HOW FRUSTRATING IS IT WHEN YOU EAT SOMETHING UNHEALTHY YOU DIDN'T EVEN WANT?! Unlike when you want to treat yourself to something yummy, zero satisfaction comes from eating something just because it is there or because you had limited options. The best way to avoid this is to commit a couple hours at the beginning of the week to prepping your meals and snacks. I have been asked about how I prep for the week, so I thought I would share some helpful hints to minimize your daily effort!
1. Pick a day to get organized: Whether its Sunday morning or Thursday after work, pick a day where you can spare a couple hours to go grocery shopping and prepare a couple batches of whatever you fancy.
2. Plan your meals:
Breakfast: I am not that creative at breakfast time. Green smoothies, yogurt with berries and homemade granola and bircher muesli are a few of my standard picks - they can be prepped the night before and all I have to do is grab them when I run out the door!
Lunch: For those of you who want to take the path of least resistance... all I have to say is LEFTOVERS. But for those of you who want to mix things up, you would be surprised how easy it is to make a batch of lunches early in the week. For salads, wash the leaves, cut the veggies and store them in seperate containers, pre-cook the protein, make any grains (such as quinoa), and make the dressing. Assemble the salad the night before (keeping the dressing on the side) and you are all set! Sandwiches and wraps will also last 2-3 days in the fridge if you avoid watery veggies (such as cucumber and tomato)!
Dinner: Pick 2-3 dishes of whatever you are craving! An example of what my week could be:
Turkey Bolgonese with Courgetti
Garlicky Greens with Black Bean Pasta
Chicken, Basil and Walnut Stirfry with Brown Rice
3) Get shopping! Making a list will prevent aimless strolls up and down the aisles...the more detailed, the better. I sometimes write down the exact measurement of what I need so I don't buy too much or too little. If you love grocery shopping like I do, wander all you want.. heck, even get in your 10,000 steps! The list is just there to prevent you from making a second trip for forgotten items.
4) Start cooking! For anything you will want to grab and go, pack them in individual portions so that saves you time (and dishes) later in the week!
5) Prep your fridge: CUT. EVERYTHING. UP. Melons, berries, veggies, JUST DO IT. This is the game changer. When I am in a rush, the best thing is having EVERYTHING ready to go. My favourite part about all of this prepping is how beautiful my fridge looks at the end, I get so excited to eat all my food! (Helpful Hint: to make your veggies last longer, line the container with a paper towel)
The Massive Prep: if you decide you want to prep for LIFE (or more than just a week), I would dedicate a weekend and make a batches of all your favourite dishes that store well. I will do this with sauces, curries, marinated meat (anything really) and freeze them in individual packets. Then each week when you do a smaller prep you can freeze some of what you make and pull out some of the old stuff to keep variety! Plus if you are ever running behind or having a busy weekend, you will always have something you love waiting for you in the freezer.