With the crazy schedules that life throws at us, it is easy to make poor food choices. My way to make sure I stay on track with my eating is by eliminating the stress and time factor of having to cook every single night and day by meal prepping! It saves you time in the kitchen and helps keep you on track with healthy eating! You can meal prep for just dinner or for all meals and snacks you eat during a day…the choice is up to you. So what is meal prepping? Essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the next couple of days or for your whole week. This basically means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers. Food prep can be anything. It can mean just simply chopping up peppers or other vegetables ahead of time for recipes, washing fruits and vegetables so they are ready for snacking. Portioning out nuts or other food items for snacks. Cutting up chicken or beef to be recipe ready, or fully making your meals. Its whatever is going to work best for you!
Healthy choices are easier to make when they are ready to be eaten!
- Pick one day a week as your prep day (pick the day that you have the most time)
- Grocery shop on this day as well
Plan your meals for the week using this simple guideline:
Protein + Complex Carb (starch) + Vegetable (and always make sure to get your healthy fats in!)
- Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless)
- Ground Beef – 90% lean or higher (Grass fed is best!)
- Ground Turkey – 93% lean or higher
- Fish – Salmon (ONLY WILD CAUGHT)
- Eggs (hard boil a bunch for the week!)
Vegetarian or Vegan plant based proteins:
-Beans (black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.)
Complex Carb options: opt for whole grain, complex carbohydrates as your fuel!
- Quinoa— you can add whatever flavors/spices of dish to quinoa to boost flavor
- Sweet potato (MY FAVORITE!)
- Brown rice
- Rice Varities: Jasmine*, Basmati*, Wild Grain*, Etc.
Vegetable options (these are just a few):
- Green Beans
- Broccoli / Cauliflower
- Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
- Brussel sprouts
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Nut butters
- Grass fed meat & Wild Caught Salmon
- Organic Egg Yolk
Grocery shop for the week
Peel, chop, cut all veggies and fruit for the week (cook what needs to be cooked)
Prep your protein/meals (Make your meat "basic" to be used in a variety of ways throughout the week)
If you just don’t have the time to dedicate to meal prepping, I would suggest picking up prepped meals from a local store! On the weeks that I know I just won’t have time to prep my meals, my favorite places to go for meal prepping in Denver are FitKitchen and Fit Foods 4 U. If you aren’t in the Denver area, there are meal prep services that will ship right to your door. One that I would recommend is Icon Meals. Give yourself time to reap the rewards and make it a habit! In order to experience the benefits, see the results, and form new habits, you need to stick with your weight loss/ health strategies! Remember, it takes about 3 weeks to form a habit. Don’t throw in the towel if food prep doesn’t work the first few times! Expect to make a few adjustments along the way!