March is National Nutrition Month, and it is a great time to focus on your nutrition goals. One of the easiest ways to do this? Start experimenting with meal planning and prepping! If you stock your kitchen with healthy and convenient food, you are more likely to be successful.
Meal planning and prep can be a terrific way to develop a nutritional strategy, stay true to your goals, and, best of all, remain on the path towards a healthier you. For the uninitiated, though, meal prep can seem daunting. With a few simple tips, however, organizing your meals in advance couldn’t be easier. Check out our quick meal prep guide.
First thing first: take a deep breath.
When looking at all the options for meal prep while also looking at your packed schedule—it can be easy to become overwhelmed. One of the top secrets for effective meal prep? Think simple.
While online guides and cookbooks might bombard you with images of expertly crafted, Tupperware-stored creations, it is important to keep the essentials in mind. What is most critical is having a protein, a carbohydrate, a vegetable, and healthy fat.
This simplified approach to meal planning will go a long way towards making it an easier—and perhaps an even enjoyable process.
Pick A Day
Aside from what to prep, many first-time meal planners struggle with scheduling time to assemble meals. One solution? Dedicate one day a week towards planning.
For people who work Monday–Friday, Sunday is the obvious choice. Instead of being pressed for time, you can relax in your home kitchen – and enjoy cooking your meals for the week.
The best part about meal planning on the same day each week? It will become easier to grocery shop, plan for leftovers, and anticipate upcoming time crunches. All of this means you’ll have convenient and healthy food that’s easily accessible.
Part of meal prep’s intimidation factor stems from the anticipated time commitment. How can you cook an entire week’s worth of food in one day?!
In fact, you don’t have to cook, chop, or even package all of your food. One of the most effective meal prep strategies is to use pre-packaged, already prepared foods as a part of your daily meal plan.
Many grocery stores and food outlets even have specialty, nutritionally-sound meals already made. You can find components like rice, pre-chopped veggies, and pre-cooked chicken in bagged and instant portions.
So, you’ve prepped all your meals, and you have your refrigerator stocked. Now what?
Even for people who strictly adhere to a schedule of meal planning, the temptation to “cheat” and ignore pre-planned meals can be strong.
One solution is to have variety day to day. While this might sound like a tall order, it couldn’t be easier. Utilize leftovers in a variety of ways. The same protein can be easily converted to fill a salad, a wrap or a taco bowl.
It will be much easier to look forward to the lunch or snacks you’ve brought to work when they vary from day to day.
Get Help From A Nutrition Coach
If you are curious about the time-saving power of meal-prep but aren’t sure where to start, you may benefit from a consultation with an expert in nutrition.
At FitFlex Nutrition, we are experts in meal prep and planning. With a passion for helping clients meet their fitness goals, we are ready to help you get your nutrition in order!
To get started, contact FitFlex today!