6 TIPS TO ORGANIZE MEAL PREP + SIMPLIFY HEALTHY EATING
In this video I’m sharing tips to help organize meal prep and simplify healthy eating. These tips will save you time and money when meal planning for you and your family, I have found these habits and principles so useful in my own journey after gaining and then losing a substantial amount of weight.
1. STOCK THE PANTRY
Go ahead and get the dry goods and canned staples that you will be eating on a regular basis. This includes things like rice, potatoes, oatmeal, sauces and spices and canned items like beans and lentils and tomatoes. In a perfect world making the foods that come canned from scratch is ideal as it means less sodium, sugar and by-products of the canning process but… life is busy, so this isn’t always possible, all of the time. It’s a good idea to keep a supply of canned goods as backup in any case. A lot of dried foods can be stored for a long time in air tight jars as well. Things like beans, lentils, rice, quinoa, oats and chia seeds are all great staples to have ready to prep. This brings me to the next point.
2. PREP YOUR BASICS
One thing that is very useful for me is to pick a day to prepare all the foods that take time to cook in batches. By soaking and cooking my beans, baking some potatoes, chopping some leafy greens or making a pot of quinoa ahead of time, I can cut a lot of work in the kitchen at meal time. It provides more options too if you’re not sure what you’re going to feel like eating from day to day AND it can help you prep three or four days of dinner sides or lunches at a time. It’s also helpful to chop up your onion and peel your garlic ahead. This just makes meal prep so much simpler, so I always chop a whole onion at a time and remove the peel from the entire bulb of garlic at one go instead of fussing with it each time I cook. Chopping up raw veggies for snacking doesn’t take a lot of time especially if you do it all at once. Having things like fresh carrots, celery, bell pepper, broccoli and cauliflower ready to go is a healthier way to deal with those times you want something crunchy to snack on.
3. KEEP A COMBO OF FRESH AND FROZEN
It can be very tempting when you go to the market or the grocery store to buy a tonne of the beautiful, fresh fruits and veggies. But if you buy too many at once they can spoil. I’ve found it’s best to buy for a few days at a time unless you know how much you will use and can store them properly. For me it’s especially useful to keep a combination of fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables. Cut up raw veggies for snacking and use the frozen ones as cooked sides or to use in recipes. And frozen fruits are perfect for smoothies and adding to oatmeal.
4. DON’T BE TOO HARD ON YOURSELF
Maybe you’re trying to eat less take-out, maybe you’re eating plant based or avoiding gluten or sugar or perhaps caffeine. Whatever it is, you hear stories about people who just switch over 100% right away. From day one. But if you’re not that person, be okay with taking your time. You decided to make these changes with good intention. You are heading in the right direction. Make small changes if you need to, a few days at a time. When I went plant based, I wasn’t perfect. My issue mostly was not wanting to be an inconvenience on road trips or special occasions. Now I just focus on making healthy choices each day and don’t stress over special occasions and dinners out with friends. You’ll get there.
5. KEEP IT WHOLE
The most cost effective and healthiest way to eat any diet is to focus on whole foods. That means, eating foods as close to as you would find them in nature. Increasing budget friendly staples like beans, rice and potatoes is a great way to crowd out processed sides and still feel full after eating. Eat real food! It’s better for your health anyways.
6. FOCUS ON WHAT YOUR ARE HAVING NOT TAKING AWAY
Lastly but perhaps the most important is mindset. This is the quickest tip, but I think the most valuable. Try not to obsess about what you think you’re missing. Stay focused on all the good things you will be eating and how great you’ll feel eating healthier. Let go of I can’t have this, I can’t have that. Instead look forward to all the delicious new recipes you’re going to try.