I know not everyone is a fan of meal prepping. Often I hear these reasons;
I don’t have the time
I don’t like to cook
I hate food shopping
I don’t know what to make
I get it – I used to feel the same. Until I started to feel crappy and my clothes were too tight and my bank account was low with all the take-out. If you can relate to any of the excuses above – read on my soon-to-be meal prepper!
Meal Prepping it’s a tool that I always teach my clients and it works! If you are looking to lose weight, eat healthier, and save money read on about the 6 benefits of meal planning….
You Will Eat Healthier
No brainer here, right?! When you pick out your own food, cook it at home, and portion it, you are already winning. Yes, you can grab healthy options from your favorite restaurant or salad bar but be aware – as they often cook with industrial oils (that increase your Omega 6 intake leading to inflammation) plus the portion size is always more than what it should be so you feel you are getting your $$ worth.
Making healthier, more mindful meal choices by planning ahead contributes to better overall health. A 2017 study of more than 40,000 people found that those who planned their meals adhered more to nutritional guidelines had more variety in their diet and were less likely to be overweight or obese. Meal planning allows you to plan balanced nutritional meals that have a variety of healthy ingredients. Cooking at home also helps you consume less sodium, salt, saturated fat, and sugar than you would eating out. When you cook at home you create from beginning to end and have control of what goes into your meal which in turn reduces the added sugars, salts, and therefore calories.
I don’t know about you but having to think about what to eat at every meal stresses me out! And I don’t welcome any unwanted stress – especially that of which I can avoid with a little bit of planning.
It’s lunchtime. You have a million errands to run with the kids or you are at work super busy and there is no time to think clearly about ordering something healthy because at this point you are HANGRY (you know hungry + angry from the low blood sugar) so you cave and eat your kids chicken nuggets or grab whatever is in the vending machine. I know – that was me!
An hour later, how are you feeling? Crappy and probably tired from the sugar crash and not the best version of yourself. USe your easiest day to plan and prep ahead of time, then on your hardest days, you have what you need at your fingertips. And by building into your weekly plan room for leftovers, you give yourself days off.
You Will Have More FREE Time
If you wait until the day of to figure out what you are going to eat, you are adding another task to your day with a grocery store run or stopping to pick something up. And if there is one thing that is priceless is our time!
“Time is currency and you can’t get it back so spend it wisely” – cherise mazur
*Think about the added time spent each day you run out to get food. If you front-load that time on a Sunday and meal prep you get all that time back during the week. It’s more efficient to sit down once a week, scan through your pinned recipes or earmarked cookbooks, and make one grocery list for the week, rather than repeat the process every day or two. I have tons of recipes on my blog that are great for meal prep ideas. Including my 5 Day Clean Eating Guide.
You Will Waste Less Food
I will not get into boring statistics on how much food is wasted every day but let’s just say you can save your $$ and the planet with meal prepping. Weekly meal planning helps you purchase only the groceries that you actually need—and to make maximum use of every ingredient.
Another environmentally friendly perk of meal planning: You’ll bypass all the packaging that goes along with takeout meals. it’s a win-win all around!
*Weekly meal planning helps you purchase only the groceries that you actually need—and to make maximum use of every ingredient. When you intentionally account for half of an onion to be used in your enchilada recipe and another half to garnish your bean chili, then you won’t have a forgotten, partially cut onion withering away in the fridge until it’s unusable. When you meal plan, you are more aware so you can plan to use the whole food. Another environmentally friendly perk of meal planning: You’ll bypass all the packaging that goes along with takeout meals.
You Will Save $$$
And let’s be real – who doesn’t want to save $$$$ – unless you are the Wolf of Wall Street – then you probably have a private chef meal planning for you (GOALS!!)
Back to wasting food – that also equates to wasting $. When meal prepping a week’s worth of lunches for one, for example, you can choose one recipe that serves five and then portion it out into five lunches over the course of the week. Do the math and it’s a huge cost saving!
*When meal prepping a week’s worth of lunches for one, for example, you can choose one recipe that serves five and then portion it out into five lunches over the course of the week. Do the math and it’s a huge cost saving: On average, in any given week of meal planning, you can prep ahead for one or two breakfast recipes that you can rotate, one recipe for a week of lunches, and four or five dinners that will lead to leftovers. That’s more than half the meals!
Most Importantly – Have FUN With It!
Yes, meal prepping can be fun. Get the kids involved – bet you they will then eat what you make. That is how I introduced a lot of new foods to my kids.
Pump Up The Jam!! (am I dating myself here?! LOL!)
But yes, put on your favorite playlist – heck create a meal prep one! Turn it up, dance around and get cooking! I know we were told growing up not to play with our food but here is it totally acceptable – as you are the one eating it anyway!
You might get excited by the idea of trying every overnight oats variety you can find on Pinterest. Or you may start to think about changing up your burger, plant-based meal, or salads by rotating through flavor profiles, such as Southwestern, Mediterranean, Thai, and Italian. Don’t forget to add in some tasty snacks as well that the kids can grab too!
So There You Have It….
Meal Prepping/Planning is a shift in prioritization of I’m going to do this work on the front end to be kind to my future self. Start small with just a few meals this week. Maybe you start with breakfast to give yourself a test run. In my 5 Day Clean Eating Guide there are additional tips on how to plan the process. I also go over this more in-depth in my 1:1 coaching programs. Email me for more info!!
If my week is really crazy and I know that I won’t have the time to prep and I order from Sakara.com as they have delivery ready-to-eat plant-based meals that are delicious and so nutritious! Use my code XOCHERISE to receive 20% off your first order! You can check out my IG page for more info on Sakara too!
In good health, xo cherise
- excerpt from Forksoverknives.com