Meal prepping each week is a key component to food and portion control; therefore, it is a pillar to health and weight management. It saves you time throughout the week. It saves you money. It brings balance and order into life, and yet it’s still not a mainstream habit. Why?
One of the top excuses for not embracing a better food plan in life is often family. It’s not convenient with my kids. We don’t like leftovers. Who has a full day to dedicate to the kitchen?
These thoughts are all valid, but that doesn’t make them any less of an excuse. If you have kids, meal prep will free your days up considerably! No more fussing, whining, tantrums or hangry moments. Whole, nutritious food is ready at a moment’s notice.
Leftovers are an American classic! But if they’re not you’re thing, then make more options. This leads to spending too much time in the kitchen.
Plan out your week’s meals the night before. Do it at dinner so you can include your family in the process. Make a large grocery list, so you have everything you need. Go shopping with the kids the following day. Let them help you find things on the list. Then make the prep and cooking into a family affair as well. Everyone can lend a hand. Small children can separate groceries into piles, vegetables, fruits, herbs, etc. Then they can help wash them too. Call it water play!
Maybe family is not on your meal prep strategy. Perhaps it’s a busy corporate life that requires you to eat with clients, work long hours and you can’t remember the last time you even saw your kitchen. Sounds like a life that could really use some energetic nutrition! Meal prep doesn’t have to mean three meals a day. It can be a tool to ensure one whole foods meal ready when you need it. Whether it be a strong breakfast to get your day started or a satisfying dinner to ease your night, having food ready when you’re hungry will prevent late night take-out and grumbling stomachs in the boardroom.
Finally, the most common excuse is the inability to cook. To that we say, Google! Hundreds of websites cater to the culinary impaired and offer delicious recipes for the admitted novice. You do not have to live on supplements, bars and shakes alone! If you can boil water, you are off to a very good start. Now add a grain: rice, barley, quinoa. Need to start smaller? Pre-bag a ton of smoothies with fruits, vegetables, greens and all your preferred nuts, seeds and powders. Throw them in the freezer and pull one out 15 minutes before you’re ready to blend! Or try looking up overnight oats for a power-packed meal ready when you are. Here’s a recipe to get you started:
Mix well, put it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight.
You can be as creative as you want with this. Add nuts, seeds, different fruits, different liquids, protein powders, supplements, the list is endless! Just remember to have 1-part oats to 2-parts liquid, and if you add anything that absorbs liquid, add more to compensate.
Let’s face it. Excuses are a dime a dozen in life, and it would be impossible for us to refute every one that can be created. The fact is meal planning will save you time, money and help you stay on top of your health. Change can seem strange or intimidating, but that doesn’t mean it won’t make your life better. This week, give meal prep a try. You may be pleasantly surprised.