For some, the phrase "meal prep" just invokes anxiety. The process of grocery shopping, knowing what to buy within your budget-not to mention the actual meal prepping part that seems to take so long that ordering takeout for the week ahead is sounding like a better idea. So how can we not only make meal prep fun and easy but enjoyable? Keep it simple! Unless you find cooking and creating new recipes naturally enjoyable, more than lik
ely you may have struggled at some point with the meal prep process. Especially if your cooking skills don’t reach farther than constructing a PB+J or bowl of cereal! Here’s how to make it easy… 1.) Prepare your kitchen in advance. Trying to work in a messy space can feel stressful and counter productive. Before going grocery shopping have dishes washed, put away, and counters clean and clear of clutter. Once you're home from your grocery trip you can easily get to work.
Another helpful practice is to implement a "kitchen cleanout". Clean out your pantry, freezer, and refrigerator checking for expired items and redlight foods. Redlight foods are the foods that are the most likely to sabotage your good nutrition efforts. They are the ones that cause you to lose all control and can often be hard to stop eating once you start.
Throw out expired items, donate any redlight items, or at least have a family member hide the redlight food items from you.
Out of sight, out of mind!
Preparing your kitchen for meal prep not only ensures you've cleared your home (or at least your vision) of anything that will sabotage your hard work but it ensures that you have enough space for your new items to come.
2.) Go grocery shopping. Before shopping, make a list only for what you need and stick to it. You may also try searching the internet or contacting your coach to have recipes for inspiration! Shop the parameter of the store. The more processed, less favorable food items tend to live in the isles of the store. While the isles are NOT off-limits we recommend doing the majority of your shopping on the parameter of the store where fresh items are kept. The parameter of the store contains more whole food sources that are farmed or hunted, ensuring you’re getting a varity of essential vitamins and nutrients.
While grocery shopping practice reading the ingredient lists on the items you buy. If there are words on the ingredient list that a 7-year-old cannot understand you are likely better off choosing another item since those items can be filled with unfavorable additives and preservatives. Mostly consuming whole food sources will offer you the most bang for your buck when it comes to investing in good nutrition.
3.) Get cooking! Aim to cook food in large batches.
For example, maybe on one tray, you have chicken breasts, chicken thighs, and turkey breast and on another tray, you have chopped potatoes. Cook both trays at the same time on 400 degrees Fahrenheit. The food like likely be finished cooking around the 20-30 minute mark.
You may aslo try cooking large pot soups and stews with different ingredients. Experimenting with one-pot meals can offer lots of flavor and variety to cooking.
4.) Store items conveniently. Again, if it’s outta sight, it’s outta mind. Store prepared food items in large containers so you can make meals as you go or pre-portion meals in microwave-safe containers for easy grab-and-go options!
Still not sure where to begin with preparing your food? We'd love to chat with you!