Food Prep Made Easy
When it comes to food prep, there are a couple of things that may come to mind like, "that's way too hard", "I don't have that time", "That's way too expensive", " I hate cooking". The truth is, all of those are false accusations of how food prep actually is.
HERE ARE SOME THINGS THAT FOOD PREP ACTUALLY DOES-
- You will always have food ready. No more running out of things to eat or spending $15 on a lunch last minute. If you put them in separate containers, it's a 5 minute process each morning to throw in a lunch box before work or school for the entire day. Or if you get "hangry" like I do, it saves others around you from feeling the wrath of your hunger!
- It saves you time. Yes, most people assume food prep takes forever and a day- FALSE. When I food prep, it takes me an hour maximum. When you calculate all of the time it takes you to make each separate meal during the week, or the time you have to get in your car and run to the nearest restaurant and actually wait for your food, you will have way surpassed the time it takes for meal prep.
- It saves you money. YES. More bang for your buck. Especially if you shop at bulk stores, like Costco or Sams, you can freeze food and save a ton of money in the long run. Think about it- an average lunch costs around $10 and dinner around $15-$20. Not to mention all the other foods in between. That can get to be a lot without even noticing. By buying the same of a lot, you will really cut costs in the long run.
- It's more convenient. Everything is already done and ready to go. So even if you are extremely busy, you can just take it with you or eat it right then. Your food is all in one container for an easier eat.
- It keeps you on a healthy track. Sometimes when you are short on time or want something easy, it might be your first instinct to reach for a food that isn't too healthy- for example, fast food. By making all of my meals super clean, it helps me stay on my plan. I also know exactly what goes into my meals, especially salt and oil.
IF YOU'RE THINKING THIS MAY BE FOR YOU, WHICH YOU SHOULD, HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR YOUR FIRST TIME FOOD PREPPING-
- Set aside one day (preferably the least busy) to food prep. I always do mine on Sunday because I'm usually getting most of my errands done and staying around the house. I usually set around 2-3 hours to go to the grocery store and come home and straight to cooking. I also put it in my calendar-- this way, you treat it as an appointment and you don't forget about it.
- Make it a family event. One of the hardest things to do is eat healthy around unsupportive people. Cooking can always be fun as a group effort and it will save much more time.
- Tag team the grill and oven. For me, I always use the oven for veggies and carbs, then the grill (stovetop) for protein. I wash off all of my food first and toss them in whatever marinade/seasoning I want. That's when I take my food going in the oven (since it takes longer), spray Pam on a tray and lay everything on it. Pop it in and set the timer. Then I'll use the grill/stovetop to grill my protein. Usually by the time I am finished with that, my oven time will go off. HINT-- remember to use a fan! It can get a little steamy with all that cooking.
- Make due with what you've got. Since I live with roommates, I don't have much room for 20 containers in the refrigerator at one time, so I will instead place the same foods in much larger containers and make sure I distribute into smaller ones 1-2 days in advance of when I need them. That seems to work better for me but it differs for everyone.
- Change up the condiments. Some people may not like the "freak of habit" lifestyle and for-go the prepping all together. I will use different condiments to change it up, or put different veggies with different proteins. Vary it up and it will make it much easier.
Prepping can always be a change for some, but it's a KEY to staying on the right track with your health! Try it out for a couple of weeks and I promise your body and your wallet with thank you.
Stay healthy, stay happy.