One thing that I can’t stress enough for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is to MEAL PREP! No matter what your goals are, whether it’s strictly to look as bad ass as you can or if it’s just to feel healthier, meal prep is essential! Making food at home takes time. Without a plan, it’s hard to stay consistent throughout the week. Learning how to effectively meal prep is a necessity if you want to stick to a clean eating diet. Having a schedule or having everything written down what you are going to eat will not only help you stick to your plan, it’ll make everything so much simpler. First, you’ll want to set yourself up with a system. I like to plan ahead and meal prep for a whole week, sometimes it’s hard enough trying to plan two days in advance, so set yourself up with a schedule that will work for you. I will typically go to the grocery store on Sunday afternoon, and again on Wednesday evenings. I pick up everything I need for that week. I am a creature of habit, so I do well with general guidelines that I can repeat one week to the next. Next, you’ll want to pick out a variety of food, based on your goals for each meal of the day. Come up with four to five different options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. I try and use ingredients that I already have in the fridge/pantry to limit the amount of food that gets wasted. Choose different types of grains, produce, and protein sources to cover your meals for the length of your schedule. Whichever was is easiest for you, make sure you are writing down your meal plan. A chalkboard in the kitchen, or calendar on the fridge is always a good option. If you are a little more tech savvy like me, something like www.myfitnesspal.com might be a better more fun option for you. A lot of times, I will just copy an old meal plan on the weeks that are a little busier. Just remember, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to switch out the foods you are eating. If you eat the same meals every single day, your body starts to deprive itself of nutrients that exist in other type of foods that you may be cutting out. A goal that I set for myself is to try one new recipe per week. I really love making a clean version of “regular” foods. Here is a template that I tend to go by, insert your own variations of foods and eat smaller meals more times a day. Meal 1: Breakfast Meal 2: Snack Meal 3: Lunch Meal 4: Mid-Day Snack Meal 5: Dinner Meal 6: Snack (optional) Once you have four to five different choices for each category, create several different meal plans and switch them out as the days/weeks pass. Next, get in the kitchen! Plan one or two nights per week that are dedicated to being in the kitchen. Mine are Wednesdays and Sundays. A good tip for measuring portion control is well, measuring! Measure and weigh all your food! Now, when you are preparing meals for an entire family, I understand how that may be a little difficult (and you aren’t going to necessarily weigh out your kids foods)! So just keep your overall goals in mind when preparing your meals. I have an array of Tupperware. It’s my best friend in meal prepping. Put all of your meals in “to go” Tupperware and you’re set! Here are a couple of home photos that my sister took when preparing her lunches. She’s a law student and getting ready for the new semester she sent me this photo of her meal prep – brings a tear to my eye :) What are your favourite meal prep ideas? We want to hear from you!
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