Hands down, the #1 thing you can do to improve your healthy lifestyle is food prep.
This allows you to have nutritious meals ready (or mostly ready) in those times of need when you are starving and you need to eat NOW! It allows you to make sure you are getting quality calories not just empty fillers, that will leave your searching for more.
But I know that actually doing food prep appears overwhelming. You might find it inconvenient. You have no time. You don’t have the energy. You don’t know how. The excuses are plentiful.
This is where we need to shine a spotlight on all the benefits of meal prep because they vastly outweigh the negatives. And I’m not just talking about it leading you to healthier eating and all that comes with having this habit, but things you might not have thought of.
It might seem like it takes a while to meal prep (and it does) but once it is done, there is nothing else to do. Ask yourself…How much time to you spend daily preparing meals? Even if it’s only 30 minutes a day over the course of a week that is 3.5hours. Once you are in the habit of meal prep it takes less time than that.
Saves Mental Energy:
How often are you asking… What do you want to eat? How much mental energy are you using thinking about what should be for dinner. With meal prep, this happens just once a week. Your food is ready so you don’t need to waste your decision making.
You’ll have less dishes:
Cooking each night requires the use of multiple dishes, but doing your food prep all at once allows you to use minimal dishes each night. Sure, you’ll have to do them on food prep day, but once you do them you basically only need 1 pan to reheat your dinner…or you could just use the microwave and eliminate even more.
You’ll be more active:
We sit a lot. We figure out ways to move less, to make things more “convenient”, but at what cost? Have you ever thought about the way you move your body on a daily basis? You’ve heard that making small daily changes can have huge impacts on your life. Parking a little further from the store your going into or taking the stairs means you are moving just a bit more and over time it adds up in your benefit.
You can think of your meal prep day as active recovery. Standing, chopping, bending down, stirring, carrying dishes & cleaning up. All of this movement helps reverse the effect of our chronically oversitting habits.
Become more mindful:
Doing tasks, like cooking, that don’t require a ton of brain energy are great to reset the mind. Sure you might need to look at your recipe and make sure you are adding the correct items, but when you are chopping & stirring you can let your mind wonder, it’s when some of our best ideas are revealed.
On a final note, don’t wait for perfection. Your meal prep does not have to be 100%, you can start small. Maybe you focus on just one meal? Or you can prep a bunch of protein; grill chicken & steak, brown up ground turkey meat and toss taco seasoning on it. This way all you need to add are some veggies and you’ll have a whole meal.
Try it out this week. Focus on how meal prep will improve your life, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.