One of the most important factors in getting that body you want is maintaining a healthy diet. For those of you on my shred programs you will know that a lot of prep work needs to be done to eat healthy, which I know can feel very daunting when first starting out. However if you plan well and are prepared to spend some time at the beginning of the week doing smart food prep you will be setting yourself up for success. A huge cause of why people end up eating unhealthy food is because they get caught out and hungry with nothing healthy on hand. That’s why if you are prepared, slipups are less likely to occur. When you do good meal prep for the week whilst it may take a few hours to do in the one go, you will ultimately save on time over the week. That’s because you are doing all the chopping, cooking and cleaning in the one go. I know a lot of people starting out haven’t cooked this way before, that’s why I want to share some of my tips that I do for my weekly meal prep.
1. Create smoothie freezer bags
Smoothies are a delicious quick breakfast option or snack to have when on the go. When you are doing your meal prep for the week get some snack sized snap lock bags and fill them with your favourite smoothie ingredients. All you need to do is grab your pre packed smoothie bag from the freezer, add a liquid of your choice, blend and you have a quick healthy meal in a matter of minutes. By using frozen ingredients it makes your smoothies nice and thick too.
2. Cook in bulk
There are quite a few meals that you can cook in bulk, that will stay good in the fridge for leftovers for a few days or you can freeze for meals later. Things like curries, stews and soups are all great freezer meals. Sometimes I will even triple the recipe so I can fill the freezer up with healthy meals for those times when life get’s a little hectic. Slow cookers are also great for cooking soups, stews and curries. You can simply chop all your ingredients, add them to the slow cooker with your flavourings and liquid in the morning, leave it for the day and then come back to a nutritious meal after work.
3. Eat your leftovers
If you don’t have time to do a big bulk meal prep session then when you do get time to cook make extra, so you can have leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day. It’s all about making smart use of your time, so if you are going to the trouble of cooking, then you may as well cook a few meals in the one go. Now before you roll your eyes at having to eat leftovers, remember that’s it’s far better to eat the same healthy meal a few times, then it is to fall of the wagon when there is nothing healthy on hand.
4. Chop your veges in bulk
When you move to a healthy diet that doesn’t come out of a packet then you will find that there is a lot more time spent chopping vegetables. So whilst you are spending the time chopping them you may as well do it in the one go. You can pre chop your vege sticks for snacks and then store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Cover the veges in water which will keep them fresh and crunchy for up to five days. If you are making stir fries chop all your vegetables and then store in serving sized snap lock bags. You can either keep these in the fridge or freezer and ready to go for when you need that quick meal on hand. You just need to add your protein and sauce to the pan and you have an instant quick dinner and something that is far better for you than takeout.
5. Pre separate your egg whites
I like to eat a lot of omelettes for breakfast and if you don’t want to spend every morning separating your egg whites from the yolk then do it all in the one go. Get separate containers and separate as many egg whites you need into each for 1 serving size. You can take your pre chopped vegetables (see above), add in your egg whites to a pan and you have a healthy brekkie, lunch or dinner in no time at all.
6. Get good storage
If you haven’t realised already from all of these tips you are going to need a lot of containers and fridge room to store all the food you are making. If you can, try and get containers that are serving sized so you don’t overfill them and overeat. Other handy things to have in the cupboards for meal prep is ziplock bags (for your smoothies, veges and freezer meals) and a few different protein shakers to store smoothies and egg whites in.
I know all of this can seem like a lot of work to start with but remember why you are doing it and that big changes don’t come easy. However once you start cooking this way, you will be able to find your groove in the kitchen and I promise it will get a lot easier as time goes on. There is so much truth in that saying “by failing to prepare you’re preparing to fail”. Remember by having quick instant healthy meals on hand you are less likely to fall off wagon and grab takeaway when you run out of time. If you can use some of these tips, then you will be well on your way to getting the results you want. Hope you guys enjoy this post and if you are using my shred programs, or even just simply cooking some delicious healthy meals I would love to see your creations on Instagram. Just tag me @emilyskyefit and use hashtag #emilyskye or #28daystoshred.