a pat on the back for not wasting those delicious greens.
KISN (Keep it Simple Ninja)
Keep it simple and choose recipes that have similar flavours and ingredients. Staying within your comfort zone (with the occasional adventure into a new ingredient or meal) when trying to meal prep will help encourage you stay on track and make meal prep easier.
PORTIONS ARE POWER
Store all of your ready to eat meals, smoothie prep, bulk chop of veggies in the freezer, all portioned out. Your meals are now easily attainable and conveniently located, with your portion size controlled. You’re much more likely to stick to your plan if it’s already there, just waiting for a bit of a thaw.
If you have any veg that are about to take a bad turn, pop them in ziplock bags in your desired portion so all you have to do is pull out of the freezer and blanch in boiling water.
Get familiar with the contents of your fridge and pantry and get acquainted with their shelf life. Things like berries, avocado and rocket won’t last as long as other vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, carrots and broccoli which can all be used later in the week.
FREEZE YOUR LIQUIDS
Have pre-made bags of stock in the freezer so you can pop out a portion when you need it. You can also freeze wine in ice cube trays and pull out a block at a time when needed for stews and sauces.
YOU GROW, NINJA
Grow your own herbs at home! If you’re a little space poor keep them on the kitchen window sill. This way you can clip as you need rather than having to buy a whole bunch and only use a smidge. Plus the little ones (and the little ones at heart) can get involved too.