When it comes to eating right and achieving your fitness goals preparation and communication is so key! Once upon a time I was 200Lbs and left my eating to “chance!” I ate whenever I found the time, and I ate whatever was quickest and easiest. My thinking was: “I have a full time job, and a new baby. I don’t have time to worry about getting healthy food in my house and preparing for the week!” Inevitably I wound up spending way to much money on food, and gaining way to much weight! I also thought to myself “If I just starve all day and eat a giant meal when I get a chance, I’ll probably lose weight eventually.” THAT IS A HUGE MISTAKE in thinking. Our bodies need to be fed small meal through out the day and they need to be the proper nutrition profile for your body! You need the proper nutrients for energy, muscle repair and satiation (this is a whole other blog post I am sure!). Being that I am a toddler Mom, the CEO of my own business, and a NPC Bikini Competitor… I have to become very smart with how I use my time, and I have to become very efficient with how I prepare for my successful week!
So here is why Meal Prepping is important:
1. you have no excuse but to eat what is in your house. You bought it and you put in the time to prepare it. That is a huge investment from you and you are more likely to eat what you prepared.
2. You can plan out exactly what you want for each particular meal, how many macronutrients per meal, and how many calories per meal. You can do all of the brain work you would have done throughout the week in one day! All you need to do is grab and go!
3. TIME SAVER!! Need I say more?
4. Money saver! I didn’t believe this would be true considering the grocery bill I racked up, but really, when you make such a time and money investment on meal prep day, you will be less likely to eat out or order food in!
Through my last two years of meal prepping I have experimented with many ways of doing it, and I have found one way that rocks! In fact I can whip up about 4-5 days worth of clean eats in 1 hour! This takes communication on your part though. You need to talk to your family and your spouse about your clean eating and fitness goals. They may jump in and say they want to be a part of what you’re doing, or they may say “yea right Mom, we’ll eat our own stuff.” Usually that second scenario is a pain the butt for you, or it could make things easier depending on how independent your family is of your cooking! For me, my husband does a bit of both, and my daughter eats her own things. So I prepare things that my husband would like, but I pick things that I could easily manipulate to make happy for him and happy for me! This week I chose to meal prep “Cheese Burgers!” on top of my other usual meal prep recipes! (I list this as beef below. I picked up lean ground beef, and I just ate the patties, with onions on top and a side of veggies. He had the bun, cheese, and all the other goodies he wanted on that bad boy) Last week I did panko crusted chicken fingers, and he loved those!! If you have a bigger family who is just not independent of your cooking… prepare two big casserole dishes, or crockpot dishes. Freeze them and bake them later in the week and let them grab from it. Or pick up things to make sandwiches.
Here are my top 10 tips for you Mamma Bear!
1. PLAN. Pull up a chair, brew up some tea, and get on pinterest. Search for easy recipes that you and your family might enjoy. Write out your meal plan, and set aside dishes that you can manipulate to make others in your family happy. Write down a list of foods that you will buy that the other people in your household could easily whip together themselves (during your fitness journey, you may need to let them go rogue more often than normal, and if they want Mamma to be happy and reach her fit goals, they need to suck it up ;)). Have your meal plan loaded into Myfitnesspal.com and create your shopping list. For example: If I have prepped fish and chicken it is very easy to buy some tortillas and have a quick fish taco meal. Or just eat a balance of chicken, veggies and starch!
2. I suggest choosing foods that you can mass cook in the oven at the same time as other things. When you eat mostly clean you most likely eat protein, veggies, fruits, and grains. These things are all so easy to prepare!
3. You will start with your baseline: your veggies, your grains, and your meats. First choose veggies that you can easily roast. I choose sweet potato, asparagus and brussle sprouts. I cut them all up and put them on foil on a baking pan. I spray the pan with PAM Olive Oil and I spray the top of my veggies with PAM and top with salt and pepper!
I bake all three at the same time on 375!! In 20 minutes they are all roasted and delicious!
4. While those veggies are roasting I prepare my chicken, fish and beef.
5. Once veggies are done roasting I place my chick and fish in the oven at the same time and I bake both to perfection! I watch both as the fish will usually be done before the chicken.
6. I fired up the grill around step 3. Once my fish and chicken are in the oven, I put my beef on the grill.
7. All should take around 20-30 minutes. Once all meats are loaded I quickly put my rice in the rice cooker and let the rice cook. If you have a bigger family or bigger appetite I would suggest making a batch of whole wheat pasta to have on hand as well (just keep marinara sauce in the fridge for a quick spaghetti with your beef ;))
8. I am flipping beef and watching beef while veggies are cooling on pans and fish and chicken are cooking.
9. Once all of my meats are done, I pull them all out and I let them cool.
10. While my meats and veggies are cooking I prepare a giant fruit salad, put aside my Shakeology, and quest bars for easy grab and go.
*** Do all dishes, load and unload dish washer!!!
11. I always prepare a little snack that is easy for grab and go. This snack is always protein based. This week I did protein waffles. Recipe will be below.
1 Scoop of protein powder
2 egg whites
12. I put all of my fruits, veggies, grains meats into tupperware containers.
13. For breakfast I eat the same thing every day: Egg Whites and oatmeal. That takes me 3 minutes to prep each day so its not a big deal for me to not meal prep that.
*** Do all dishes, load and unload dish washer!!!
All of this takes me under an hour. If you need to prep casseroles and things for your family, it should take you another hour to 2 hours. If you just need to prepare a bigger batch of these things because your family is on board with your way of eating, than it wont take you much more time at all. When you are eating for fuel, eating clean, and eating 5-6 meals a day, you will start to see that eating very simple and eating a higher volume of foods is necessary for your goals. When you spend an hour plus a day working out, and you are running on a lower calorie intake your needs are simple: high volume food to keep your belly full (clean foods are lower in calories, but keep you satiated because they are volumeous, and the right macros to satiate you), and you just do not have a ton of time to create 6 gourmet meals a day. Over time you start to appreciate your simple foods and enjoy how they make you feel and you start to appreciate how they fit into your busy schedule.
I hope this helps you rock your next meal prep efforts!!
Did you find this helpful? Do you have any tips to add? Comment below!!!