Hope you’re looking forward to the weekend, I’m out for a birthday meal with some friends and then spending mother’s day with my mum, 2 aunties and my nan for a shopping trip, the best kind of mother’s day!
This week’s Fitness Friday post is dedicated to Meal Preparation.
Again, I’m no nutritionist or dietitian but I do believe I eat a healthy and balanced diet. One of the main things that my work colleagues always say to me is ‘how do you make lunch like that in the morning?’ ‘how do you have the time?’ and then rattle off excuses of like ‘it’s hard to keep fresh ingredients in the house’ etc etc etc.
There are SO many ways you can still eat healthily and really it is a poor excuse to say that you don’t have time and can’t keep fresh food in the house, and I’m hoping this will show you how.
1) Make better use of your freezer. I know that most fruits and vegetables are better fresh, but you can buy bags of frozen berries for smoothies, sweetcorn and soya beans for salads, and peppers, mushrooms, onions, garlic, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower etc for evening meals.
There is no way you can’t find room in your freezer for a variety of these bags of fruit and veg and incorporate them into meals and snacks. Apart from if you’ve done the next step….
2) Choose and prepare your meals in advance.
I know those days that you don’t know what you want to eat, you’ve had a long day and want something comforting.
I do live at home with my parents currently (just can’t seem to get away!) so I’m lucky that my mum prepares amazing food. But when I lived out I spent 1 day a week making up meals for the week and separating them into portions. I’d refrigerate some and freeze the others, taking out a meal in the morning from the freezer when I needed to.
It’s the easiest way to have some ‘fast food’ knowing that you only have to cook some potato, rice, pasta etc and knowing that what you’re eating is healthy and nutritious. It is hard work to do it this way, but being organised is the only way I can guarantee that I won’t eat rubbish and fall off the wagon.
You can buy plastic tupperware to put meals into from places like asda or Tesco, or you can have one last Chinese/Indian takeaway and keep all of the plastic pots from that 😉
3) Make use of your cupboards and have tinned food at the ready. Tinned food always has a super long use by date.
In my cupboard we have tuna, chick peas, mixed bean salad and a fair few varieties of other beans.
All of these can be added to lunches and salads and doesn’t need any special treatment for storing, and if you’re running low on meat, chickpeas etc can be added to pasta, chilli and casserole dishes to bulk it out with protein and make it feel more filling.
I also have plenty of pasta, rice, noodles, cous cous and quinoa (wholegrain varieties of course!) in the cupboard and these can be added to the meals that you can heat up whenever you require.
It is a pain, there’s no doubt about that, but its cheaper, less wasteful and guarantees you a decent meal that’s going to fill you up and satisfy your cravings and hunger without sacrificing your hard work at the gym.
4) Spare some room in your fridge with easy foods that you can grab and go. Packets of chicken, pots of cottage cheese, even babybel for an easy bit of protein. I personally rarely eat cheese from cows milk as I’m dairy intolerant but I do love feta and mozzarella on occasion. Boiled eggs can also be kept in your fridge for a good amount of time and they’re easy to snack on and add to salads with tuna and chicken.
Tomatoes and bags of salad leaves and spinach are also easy to grab to add to lunches.
When I make my lunch I honestly pour in chicken or tuna, grab tomatoes and sweetcorn/soya beans from the freezer, fill the rest of the lunch box with leaves and put salt and pepper on. Lunch sorted in 2 mins flat!
Do you follow a similar sort of thing to this for your meal plans? Do you pack your lunch the night before and prepare your meals on weekends?