Want to start eating healthy, but intimidated by the prospect of making all your meals ahead of time? We’re here to ease your fears.
When you’re on the go or have to eat lunch at the office, it’s hard to plan a well-balanced meal, especially withfast food joints on every corner. So how do you resist temptation and master healthy eating? First, you must change your mindset. Eating healthy is a process. It’s going to be a bit more effort than stopping at McDonalds, yes, but it’s not impossible. And we’re are here to provide you with some great tips to master meal prepping.
Start small! Changing your eating habits isn’t about making drastic changes that you can’t sustain. Do the small things over and over till they are habits, then add another small change.
Start with a plan.
You want to eat healthier. You want to lose that weight or improve that cholesterol number. You want to master meal prepping. But what do you eat? How do you cook everything? How do you get the most bang for your buck? What do you make?! Starting a new, healthy lifestyle can be daunting. The best way to start a healthy meal prepping regimen is to make a plan.
Do you have a certain diet you want to or have to follow? Do you have a grocery budget? What equipment do you have to work with? Knowing all these things before starting your journey into meal prepping is critical. Don’t have a crock-pot? Well then you probably shouldn’t plan on making that crock-pot soup you saw on Pinterest. Work Sundays? Well then you probably shouldn’t try to meal prep on that day.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.
Try simple substitutions.
Start replacing that bag of Doritos with some grapes. Replace chips and dip with hummus and veggies. Grab a flavored water instead of that soda. Dark chocolate Greek yogurt instead of that Jello snack pack. You don’t need to give up your snack habit to be healthy. Simply find enjoyable replacements for your go-to snacks. Chopped veggies and fruit are quick to prepare and easy to grab out of the fridge when you’re rushing out the door.
Cook in Bulk.
This doesn’t mean you have to go crazy and cook everything you own at once. But having pre-made meals that just need to be heated up is a great way to avoid caving to fast food and master meal prepping. You can made 6 servings of brown rice in the same amount of time it takes you to make one. A crock-pot will allow you to make soups and roasts with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Don’t want to make a huge mess in your kitchen? Try one pan meals.
Not up for cooking everything in one day? That’s easy to handle too! Try breaking your meal prep into 2 day. You can make 3 days worth of meals on Sunday, and then the rest that Wednesday. You can also create some freezer meals for home that allow you to have the fresh, home-made dinner without the prep every night.
The number one killer of all well meaning meal prepping is boredom. Yes chicken, brown rice, and broccoli is good for you, but at what cost?! Avoiding boredom will ensure that you stay on track for your goals, while actually enjoying your life. And it’s surprisingly easy to do.
We’ve all eaten it. Chicken breast, brown rice, some steamed veggie. The whole thing just screams bland and tasteless. But it doesn’t have to be. Try baking your chicken breast with different seasonings. Taco seasoning can lead to taco salad and burrito bowls. Try adding healthy condiments like fresh salsa or guacamole. Marinade your chicken in balsamic vinegar and season with basil and garlic for an amazing Greek chicken that goes great with couscous and olives.
Try batch cooking all of your chicken breasts and seasoning each of them differently. Mix up your week with sea food to get in your omega 3’s along with some variety. Try different sides like sweet potato, spiraled zucchini, or cauliflower rice. You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to master meal prepping.
With just a little forethought, healthy meal prep can be so simple! It may take a few extra steps, but the benefits of a better diet far outweigh the extra time to pre-make some chicken and rice for the week. So go for it! Take the baby steps, day by day and master meal prepping!
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