I get asked maybe twice a week “how can you eat the same thing for lunch every day?” I’ve been ‘Meal Prepping’ my lunch meals for over a year now and I will admit that it’s not the easiest thing to do. So what exactly is meal prepping? For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, essentially it is planning and prepping your meals in advance for the week. This means cooking items in bulk and eating leftovers.
It takes a lot of discipline to eat the same thing every day (well Monday-Friday; on weekends I eat like a ‘normal person’). However, even though it can get monotonous sometimes, when I look back at how far I’ve come in my hormonal acne and overall health and wellness journey because of eating better, it helps me stay on course. Eating healthier is honestly a commitment I made to myself to better myself and meal prepping has been my way of keeping myself on track. No regrets to this today.
Here are some tips on how to get started on Meal prepping:
PLAN AHEAD: Pick one day in the week where you are most likely to be able to put aside a few hours to cook. My meal prep days are usually Sundays.
KEEP IT SIMPLE: Pick one protein (a meat or fish or legume if you’re vegetarian), one or two sources of fiber to keep you full and some veggies because you should always have something ‘green’ in your diet every day. For example: a simple healthy lunch meal option would be baked sweet potato, steamed broccoli and carrots and grilled chicken or fish with a side of lentils or beans. Meal prep meals are meant to be quick but healthy meal options. If you have the time and genuinely love cooking (I don’t; I like to be out of the kitchen by two hours max) and want to go more elaborate on your meals and have more variety then feel free. For those that get frustrated by being in the kitchen too long, like myself, then stick to simpler meal options.
PREPARE/PLAN FOR YOUR HARDEST MEAL: What I mean by this is ensuring that you put proper preparation into your most ‘trouble meal’ i.e. the meal that you’re most likely to miss or indulge in a less healthy option because of poor planning. For me it was usually breakfast. If you’re like me, if I don’t eat on time I usually get a nasty migraine. So for breakfast I had to find some quick and healthy options as I don’t have a lot of time in the morning to spend preparing anything elaborate. My breakfast options usually range from either two boiled eggs to bran cereal or whole grain oats or granola with almond milk. These options usually leave me feeling full for about three to four hours and I always make sure I have either a banana or apple or almonds as a mid-morning snack to keep me up till lunch time. Trust me, I know that it sounds like a lot but once you get into a routine it becomes second nature in no time.
BE REALISTIC IN YOUR GOALS: Because of my job and working hours and the fact that I don’t have a lot of eating time in general during the day, I adapted to eating the same thing for lunch Monday to Friday easily. Everyone is different of course and if you know you can’t commit to five days in the week at least do three. I’ve always believed that stringent rules on any diet or weight loss plan will result in failure.
STORE YOUR MEAL PROPERLY: Make sure that you have good containers and a good working refrigerator to store your meals. Nothing is more frustrating than having your meals go bad due to a bad working fridge.
SEPARATE CERTAIN FOODS THAT SPOIL QUICKLY: Brocolli for instance is very sensitive to ethylene gas and will spoil quickly in its presence with ethylene gas producers like tomatoes and green beans for example; so you should store broccoli separately or consume within two to three days of cooking. Also, I’ve found that onions as well seem to spoil food in general quickly, especially if poorly refrigerated.
“Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.” – Jim Rohn