(gtag.js) New Year, New Opportunities: Meal Prep Tips & Tricks

New Year, New Opportunities - Meal Prep Tips and Tricks

pilates & healthy diet Jan 13, 2019
Photo by Jonathan Colon  https://skatesphere.com/

When you are nourishing your body with all those juicy Pilates exercises, you want to be able to back it up with a healthy eating plan and organisation is key.  If you are on track in this department that's wonderful. However, if this is an area of your life you would like to improve, you've come to the right place! 
As a reformed junk food addict myself I understand how daunting it can be to break bad habits and establish new healthy eating patterns, but I can assure you it can be done. Sometimes I amaze myself with how far I've come in my food journey with an ever-expanding repertoire of healthy meals I can competently produce and it all comes down to -  planning ahead and organisation. 

Complete a Weekly Meal Plan
 Many years ago now, I use to wait until I was ravenous before I would even begin to think about what I was going to eat for dinner.  Definitely not good for the blood sugar levels and usually resulted in another takeaway, selected by whichever could deliver first. I really don't recommend this method so the first step to take is to plan for the week ahead. If possible print off a calendar for your fridge and write down meals for breakfast,  lunch and dinner for the week.  Plan snacks as well as this where you can resort to sugary options. If this is overwhelming,  just start with dinner only.
Then shop for the ingredients so you have everything on hand for the week.  Your choice of meals can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like, depending on your own personal preferences, time constraints, and abilities. Try to incorporate as much fresh fruit and vegetables into your diet as you can, and keep processed food to a minimum.

Evening Meal Plan

I'm going to use simple Dinners for my example for 7 nights. Start with dinner planning first so you can then either make a double batch to freeze or plan to use it for lunch the following day. The * indicates suitable for a double batch.

*Monday  Chicken and vegetable StirFry with Brown Rice
 Tuesday  Salmon with roast vegetables & steamed green beans
*Wednesday  Vegetarian Frittatta with a green salad
*Thursday Chicken rissoles with steamed carrots, corn & bok choy
  Friday  Fish and oven baked sweet potato chips with green salad
  Saturday  Dining out/ healthy takeaway/meal from the freezer
*Sunday  Chickpea and black bean casserole

If you are new to this then just start with the above dinner plan format, adding the meals of your choice and when you feel ready then proceed to add lunches as well.  Don't try to change too much too soon.

Lunch Meal Plan
This example is based on incorporating all of the additional servings you have from the previous night's dinner. An alternative is to freeze some or all of the extra servings from the dinners and choose completely different lunches each day. It all depends on your availability for prep time and what you feel like eating. It's great to have a few options. The * indicates from previous night's dinner

 Monday  Vietnamese  rice paper rolls with prawns and vegetables 
*Tuesday Chicken and Vegetable StirFry 
 Wednesday  Sardines in tomato sauce on toast with salad
*Thursday Vegetarian Frittata/Salad  
*Friday Chicken Burger/Salad (using just rissoles from previous night)
 Saturday  Tuna, avocado and salad wrap
 Sunday Home Made Bean Tacos 

Breakfast Meal Plan
I don't know about you but breakfast can get boring if you don't mix it up sometimes.
Plan some different options such as healthy pancakes, eggs, smoothie bowls, different types of granolas, porridges, cereals, fresh fruit and try to include protein to keep you satisfied until lunchtime. Prep anything the night before to make the morning as easy and stress-free as possible, such as preparing the pancake batter, cooking boiled eggs or soaking oats for porridge.

Final Tips
Knowing what your next meal will be and where it"s coming from are both very satisfying and reassuring experiences.
Tomato based vegetable or tuna pasta sauces are also great standbys in the freezer. In addition to these and your extra portions you have frozen from dinners you should never be short of a meal.
Freeze any fruit and vegetables left over at the end of the week, so nothing goes to waste.
Prepare healthy snacks such as hummus to serve with crackers and protein balls which also freeze well. 
Always carry a reusable bottle of water with you so you stay hydrated.
Once you can establish a routine with your meals you'll be surprised how easily and smoothly meal planning and prep becomes. Enjoying  healthy food while being super organised and saving time is a truly liberating feeling and one I highly recommend!


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