Tip Thursday: Meal Prep

Happy Thursday! I’m back with more tips on how to make your life (the healthy way!) a little bit easier.

One thing to remember when reading through the tips is that you should take a couple that you think will work well for you, implement them, and when those become habit add more!

Trying to overwhelm yourself with a complete 180 about face is borderline cray cray! I didn’t make all of these changes over night – these are just ones I’ve done over the years (yes, years, with an “s”) that have helped me tremendously!

Most people don’t have a huge problem with working out – its not hard to convince people to get a little sweat on. After all, that’s when we feel like the results are happening. How-ev-er, you can’t outwork a bad diet. *insert shoulder shrug*

First things first, when I say “diet” I am referring to this definition –> di·et (ˈdīət/) – noun – the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats

Now that we cleared that up – lets get on with the tips, shall we?

Before you start: Get rid of all foods that are not of your meal plan.

Tip#1: Follow a meal plan
If you don’t know what you’re prepping for, you can prep. Right? Find a meal plan that fits YOUR body and YOUR goals and fuels YOUR needs. Don’t follow the same meal plan as Sally because she lost 35lbs in 3 months and that’s what you want to do. Sally may have a different body type and her daily regimen may not be the same as yours. Sally is a nice lady, but her meal plan may not be for you. Once you find your meal plan, meal prepping will be so much easier.

Tip #2: Keep it simple
I don’t recommend trying to have a new dish for every meal. Over complicating your process makes you despise it even more. The last thing you want is more time taken out of your day that you could be spending doing something else. If you’ve never used a certain food item, don’t try to implement it right away. Stick with foods you understand and are comfortable with. Another way to keep it simple is to purchase produce that is already chopped and prepared for you. It can be a little more costly, but it definitely helps cut down on time during your meal prep.

Tip #3: Keep it tasty
Raise your hand if you’ve been on the grilled chicken, brown rice, and broccoli train. Yeah, me too. It feels like the right thing to do, because it doesn’t always taste good and we have this preconceived notion that healthy eating is supposed to taste like cardboard. Its okay to accessorize and add in flavor! If you don’t like what you’re eating, you’ll end up back at square one in frustration. Search for healthy swaps of the things you already enjoy eating. For example, spaghetti made with spaghetti squash and a turkey meat sauce is a great trade for the traditional recipe.

Tip #4: Package immediately
Especially in the beginning stages of your new journey, get containers that allow you to put whole meals together that can be refrigerated and warmed up later. This way you don’t have to do any extra preparation on the day that you are eating the meal (which usually helps me talk myself into grabbing something in the drive thru, because its “easier”). You can grab the container, heat, and go! It is even benficial to package snacks that you may be eating, as well, to keep you from mindlessly snacking. More snacking tips here. 
Side note: buying new containers is a fun way to get you motivated to package after you prep!

Tip #5: Frozen foods work, too
One of the biggest mistakes I would make is purchasing produce and letting it go bad because I’d buy too much or wouldn’t use it fast enough. Don’t make that mistake! Just because it isn’t fresh fruits or veggies does not mean that you’re failing at meal prep. If it works and makes sense for YOU, do it! Don’t be afraid to stock up, either. Keeping staples like meat and veggies in the freezer is a good way to save money!

Tip #6: Give it time
Meal prep is one of those things that we have to get used to. We’re not used to taking an hour out of our Sunday’s to perfectly portion out our meals for the rest of the week. As you progress, you will get better at it – you will find things you really like to eat. You will see results – increased energy and mental clarity. When you’re starting to change, its easy to have tunnel vision, but rest assured that it does get easier and if you do it correctly, you won’t ever feel deprived!

Tip #7: HAVE FUN
Don’t beat yourself up if you’re not perfect at first, or if you’re never perfect. Enjoy the process – enjoy how your body feels when you fuel it properly. You’re going to have cravings – that’s normal. Every meal is a chance to do better. So, if you totally mess it up at lunch – just pick back up with your next meal! This is a journey, and it will take some time to get in the groove. If you’re making forward process every day – you’re doing it right.

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