We have all been there; you are rushing from one thing to the next, and before you know it, you haven’t eaten in hours, and the only option is to swing by that drive through, or grab a snack from the gas station.
Juggling a busy lifestyle with health and fitness is not easy, but it definitely CAN be done. If you are anything like me, you thrive off having a packed schedule and a set routine. It has taken me a few years to find a routine that works for me, my lifestyle, and my body, but learning how to prepare food ahead of time, and a take a little extra time out of my morning to be sure I’m well prepared for the day ahead of me has changed the trajectory of my fitness journey.
Meal prepping DOESN’T have to be fancy.
There are so many different ways to meal prep. You can prepare full meals ahead of time, cook your meat, carbs, and veggies all separately and assemble the food before you eat, or you can just wake up a little earlier than normal and pack your lunch and dinner. I think people get caught up in thinking meal prepping has to be this extravagant meal, when in reality the definition of “meal prepping” is simply preparing your food prior to eating it. So, this can be as simple as waking up and making it before school or work. I like to do a little bit of everything.
So, I am going to share with you how I typically meal prep throughout the week.
On Sunday, I like to grocery shop and cook chicken (or whatever meat I decide upon for the week). I typically will just toss 4-5 chicken breasts in the oven on 350 for 30 mins. Then, I’ll cut it all up and put it in a big container in the fridge.
I find that when I don’t have chicken readily available in the fridge, it is harder to hit my protein goals for the day! On Sunday’s I will also prepare some veggies for the week to grab from.
My favorites are: asparagus, zucchini, and onions! This way, I can add them to my meals easily, or even eat them as a snack throughout the week.
Then, throughout the week I wake up an extra 15-20 mins early and assemble a few snacks, a sandwich or wrap, and some veggies for lunch. I am typically home for dinner, but do not have much time to cook a crazy meal, so this is when I reach in the fridge and can use the prepared chicken and veggies to make whatever I want!
Chicken pasta, chicken panini, chicken and rice, whatever I am feeling that night, and I don’t have to spend 30-40 mins cooking the chicken and veggies.
I find that simply preparing lunch in the morning, or cooking my protein and veggies prior to the week beginning has helped me stay on track SO much. It is so difficult to stay on track when you head out for the day and have no idea what food you will be having.
Temptations and outside influences in the office, or at school, can cause you to fall off track and stray from the healthy diet you have been creating for yourself. If you have your food prepared and ready for the day, it makes it so much easier to stay on track and reach your goals.
1. I suggest trying a few different ways, then deciding what works for you. Look at your schedule and your daily routine, then think about what will work best for you and your lifestyle. If you have to be up super early for work, maybe try making your lunch the night before, so you can grab it and go!
2. Consider the foods you like. Do not just make the typical “chicken and rice” meal if you don’t enjoy it. You will burn out SO quickly and won’t be able to make this a lifestyle change.
3. Be sure to keep switching it up. I used to have a terrible habit of always eating the same foods, then after two weeks I was beyond sick of them and tended to fall off track. Switch up the protein and carb sources and use different seasonings and sauces.
4. Grab a friend and prep together! Head to the store and split the price of food with a friend and cook together! Having a friend to hold you accountable and do it with makes it more fun and easy to succeed!
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