The Magic of Food Prep

Fruit Salad

Fruit Salad

They say that a healthy life and losing weight is 80% the food you eat and 20% the exercise you do, this might vary from person to person but at the end of the day, the fuel you put into your body is important.

Over the last year I have gotten pretty into food prep, for a few different reasons. Living alone can create just as complicated of issues as having a family of five; for me, eating out can become second nature, be it with a family or as a person with lots of hobbies and social and business obligations eating on the run is a sad fact of life.

Food can become repetitive, you eat the same thing over and over again, and variety is the spice of life right that can be tricky when eating clean or cooking for picky kids. Convenience food becomes too convenient. Be it over or under eat, volume or lack their of can be a huge issue to maintaining a healthy weight/energy level.

Busy busy

Busy busy

Reasons why people don’t do food prep:

–       Takes too long

–       I don’t have time

–       I don’t like to meal plan

–       I’m too busy

–       I don’t know what to buy

 

My response:

Mixed Salad

Mixed Salad

I can prep a weeks worth of meals in 1.5 – 2 hours, this is 1% of your week. I also multi task while doing this, so in this 2 hour period I prep food for a week, put laundry in, fill the dishwasher… That being said, it doesn’t take that long, so lock it up and get into the kitchen.

Meal planning isn’t for everyone, I get that, some of us are natural planners and love spending the time to figure it out, where others just like to have stuff laid out and they follow the directions. Here are a few tips:

I don’t like to eat the same thing over and over, so I usually prep a few things that can be mix and matched in different meals, lets say: chicken, cooked vegetables, rice, I’ll make a few to go containers with all of them, then leave chicken aside to add to salads or stir fry through out the week, cooked vegetables are great to add to a salad or thrown into a pasta dish.

If you like to plan, go hard, but try and get out of your box and try new things.

If you need someone to tell you what to eat and how much, touching base this a nutritionist can be money and time well spent, leaving with a shopping list in hand and a meal plan for the week can make a busy life a million times easier.

If getting to the store is hard and you are a bit out of your element then arrange it so you come to a fridge full of groceries. Grocery delivery companies are becoming more common (you will pay a bit more then in the store, but you can order online) or you can find a local concierge company, they are great for things like this (and even getting your clothes to and from the dry cleaners) they usually charge by appointment so make it worth your while.

How I food Prep:

– Put on the rice – Rice is a great thing to add to salads, eat with vegetables and can be put in the freezer if you aren’t going to eat it all. (My rice cooker is one of my favorite appliances, they can be found as low as $20)

– Throw chicken (meat of choice) in the oven – Chicken is super easy to make taste amazing, biggest problem with chicken is over cooking, so put a timer on.

12-1

Cut vegetables

– Cut Vegetables – I like to have cut carrots on hand for quick snacks, the rest get cooked up. The greener the better. Use fresh, no fresh, use frozen, no frozen then go for canned (packed in water not oil)

egg 1

Egg Muffins

– Egg muffins – take some of the vegetables you’ve cooked, mix them with some eggs and bake them (Here is the full recipe) This is a perfect breakfast on the run or afternoon snack. Cold or warm they are great and you can really make them to your own taste.

– Fruit – I eat way more fruit if it is ready to shove in my mouth, and because I usually eat lunch while working, having apple slices or fruit salad ready I can graze on them.

Nuts - Yum yum

Nuts – Yum yum

Nuts – You can buy mixed nut packs, I like to make my own – usually include, almonds, sunflower seeds, walnuts or pecans, cranberries, dates or figs. The important thing with nuts is to not go over board as they are high in calories, I portion my (I weigh them, approximately 50gr is 300 calories) Nuts are often my mid afternoon snack, major energy boost.

– Smoothies – Blend together fresh or frozen fruit, add water or milk (I use almond milk) and I sometimes add flax too. (This doesn’t take long so I usually only make enough for 2-3 days) I portion it into mason jars or to go bottles, but I try not to make them too big, that’s when waste or over eating happens (for me anyway).

Smoothie

Smoothie

Once you have cooked up your food and are ready to make some lunches set out your to go containers and fill them up. Put some of the rice, chicken and vegetables aside to jazz up some quick dishes later in the week. Depending on your household you might just make lunches like this or like me, I have a quick dinner with them also. By Thursday if you don’t think you’ll eat what you made, toss it in the freezer (to be super efficient give it a label to remind you later what exactly is in it) this way you don’t waste and you might have a week where meal prep isn’t needed.

Have your lunch bag on the counter, put in the nuts and an apple, in the morning out what you want for lunch in it and remember to take it with you. When you can’t get to the gym as much as you’d like if you can manage what you are eating, you will still have lots of energy and won’t feel as bad about missing that workout. Good Luck.

Carrots

Carrots

Smoothies for days!

Smoothies for days!

Almond chocolate cups

Almond chocolate cups

Lunches and snacks

Lunches and snacks

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Comments

  1. Thanks for the great ideas, especially the egg muffin! I’ve began making tupperware meals 6 months and I’ll never look back. Saves time, money and there’s no more need to put questionably nutritious (and maybe even bad tasting) fast food in your body.

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