Meal Prep is Key to Creating a Healthy Lifestyle
Finding the right foods, eating the right quantities, at the right time is the most challenging aspect of creating a healthy lifestyle, because you have many possible mis-steps throughout the day to avoid. Preparing and planning your meals in advance is key to your success throughout the day in terms of getting the nutrition you need for energy and reaching your goals.
The key to a successful week is planning out your menu, and preparing things in advance to make sticking to the plan easy. I often plan a few staple foods and use them in multiple recipes, for variety and ease of execution. If you really don't have the time, opt for canned ready-to-go proteins like chicken and tuna, hard-boiled eggs, salads, raw vegetables (I love cherry tomatoes, snap peas, green beans, carrots, and cucumbers ), fresh fruit and nuts (like almonds and pecans), which no time to throw in a plastic container and get out the door. It really doesn't have to be complicated. Some of my execution strategies include:
- Making a double recipe of a meal, and portioning out the leftovers to eat again later in the week, or freeze to eat at a later time
- Roast a full tray of veggies to use as add-ins for breakfast eggs, toppings on salads, or dinner sides
- Planning easy snacks such as almonds, fresh fruit, raw veggies, and energy-packed protein balls
- Make a pot of soup and freeze in portions.
- Make a dozen (or more) hard-boiled eggs for the week. These are a great snack or salad topper. I often even pre-peel mine to make the consumption even easier!
- Grill a whole bag of chicken breasts with several types of seasoning to use as snacks (sliced in strips), on top of salad, or as dinners. The different seasoning options will give you some variety in your meals.
- Buy pre-washed salad or spinach (Spinach is my favorite - as I often add in my eggs, eat as salad, or sautee to add to a dinner dish)
- Make enough quinoa or other ancient grains, beans, and brown rice for the week. You can use as add-ins for eggs, in salad, or with dinners
Meal prep offers many benefits:
- Better nutrition - Having your meals on hand and planned in advance ensures that they are well-balanced and appropriately portioned. You won’t have to go to a local restaurant for food, so you know exactly the quality of the ingredients and there won’t be any added fillers, preservatives, extra sodium (or calories)!
Improved Metabolism - When you plan meals and snacks, you will eat more regularly. This will maintain your energy level and blood sugars throughout the day, and regulate your metabolism as you will continue to “fuel the machine” all day long. When we skip meals and don’t snack (on healthy choices), our body is forced to conserve energy through slowing your metabolic rate.
- Saving money - Skip the restaurant and drive-thrus and you will save money. The average restaurant lunch is $15, so preparing your own will save you $75 a week! That’s enough to pick yourself out a new workout outfit, pay for your gym membership, AND have money leftover!!
- Time Management - We are all busy, but saying “you don’t have enough time” is not a reason to not eat healthy. The quickest option is NOT a high-calorie fast food. If you meal prep, the quality-ingredients and healthful options will be accessible, and save you time in even thinking about what you’re going to eat, and when you’re going to squeeze in a lunch break--because you’ve already done the planning and the meal is just a few steps away. This will enable you to better manage your time throughout the day and keep your energy level and productivity up--because good nutrition improves our focus.
- Improved goal achievement - When I am working with clients and planning to help them reach their goals (whether it’s increased muscle, toning and tightening, weight loss or weight gain), nutrition is key to success. Having your meals pre-portioned and ready to go in the correct quantities or portions helps keep you on track.
- Portion Control - It’s hard to control portions without planning. Meal planning and preparing your meals ensures that you are eating a well-balanced diet and the correct amount of calories, carbohydrates, fat, and protein. Without portion control containers, or a food scale, it is difficult to assess the quantity of food on a plate, and you could consume hundreds of extra calories inadvertently.
- Fighting the Battle - We have to fight a mental game against negativity and a lack of self-control when we are weak. When you are hungry, it is hard to overcome the little voice in your head that encourages you to hit the vending machine or run for fast-food. If you have your meal ready to go, you are already mentally preparing yourself to succeed. It is easier to stay on track when you have a plan to follow. Don’t let yourself give up on your goals!
Preparing your food ahead of time is going to save you both time and money. Meal prepping will allow you to reach your health and wellness goals more quickly, and save you money.
But maybe you aren’t prepared to plan your own meals, grocery shop,and cook. You can still be successful with meal prep by Caterfit Yuma. Chef Lucy creates a meal plan for you, including low carb, paleo, keto, vegan, and extra protein options. She will help you be successful, by preparing some or all of your meals in advance. She can do your lunch the night before, cooking in batch, or precooking all your food and portioning it out for the week in grab-and-go containers.
The beauty of meal prep is that you can enjoy that extra time and receive the meals you need Sunday morning to start the week full of energy and good nutrition. Caterfit Yuma,LLC and our Executive Chef Lucy Sedano publish a meal calendar each week. If you want to take the effort out of meal planning, this is the option for you!
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First-time buyers: Receive FREE Protein Bars with your first order as our gift to you!