I say this phrase almost EVERYTIME I do a workshop or talk to a group about nutrition.
“Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail”
If you are really SERIOUS about making a change in your nutrition then meal planning is a must.
Think for a moment about the areas in your life that you excel at… Maybe you run a successful business or household, you have a successful career, you exercise consistently, [insert your thing]. Whatever it may be, my guess is that the success you are experiencing didn’t just happen, there was a lot that went into getting where you are right now…including planning.
When I made the conscious decision to start preparing the large majority of our meals and changing the composition of those meals, I had to make some tough decisions. You see; we all have the same 24 hours in a day. We have to choose wisely how to spend it. If eating nutrient dense whole foods is a priority for you then you will make the time to plan your meals and prepare them.
The things we spend our time and money dictate what are important to us. If you are not spending your time and money on things that are moving your closer to your goals, then it’s time to make some changes.
I used to really enjoy mindless time in front of the TV several nights a week and on the weekends watching the newest version of “Real Housewives” or “The Kardashians.” But I quickly realized that my screen time was going to need to go if I wanted to make the time to plan and prepare my meals. Please don’t think that I am looking down on you or that it’s “bad” if you enjoy TV, but for me it was no longer serving me in a positive way and it wasn’t moving me closer to my goals of a healthier and happier me. Individuals have to take a look at what is important to him or her and choose how he or she is going to spend their time.
Once I made the time in my calendar to plan and prepare my meals, I started looking better, feeling better, and performing better.
Now, I know that we are all busy, we all have different demands on our time, and we may not have the luxury of simply changing up how we are spending our leisure time in order to have the time and energy to prepare nutrient dense whole food meals. However, here are a few timing saving tricks when it comes to meal planning and food prep.
Timing Saving Tips
· Schedule a time each week to plan your meals for the following week. Once you have your meals planned, make your grocery list from your meal plan.
· Schedule a specific time to go to the grocery store.
· Upon returning from the store take some time to wash, peel, and chop vegetables so they are ready to go.
· Post your meal plan in a place you can easily see it so that you know if you need to pull something out of the freezer or prep something ahead of time.
· Use a crock-pot to have dinner ready on the evenings you are very busy.
· Cook in bulk and plan for leftovers or freeze meals to pull out when you may need them.
Some of these tips may seem simple, and they are but I promise you if you implement them you will save yourself time, energy, and decrease your stress level. Stop and think about how many trips you make to the grocery store in a week, if you could make 2 trips versus 4 or 5, how much time and energy would that save you? By having your meals planned, you don’t have to make the decision at any given meal about what to eat. That will not only save you energy but also keep you on track with your supportive nutrition plan.
Take some time to evaluate your current meal planning and prepping strategies and if they are working for you.
· Are they moving you closer to your goals?
· Do they enhance your quality of life?
· Do they decrease your stress level?