This quote says it all. "When you fail to plan, you plan to fail." Here's the deal, unless you have a lot of free time on your hands (which I'm guessing most of you don't), you need to apply this idea and system to your weekly routine. Many of my clients have expressed that they don't enjoy cooking on a daily basis, running to the grocery store more than once per week and wasting food that doesn't get eaten in time. My system of planning and prepping does require a little time and work. News flash, most things that end with a positive result do. The concept is to spend less time during the work week cooking, less money on eating out/wasting food and overall making healthier choices. In my opinion, it's the key to staying on track.
Step One: Plan out your meals for the week ahead. I suggest finding healthy recipes that sound delicious and don't require a lot of work. Keep it simple and delicious. For healthy ideas, head over to the recipe section right here on www.JennaLento.com. If nothing sounds appealing, try checking out meal ideas on Pinterest. There are so many wonderful suggestions and recipes for you to try. You will want to sit down and write out what you will be eating each day. Consider rotating meals every other day, in effort to absorb different nutrients into your body. After you have chosen the meals for the upcoming week, write out a grocery list for ONLY the items that you'll need. When people tell me eating healthy is expensive, I like to respond by saying, not if you buy what you need and nothing extra. Once you create your list, set aside a day/time where you can grocery shop and prep.
Step Two: Make grocery shopping enjoyable! Yes, enjoyable! I know this seems like an odd concept, but if you make this a "treat time" for yourself, it won't be such a drag each week. Consider treating yourself to a (non-dairy) latte, tea or dark chocolate. I also pick a grocey store that carries healthy products and good vibes. I guess you could call me a grocery diva! ;) At the grocery store, stick to what is on your list. Remember, you don't need any extra items. This keeps you on track with your health goals and budget too. You should be choosing recipe and food options that keep you mainly on the outskirts of the store. That's where most of the healthy/whole food items are kept.
Step Three: I suggest prepping your food immediately upon returning home from the grocery store. It's best to budget your time and energy, by doing it all at once. I promise it will be worth it when you spend little time cooking during the work week and more time with your family. Lay your groceries out and organize accordingly. Be sure to pick up plastic containers. This helps portion out meals and keeps things a bit more fresh. This is the healthiest version of "fast food" that you can get your hands on! Doing this right away will also mean food is ready to eat and most likely won't go to waste.
Shown here are two examples of dinner options that I like to prep for a busy week. I often make healthy taco salads using lean ground turkey. Before serving, I slice half of an avocado over it (healthy fats) and a little organic salsa. The other meal shown is a delicious chicken salad. Before serving this meal, I like to add a few sliced almonds and hemp seeds to it. I usually stick with a homemade dressing or Annie's Organic options. Be careful, even organic dressings can be high in sugar. I also like to wash and cut the rest of my fruit and vegetables that I plan to snack on or eat during the week.
With my crazy schedule, I truly don't have the time to cook a healthy dinner every night. Making these meals in advance, allows me to grab-and-go and stay on track with my health goals. I love it! Living a healthy lifestyle takes dedication, self-discipline and hard work. It's having a mind that can think clearly, a body that has the energy to get through the day and balance that makes you feel good. Prepping and preparing your food in advance helps support all of these things! It takes a little time and work, but the end result is totally worth it!