As I continue to move forward in my coaching career, I am coming to terms with the very many realizations that your influence is only as great as your practice. Even further, one’s ability to talk, describe, and match their own practice with the client’s. It’s become quite obvious that I use examples and illustrations to help further a person’s goals to develop awareness through choice.
Meal prepping is one of the things that I employ heavily in my own life and I want to discuss the specifics rather than the concepts. It’s all about the action on this one, so let’s get to it.
Why should one meal prep? I am sure there are a million and one reasons a person could come up with but the truth for myself on this one is, it keeps me honest. Sure I want to slam an entire pizza on monday afternoon for lunch and then follow it up with a nice greasy cheeseburgers, fries and a beer for dinner, and then maybe repeat that scenario for the next few days, but the reality is, I can’t and know better for my health.
The truth is we all know what is good for us, by inherently knowing what is not good for us. I know I need more veggies, lean protein, carbs and fats that don’t cause crazy insulin spikes and heavy LDL transports.
Meal prepping is my trigger and my conscious way of prioritizing my health, week in and week out. If I eat more of the healthy stuff I create, than by the nature of the sheer volume and intake I will be healthier and make better choices overall.
GO TO THE STORE…..
If you’re going to meal prep, you have to get to the store. For me, Sunday’s, are the best day for me to get there. I know that no matter what I have going on I can get there. Once there, I need to prioritize and not run rampant trying to grab every single thing off the shelves. When I first started this practice I bought everything. Slowly, over time I realized that I ate the same things pretty much every week. So I took the time to think and develop a list of the things I needed for the week so I could make the foods I most enjoyed. I suggest taking the time to do this also.
After developing a list and sense of what I ate each week, I needed to make sure I grabbed enough of it for the week. At first I grabbed too much and watched as things rotted. Following washing my money away, I found myself heading to the store every night. Not a practice I endorse unless you live in a country that prides themselves on fresh food at a bodega.
Finally, I stuck to the two rule. If I knew I needed something I grabbed two. This way I had enough and could freeze the rest. Look at it as a roll over method. After all you never know when you are going to need that extra onion.
Chop, Dice, Slice, Cook, What You Can…..
Meal prepping isn’t just about having food on hand in the pantry. The art of meal prepping is getting the basic ingredients ready to be used, so you save time and energy when preparing a meal. Each week, on Sunday, I chop all the onions, peppers, and other vegetables I know I want to put into my meals for the week. I like to flavor all my food so it’s not boring. By chopping these additives up I am able to choose which meals they go into, like my omelette that I have each morning.
I also make a plain salad each week to have on hand. By plain I mean the basics. Lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, that’s it. It allows me to add any dressings I want in another individual bowl or any sort of toppings to it during the week. Think about it like having a series of toppings for ice cream. You never want just one but know that you have to choose one.
Cook any meats that can be flavored later on. For me, chicken is my go to. I cook two packages each week and leave it place or marinate it in a basic hot sauce, this way I can eat it the way it is or add some flavor to it.
I do the same for veggies and certain carbs like brown rice. This may sound tricky or even like a lot of effort, but I promise once done, you realize you have given yourself options for the week. I can choose any combination of these foods to make a meal. I can also just take one of them and add it to another meal I decide to make for dinner that night. For example, I enjoy a nice steak once a week and like to cook it and eat that day. I add some veggies that I have already cooked with some brown rice on the side to complete the meal, so that I get the balance of macros that I need.
Keep It Simple….
Keep meal prepping simple. Don’t overcomplicate it. Really, if you know you can only do it for one meal than do it for one. The idea really is to become aware of what you are eating, before you are eating. To help make better choices around food. If this concept and practice seems too troublesome for you, don’t worry, there are meal prepping companies out there that deliver right to your door. Among some of the best are Kettellbell Kitchen and Blue Apron. These companies provide the food, instructions on how to cook, and the service of delivering the food to your door. They are a bit more expensive than you buying the food in constituent parts, but they are conveniently piecing the food together food for you.