A couple weeks ago I wrote a post about Meal Planning that gave an overview of different ways to go about your meal prep. Eating healthy involves planning and preparation. You have to put in the work every week just like you do with everything else in life. Your training, your job, your family, etc. By taking the time to develop heathy eating habits and a routine into your daily life, you set yourself up for success. And the more you do it, the easier it gets.
This week I'm going to talk about simple ways to set yourself up for a week of success.
Look at your calendar
What do you have going on this week. Will you be eating out? How many meals do you need to prepare. Write down how many lunches and dinners you'll need to get through the week.
Pick a few recipes
Find a few recipes you want to try. I'd suggest trying at least one new recipe each week. You can stick to some of your favorites and go to's for the others, but it's important to add variety to your diet and to learn new cooking techniques. Don't be afraid to fail. If you're someone who gets bored with your food or eats the same thing over and over, this is so important. The more you practice, the better you'll get at cooking. You'll learn how to use different spices together to create flavor and learn cooking techniques to make tender meat and delicious vegetables. But if you don't try, you never will.
Make a shopping list
Once you've decided on how many meals you'll need to prep, make a shopping list. If your recipe's call for spices, sauces, canned goods or any other non perishable items, check first to see if you already have them. Then make your list. On top of the items you'll need to meal prep your lunch and dinners, also think about which items you need for breakfast and snacks to get you through the week. Add these to your list as well. That way you won't be tempted by additional items you don't need when you get to the grocery store.
Prepare your meals
Decide on your meal prep day or days and take into consideration how much time you'll have. If you're very limited on time you might want to prep a couple meals on Sunday, and plan a crock pot meal mid week. If you have more time on your hands, you might cook dinner every night and plan to have leftovers for lunch the next day.
Take some time each night to prepare for the following day. Put your lunch in a tupperware container that's ready to grab and go in the morning. Then consider how much time you have for making breakfast. If you need to prepare anything the night before to make it easier do that now. If you have zero time in the morning consider pre making things like egg muffins or overnight oats that you can also grab and go. I also recommend setting your coffee pot on a timer so when you wake up it's already brewed.
Set yourself up for success
The key to success is to be as prepared as possible. And that involves being prepared for the unexpected. Keep a stash of healthy snack at work or wherever you spend that majority of your day. Protein bars, beef jerky, individual bags of popcorn, etc. Sometimes our plans change or our day becomes busier than we'd anticipated, so having healthy snacks to get you through can really help you keep your nutrition on track. When you plan your day, plan your snacks as well. Also, keep a few easy to prep items in the freezer for nights you get home late or meal prep didn't go as planned. Maybe you didn't make enough or a recipe you tried didn't turn out. Keep things like vegetables and precooked shrimp in the freezer to defrost and heat up quickly in a pinch.
Figuring out what works best for you and your lifestyle takes time and practice. While your preparing meals and going about your week, take time to really listen to your body. If a food doesn't make you feel good, remove it from your diet. Incorporate more of the foods that give you energy, make you happy and leave your body feeling good.
And I have more meal planning posts coming soon! If you have any questions leave them in the comments and I'll be sure to address them in the coming weeks!