We often think that meal preparation is only important if you want to lose weight but I would propose that it is critical to your overall health! Those who engage in meal prep have increased food variety and a better-quality diet; which, overall, is simply better for us. I’ll even go as far as to suggest that because we spend so much more time outside in the summer, it’s even more important to meal prep in the summer than in the winter.
Why meal prep? Generally, meal preparation gives you control over what you eat. By being prepared you can avoid fast food, coming home starving and opening that refrigerator or cabinet only to eat the first thing you see. If you are ready, the choice will be easier. Other reasons to meal prep include: saving you time and money, you will stress less about what to cook, and it’s a good way to portion control.
Here are 4 essential tips for meal prepping:
1. Create a plan. Review your week and see what’s going on. Make a plan.
2. Gather all the right tools and equipment. In other words, invest in some storage containers to store the food in, if you don’t have any.
3. Start simple. Choose a finite set of ingredients to cook with. Making things overly complicated isn’t usually sustainable.
4. Cook and store properly. You may store in one big container or individual containers based on how you are using the prepared food.
Once you have a plan and quality storage containers:
1. Go to the grocery store and don’t deviate (too much) from that plan.
2. Come home, start washing and chopping and prepping to your plan.
3. Cook the food or not. I say or not, because perhaps you may chop peppers that you want to have available as a snack. Store the food in one big container or in individual containers for an easy go-to breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
4. Enjoy. Be ready to enjoy the good food that you cooked in minutes. It’s probably even faster than fast food!
Lastly, if you are new to meal prep, I suggest you start with one meal or snacks and branch out from there. Consistency is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
Are you struggling to stick to a food plan? Do you find yourself driving through fast-food with the kids because they just finished playing soccer and you have nothing for dinner? Or perhaps, you simply just want to have better food choices available? I can help. I offer FREE health conversation, no obligation, to talk with YOU about YOUR health! Just reach out.