One of the best ways to ensure you eat healthy throughout the day is to plan ahead. From grocery
shopping to cooking protein in advance there are many little tricks that might just save you from that
“emergency” fast food run.
It can seem overwhelming to think about prepping snacks and meals for an entire week, but once we
break it down for you, you’ll see that putting in a little extra work in the beginning will actually save you time (and unhealthy food choices) in the long run.
So, where do we start?
In the home, of course! Sit down and plan out what you’d like to eat in the next week, you can be very specific, or make general meal plans. Once you have a basic menu prepared make a shopping list. Let’s keep our shopping lists very specific to avoid too much temptation once in the grocery store. Head out to the store of your choice, it might be good to make specific lists for specific stores if you’re going to multiple locations.
Once you hit the store(s) stick to the list, don’t be tempted by a sale on your favorite ice cream (don’t
even go down the ice cream isle) or get distracted by the baked goods. Stick to the list, that’s why we
made it. Once you’re home with your grocery loot, store it appropriately until you are ready for your
actual food prep ritual.
The next step is to choose how and when you are going to do your food prep; my personal favorite is
Food Prep Sunday. Sundays are often more relaxed and we are looking forward and planning for the
week ahead, if Tuesday works better for you do it on Tuesday.
Set aside 2-3 hours and get ready to clean, chop, cook, and package your food for the week. I like to
make a large helping of at least one meal item so that I can take it to work for lunches (my current
favorite is spaghetti squash in meat/spaghetti sauce) It’s also helpful to have snack, or single serving
sized bags of an easy to eat fruit or vegetables, I keep about 20 sandwich bags of carrots in my fridge at all times.
You can also use this time to pre-cook some meat, either broil, or slow cook some boneless skinless
chicken breasts and set them aside to be used in meals later during the week. It takes about the same
amount of time to cook one chicken breast as it does to cook six.
Wash, cut and store all of your newly purchased fruits and vegetables. You can even throw a slow cooker meal in a zip lock bag and freeze it for later use. The possibilities are nearly endless.
The best part? Only doing dishes ONCE!
If you are not a bulk cooker, you can do a simplified version of this by just cleaning and cutting the
veggies and fruits to have them prepared for later, and then do the majority of your cooking each day as you eat.
However you choose to do it, I cannot stress enough how much this pays off.
Just having a plan, and healthy food in the house will more than double your chances of success! Seriously.
A quick review
1: Plan a menu for the week
2: Create a shopping list bases on your menu
3: Head to the store and stick to the list
4: Store food until ready for your food prep ritual
5: Clean, cut, cook, and package food for the coming week
6: Take it easy the rest of the week because your food is already prepared
Here are a few ideas of foods you can prepare this weekend