[vc_row][vc_column][vc_custom_heading text=”Let’s Meal Prep!” font_container=”tag:h2|text_align:center” use_theme_fonts=”yes”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]
I wanted to speak about this topic because it has been one that has eluded me most of my life and honestly it is still a work in progress. With this topic, I wanted to discuss the importance of taking the time to plan our meals for the week, at the very least think about it like you would your work calendar or scheduling all the events your kids have this week and how are you getting them there, etc.
Sometimes I feel this gets lost in our busy lives and then we end up ordering food, stopping for fast food or a restaurant on the way home. Maybe we just end up making something quick and easy that probably wasn’t the healthiest for us. If this happens every once in a while, it is not a big deal, but when this becomes our daily routine or it is stopping you from reaching your health goals-it is time to make a change.
Planning our meals ahead of time really is a way to practice self care and helps us incorporate nourishing foods more often. It can help us reach our health goals and even help eliminate unnecessary stress around food decisions. I don’t know about you but the daily conversation at 6 pm-what are we going to have for dinner gets pretty tiring. I know it takes time upfront but it will most likely save time during your busiest times of the week.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
- Write down a menu for the week, this could include recipes or maybe just batch cooking ideas of foods/ingredients that you can pair together for the week. This could look like 1-2 protein sources, veggies-leafy greens and cooked vegetables, carbohydrates such as rice or sweet potatoes, and sauces you would need. If you decide to do a recipe-make double or even triple. Just think about how well it will store, you have about 3 days to eat it if it is in the refrigerator or consider if it is a good item to freeze. Soups, stews, broths, smoothies, and veggie based dishes are great to store in the freezer.
- Once you have made these decisions and I encourage you to get help from your family, make your grocery list.
- If you love to go to the grocery store-perfect! You can get on your way. If you can’t find time to go to the store or just don’t like it, there are so many on-line options and/or services. Maybe you pick out your groceries on-line and then pick them up or just have them delivered. This works out perfectly if you already know what you need for the week and there are always the weekly staples that need to be added. It cuts down on time and impulse buying or tempting foods you don’t need in the house anyway. The downside-it is harder to explore and find new foods that look good or are worth a try. Try to make sure you try new recipes every once in awhile so you will still get some variety.
*If you are having a busy week-maybe trying a bunch of new recipes is not a good idea. Stick with old healthy recipe staples or just cook items you can pair together (batch cooking) .
*Take advantage of pre-cut, washed, and peeled vegetable options or maybe even frozen organic vegetables/fruits. On your prep day, if you have fresh vegetables, at least wash, chop, and prepare most of the veggies for the week. You are more likely to eat them if they are ready.
*Maybe you don’t want to spend a chunk of your day cooking for the week. Consider doing some on the weekend and then another day during the week when you know you’ll have some time. Try to at least get your grocery shopping out of the way on the weekend.
*Prepare individual grab and go snacks for the week.
*Are there kitchen tools that can make life easier-Instant Pot, slow cooker, high powered blender, or maybe even a spiralizer.
*Purchase or have your storage containers ready-we prefer to recommend glass or stainless steel containers and there are a lot of options out there. At least be careful to not rely on plastic containers. There are mason jars in a bunch of different sizes, OXO smart seal glass containers are also freezer safe. Another option is LunchBots stainless steel bento box. Honestly, if you look on Amazon there are a few options to choose from for sure.
*Use ice cube trays for individual portions, such as sauces.
*If you make a fruit smoothie-make double or triple the recipe and place leftovers in a glass jar and put in the freezer or refrigerator depending on when you may drink it again.
*Boil up a handful of eggs to have ready for a snack, put in a salad, or grain bowl for protein.
*Egg muffin recipes are another good example that makes multiple servings that you can refrigerate/grab on the way out the door or reheat for the kids first thing in the morning. Some other breakfast ideas that you can freeze for the week are smoothies, oatmeal, chia pudding. Have your favorite toppings ready to go like berries, nuts, or seeds.
*Fix salads for lunch and put them in individual glass storage containers so you just have to grab 1 each morning. There are also variations of grain bowls-brown rice or sweet potatoes with your protein, veggies, avocado and/or nuts on top that you can have ready to go for the week.
*Be sure to stock up on pantry staples, ingredients you will use daily or in most of your recipes; olive or coconut oil, lemons, garlic, vinegar, etc.
*Buy in bulk when possible.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”2521″ img_size=”full” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_btn title=”Subscribe” color=”info” size=”lg” align=”center” i_icon_fontawesome=”fa fa-envelope-o” add_icon=”true” link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.highlandshealthwellness.com%2Fsubscribe-us%2F|||”][/vc_column][/vc_row]