From the inside out…
Because changing how you feel on the inside transforms how you feel about everything on the outside!
One of the best things you can do when trying to improve your health and the way you feel is to eat more home cooked meals…which, let’s face it, takes time and effort. Meal prepping is ideal if you are looking to maximize time spent in the kitchen and stay on track with your goals by avoiding “food emergencies” during the busy work week. Here is a guide to help you begin implementing steps efficiently when beginning a meal prepping routine:
Tips to Meal Prep Efficiently:
- Choose a specific day of the week to: a) plan the weekly menu and write out your grocery list/meal cards b) food shop, c) do meal prep, or most of your cooking. Put these in your calendar and “schedule” in the time for each step. Utilize food delivery services such as Misfits Market to save time (and money!) and to eliminate the step of having to go to the grocery store weekly. Try and avoid doing these all on the same day to help keep meal planning manageable. Enlist the help of family members- to lighten the load.
- On your meal prep day, focus first on foods that take the longest to cook such as some proteins; or certain grains like brown rice; dried beans and legumes, etc.
- Another helpful time saving tip during the busy work week is to prepare staple foods that everyone in the family enjoys and which you can easily add to a weekday meal or grab for a snack: washed cut up veggies (like celery, carrots, cucumber- you can store in mason jars with water or in separate containers with a damp paper towel inside to keep them fresh), hard boiled eggs, a bowl of chopped fruit, cooked beans or bean dip.
- If you prefer to not pre-cook all your proteins, consider marinating poultry, fish, or even tofu on your prep day so that you can quickly pop them into the oven or into a stir-fry later in the week. Same goes for vegetables…if you prefer to have some veggies cooked fresh then do all of the prep work, such as washing, chopping, seasoning, etc. and place them right on the baking sheet (or storage container depending on how you will be cooking them) to store in the fridge for a future meal.
- Another BIG time saver (but not always a money saver) is to buy vegetables that are pre-chopped/washed etc. Many grocery stores will sell zucchini already spiralized, cauliflower already riced, broccoli already chopped, butternut squash already peeled etc. to help cut down on the amount of prep work that needs to be done. If you are making many meals with lots of veggies or components this will be a game changer.
- Multi-task! While foods are baking or soups are simmering on the stovetop, chop vegetables and fresh fruit, or prep your smoothie powders/ingredients for later in the week.
- When you cook a recipe, make extra portions for another day or two of meals, or to freeze for a future use. It’s helpful to date and label what goes in the freezer, so you know what you have on hand.
- Start small- aim to create only a few dinners at first, with a big pot of soup or stew being one of the meals and build as you become more comfortable and efficient and find systems that work for you.
- Some people find it helpful to set out containers and pack a few meals for lunches on their meal prep day, so all you have to do is grab the container and some healthy snacks to throw in your lunch bag. Play around with this idea and see what works for you.
- Make it enjoyable! Get the family involved, listen to your favorite music or a podcast, and try to look at it as an investment into improving your health and feeling better.
As always please reach out with any questions/ concerns or if you need support along the way! Take care and be well.
“When the diet is wrong, medicine is of no use…when the diet is correct, medicine is of no need” -Ayurvedic Proverb