I hear over and over again from mamas and nutrition clients that TIME is such a huge factor in making healthy choices! Preparing elaborate meals just isn't possible when time is of the essence, and when we’re busy mamas so often in a rush or on the go- it's so easy to grab something quick- and usually that something is not a healthy option.
So how do we combat this? How do we make eating well quick and convenient?
As a busy mom, wife, business owner, and holistic health coach - my schedule is jam-packed. We go from activity to activity on the regular and as much as I love cooking, convenience is where it's at for us these days. So my SECRET- the one thing that CHANGED how our family ate, making healthy living EASY and SIMPLE-- is MEAL PREP.
I take an hour or two, once a week- usually on a Sunday, and I prepare meals for the week.
Ingredients for quick breakfasts, grab-and-go lunches, simple healthy snacks and make-in-a-flash dinners. Only a couple hours on the weekend saves us HOURS during the week.
I know it may sound daunting. But once you get the hang of it- meal prep becomes second nature, a weekly practice that saves both time and money by planning ahead and creating ease within your week. So what I wanted to share with you today are my first steps to meal prep: how to plan ahead so meal prep is quick and simple.
3 Steps to Meal Prep:
Step 1: Plan your week
I like to divide my weekly plans into three categories:
3. Lunches + Snacks
How are you going to start your day? The way you start your day sets you up for success throughout the day. There's a reason they call it the most important meal! Plan meals for yourself and your kiddos (if they don’t eat the same as you do) so you’re covered!
Yes- we're skipping around a bit here, but I like to plan for dinners second, after we plan our morning meals, because dinners tend to be the biggest, heartiest meal of the day, often include more than one family member unless you live alone, and leftovers can be used for lunches on subsequent days.
3. Lunches + Snacks
As most of us tend to be busiest mid-day, this is where I can't stress the importance of planning ahead enough! Don't be caught unprepared at lunchtime, make mid-day meals your priority, no matter what your job entails.
Having healthy snacks on hand is for yourself and your kids is crucial to avoid that mid-morning bagel or mid-afternoon latte run. This might be as simple as chopping up some veggies and putting them in baggies with a container of hummus in the work fridge, making up a batch of protein muffins, or keeping portioned baggies of trail mix on hand.
Step 2: Create your list and shop!
Once you have your plan in hand, write out that grocery list! It's not only important for your waistline, but for your budget, too. I hear the 'healthy eating is too expensive!' complaint time and time again, but it is VERY simple to work around it, starting with having a list, and sticking to it!
When you go through the store, be sure to stay around the perimeter of the store: this includes the produce section, meat, fish, dairy, frozen foods-- you may venture in the center for nuts and seeds, oats, quinoa, etc. But for the most part- stick to those outer aisles, avoid the temptation of colored boxes and enticing claims and focus on real foods.
Step 3: Wash + Prep!
Once you get home from the grocery store, it’s time to get going! Block out a couple hours, send the kids to the playground with daddy or set them up with a healthy snack and a fun movie while you get your hands dirty in the kitchen. Start by washing and cleaning all your veggies and fruits for quick-grab options, turn on the oven, switch on a happy playlist or a juicy podcast and get to prepping! Your stress-levels and sanity with thank you!
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