I always get people asking me how I find the time (and the motivation) to prepare my meals in advance and I always answer in the same way ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ and this is the mantra I live by.
I can always put slip ups in my diet down to a lack of preparation. If I go away for a weekend and miss my Sunday meal prep, or I simply can’t be bothered, you can guarantee my diet will be bad… and a bad diet almost always mirrors itself as a bad week at the gym.
Over the past year I’ve become convinced that food prep is the foundation to keeping your diet on track. It’s also the foundation to gaining more hours midweek, which is invaluable if, like me, you find ‘down time’ hard to come by. I love nothing more than knowing that I can come home on a Monday night, pop a pan of my favourite chilli on the hob and head straight for the couch!
So how do I find the time to meal prep?
I pick two days out of the week to prepare my meals, generally Sunday & Wednesday, and it takes me about one to two hours (that’s a measly 4-8% of your day guys so no excuses!). I make sure I have had a think about what I might want to eat that week, then I write a list and head down to the local supermarket. I find having a list helps stop me from shoving random items in my basket (usually bad) and also helps to minimise food waste (something I absolutely hate doing). I then lay all my ingredients out, preheat my oven, chop up my veg and get cracking!
Here’s a list of simple meal prep ideas:
- Spicy Chicken
- Sweet Potato
- 3 Bean Chilli
- Boiled Eggs
- Smoothie Bags
- Overnight Oats
It’s important to also get variety in your diet, eating the same thing day after day can make you bored and send you heading for the nearest vending machine or fast food chain! To do this I make sure I prep items or dishes that can be put into different meals (or one that I never get bored of – chilli). A good start is to cook a big batch of chicken that you can throw in salads, homemade sauces, wraps or simply put with pre-cooked sweet potato and veg. With this in mind, one of my favourite things to make is my simple turkey meatballs (recipe below); I like to eat these with veg and a complex carb, in a salad, added to stews, chopped up in omelettes or eaten in a wrap… I know I always say this but get creative!
[yumprint-recipe id=’3′]I hope I’ve given you an insight into how you can make meal prepping work for you. I think a lot of people have an unrealistic idea of how much time things actually take up and even if you have the willpower to make healthy choices on the go, think of how much money meal prepping can help you save!
What do you like to make on meal prep day?