Meal Prep | A healthy start
Once upon a time, my idea of 'meal prep' was buying Coles brand macaroni and cheese, heating it in the microwave and eating it alone in my room. Meal prep = the meal is already prepped. It made sense to me at the time. During this period of about six to eight months I would eat this style of dinner at least three nights a week. I can't recall what my BODY looked like back then, but I can say this with certainty, my mind was messed up.
My partner first introduced me to the idea of pre-prepared meals. On Sunday nights he would do a big cook up of hot lunch meals he could take to work. If necessary, he would cook again on Wednesday. As I have become more interested in fitness and cultivating a healthy lifestyle, this idea has intrigued me. Watching numerous YouTubers, it seemed that many of them were planning out their meals for the week and doing a big cook up to help them stay on track.
Now while I don't set aside three hours on Sunday to wok up every lunch and dinner for the next couple of days, I have found that the meal prep notion has enabled me to make healthier choices when it comes to food. Having a shopping list on the fridge allows us to take stock of the food we have and create a well thought out inventory for when I go shopping. Sometimes, Dave and I even write out the days of the week and specifically what meal we will have on each day. This eliminates those cringe worthy times (They still crop up every now and then) where there is no food in the fridge or the meat hasn't been set out to defrost and you are tempted to take a drive to Oporto's for a Single Bondi meal with a Coke. Having a list and being organised when it comes to food really helps me to make healthy and satisfying choices.
A part of the meal-prep philosophy that I have adopted is ensuring I prepare my lunch meals the night before. Lack of lunch at school leads me nowhere good (The canteen- or Maccas for Dave) so it's not worth the risk to be unprepared. We try to cook up extra dinner each night so that there are enough left-overs for us both to take. I have also gotten into the habit of creating a healthy recess treat for Dave and I and even he approves.
My go to recess bowl features a generous helping of:
- Plain Greek yogurt
- Cut up banana
- A handful of blueberries
- A drizzle of honey
- A handful of chia and pumpkin seeds
Since I have started to meal prep, I have found that I am incorporating more whole foods into my diet and that afternoon slump often doesn't hit me because I have a hearty, and healthy, meal for recess and lunch. If you are finding it difficult to make healthy food choices, perhaps some of the strategies I have mention will enable you to create positive eating habits. Comment below if you have other ideas on how to make the most out of meal prepping.