Monday, April 21, 2014

Prepping for Success

  • "I'm too busy to cook"
  • "I live alone, why would I make meals?"
  • "I want something to eat NOW, not in an hour"
  • "It's so much easier just to buy my lunch"

All of these are excuses that I have said many times since moving away from home. My mom is an amazing cook who always has a large prepared salad in the refrigerator to grab from at any hour, and she always seems to whip up some healthy meal in 30 minutes for dinner.  

When I moved out at age 18, I quickly realized I had no clue how to grocery shop or prepare healthy quick meals for myself. Through the years there have been phases of eating out almost every meal, to making healthy meals with my best friend in college.  I feel my best when eating home-made meals out of fresh ingredients, but often fall into the just grab anything in sight no matter how unhealthy it is trap.

My Solution?
Meal Prepping once or twice a week has become a way of life for me.  It has become a time efficient way for me to eat healthy on the go.  I have realized that if I have meals prepared and ready to bring for lunch or eat for dinner, I make healthier choices. 

How to Meal Prep:

1. Plan out meals and shop for ingredients:

Each weekend I think of meals to prepare for my week ahead.  I must admit I use Pinterest for inspiration or I ask my mom what she made this week for meals.  Each week I like the mix things up.  
Sometimes I will make larger breakfast meals like steel cut oatmeal or individual quiches. Other weeks I focus on packing a lot of snacks to munch on throughout my busy day at the hospital. Lastly, I like variety for dinners so I may plan to make 2 or three recipes for the week's dinners.

Make a list of all ingredients needed to prepare the recipes, and head to the store!

This week's breakfasts: Pumpkin Spice Smoothies (Recipe to come)
I made 4 smoothies on Sunday and froze them for each morning

Pumpkin spice is not just for fall! 
Makes smoothie in To-Go cup




















This week's lunches: Oven Roasted Asparagus (Recipe below)  over mixed greens, Greek yogurt, clementines and a banana for my late afternoon snack with peanut butter

Lunches

Yummy Salads


This week's dinners: Beet and Feta salad (Recipe to come) and grilled lemon chicken (Recipe to come ) and Zucchini Pizza Boats (Recipe to come)

These are a great alternative to Pizza


2. Cook
Everything I make is very simple (I am not a chef!). My entire day of meal prepping only takes about 2-3 hours total and begins right when I walk in from the grocery store.  
During this time I also catch up on TV shows and take this time to relax before the week begins.

3. Pack meals in containers for the week ahead
Everything I make gets proportioned into Tupperware and organized in the refrigerator. 

4. Enjoy your already prepared meals all week long! 
There is such joy when I am running late in the morning and don't have time to make breakfast, or pack a lunch.  It also is rewarding to come home starving for dinner and open the refrigerator to see already prepared meals just like when I lived at home.


If you too are struggling with eating healthy during your busy life, try meal prepping! It takes some time to get the hang of planning meals for a whole week, so try planning only one meal first.  I find it easiest to stick to simple fresh recipes so that most of my prepping is just washing and cutting vegetables.  Meal prepping has really changed my way of eating for the better, I hope it can help some of you also.

Happy Prepping!
xo


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