Do you find meal prep and plamnning tough?
Do you think it sounds like a good idea but somehow the task eludes you each week?
Last week we talked a little deeper about habits and how to develop healthy habits and something that can have a profound affect on making habit development easier is changing your environment. Click HERE if you want to catch up on last weeks post.
Now obviously it’s going to be difficult for most of us to completely change our environment by moving house or workplaces or cities.
But there generally is no need to change our environment to that extreme. It just takes a little setting up for success to make sure that your environment makes it easy for you to keep going with the good habits and harder for you to continue with the bad habits.
No when it comes to developing healthy eating habits one of the most powerful things you can do to set your environment up for success is meal planning and meal prep.
But I tend to get a lot of resistance around doing these when I talk to clients about things like meal prep and planning.
So I shared all top tips to making meal planning easy in this post HERE. As well as how implementing these tips can not only save you money, but it makes it a lot easier to stick to your healthy eating habits.
You want to do everything you can when you are feeling motivated, to set yourself up for those t times when you are not feeling motivated.
When you’re tired.
When you are hungry.
And when you want to grab the easiest thing to eat, fast.
By meal planning and doing meal prep, the easiest thing might actually just be healthy!
Making Meal Prep A Habit
So why is prioritising meal prep so helpful?
- It’s easier to not over eat or under eat if you have pre-portioned your meals and/or snacks in advance. This again is making the decisions about your food when you are feeling good, not when you are starving, tired or stressed out.
- It saves time and money. Seriously how good is it when you come home from work and dinner is already sorted! Don’t know what that feels like? Meal prep like a boss and you soon will!
- It helps with accountability. You hav already made the food and so it kinda feels bad to have to through it all out.
So what are some tips to making meal prep happen?
- Same as meal planning, schedule it in your diary. Also commit to doing any prep you need for the week as soon as you get your groceries home.
- Cook up a bulk serve of your grains such as quinoa or rice, I like to also do a big batch of either roasted sweet potato or squash as then I add this to wraps and salads throughout the week.
- Cut up any veggies you need and add them to Tupperware so that they are ready to grab for stirfrys and snacks.
- As your chopping the veggies you can also make some jar salads in advance for easy to grab lunches. Just leave the dressing until the day you are eating them and they will last three or four days in your fridge.
- Make big batches of any condiments or sauces or dressings you might need for the week. I have been adding my homemade pesto to wraps and noodles and so on Sunday I made a big batch of pesto so it’s ready for the week. I also like to make a salad dressing (as we eat a lot of salads) and any marinades or sauces I will need.
- You can prep your proteins too, boil some eggs in advance or roast some chicken. It may be easier to focus on prepping these elements of a few meals and snacks rather than focusing on the exact meals you will be eating that week.
- Make snacks you can freeze like these yummy bliss balls. I love having some of these in my freezer ready for when a sweet craving strikes.
- Keep it simple. You don’t need to prep all your meals, keep it simple and start with just the meals you find most challenging to keep healthy. If this is breakfast make some chia pudding or overnight oats or some breakfast bars or muffins for the next few days in the fridge. Or a great one is to pre portion out all your smoothie ingredients so you can grab and go in the morning fast!
- Following on from keep it simple, unless you really need variety every singled day, eat the same meals for breakfast and even lunch for the whole week. This makes the prep super easy and then switch it up ready for the next week.
- Plan for leftovers. They are totally counted as a meal and you can mix them up by adding a few different veggies or freeze the leftovers from this week to have them as a new meal next week.
- And by plan for leftovers I mean double your recipe so there are leftovers you can eat. Cook once eat at least twice is the name of the game in our house!
- Write down your meal plan even if you don’t get to prepping it. Baby steps and remember reward yourself for what you did get done and then expand on it the next week.
- Get proper tupperware. Like something you can actually use. Glass or pyrex is best but this is all part of setting yourself up for success. Get the right tools to make meal prep easier. Also check out these for some cool looking lunchboxes.
- Utilise a slow cooker or a rice cooker where you can. This can really reduce meal prep time.
- Create a shelf in your cupboard or fridge for healthy snacks to grab and go. Make them easier to get than the unhealthy snacks.
I hope these tips help and motivate you to give meal prep a go.
Let me know in the comments below, what do you find hardest about meal prep or how you have conquered meal prep and it changed your life?
To your health,
P.S. Missed the habits tracker from last week? Click HERE to download for FREE 🙂