Cooking is one of the best ways to ensure you are getting the nutrition your body needs.
However, time is one of the biggest obstacles to making this a regular habit. Busy schedules, tons of responsibilities and unexpected social events can have you eating out more than you would like.
When speaking with many of my clients, this is one of the major reasons they tend to overeat and make unhealthy food choices.
If this is your experience too, don’t worry, there is hope! With a bit of planning and prepping, you can have a week’s worth of meals ready to go!
Pick a consistent day and time each week to plan out your meals
Consistency is what leads to success. If you wait for free time each week, its less likely you will find it. Instead, plan your week around your meal planning and workouts to ensure you achieve your goals.
Create your weekly meal plan
Write down what you will eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks for the week and then create a grocery list that you separate by fruits, vegetables, meats, frozen, etc. to make shopping a speedy and efficient process. Remember, you don’t have to make something new each day. It’s better if you pick 2-3 different ideas for each meal that you can make in larger batches and eat for a few days. You can easily research healthy recipes on the web to inspire you if you don’t know what to make. If this feels like a daunting task, our PHASE IV Nutritionist will do this for you as part of our nutrition programs. We will test to figure out how much food you require to meet your goals and will create personalized meal plans and nutrition guidelines based on your lifestyle, likes and dislikes.
Make sure that you include variety in your meals to ensure you are getting the nutrients your body needs to feel its best. Aim for at least 4-5 different vegetables, 2-3 sources of healthy fat and 2-3 sources of protein.
Prep your veggies
Pre-cut your veggies and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator. You can even portion them out for each day. Consider roasting, steaming or sautéing veggies for a few days at at time so you don’t have to spend too much time in the kitchen.
Pre-cook your grains
Make large batches of grains such as quinoa, wild rice, brown rice, millet or amaranth, that you can easily use in stir-frys, soups, casseroles or porridges.
If eggs are a part of your diet, but you don’t have the time to make them every morning, make a fritatta or use a muffin pan to make mini-frittatas that you can easily grab and go. You can also hard boil a few eggs to eat for breakfast or snacks.
Keep sauces handy
Eating healthy doesn’t need to be complicated, but it should taste good! Sauces are a great way to spice up any dish and add variety to your meals! Make large batches of pesto, tomato sauce, tahini dressings, curry sauce or whatever your taste buds desire and top your proteins, veggies and grains with them.
One of my favorite ways to ensure I have a healthy breakfast every morning is to make it the night before. Easy recipes like overnight oats or chia pudding can be assembled in minutes before you go to bed, put in the fridge and ready to go in the morning. In addition, slow cookers are coming back onto the scene with the introduction of the Instant Pot, a kitchen gadget that is a steamer, slow cooker, rice cooker and pressure cooker in one! You can easily throw in a bunch of ingredients in the morning and have a fresh, warm dinner waiting for you when you get home.
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