Does your life revolve around a perpetual to-do list? Pick up the kids, go to the store, get an oil change, pay the bills, put away laundry (wait, are those pants clean or dirty?) and plan a week’s worth of healthy meals that are high in protein, rich in nutrients and taste amazing.
Sounds overwhelming, right? It can be. While it may feel as though this busy season of life is running you ragged, a healthy diet can positively impact your mood and energy levels, enabling you to become your best, most efficient self.
So how do you go from eating protein bars for lunch and spending too much money on buffet-style dinners to preparing your own meals? The following tips will provide you with the ideas and inspiration to create the best-looking Buddha bowls and the tastiest tacos every Tuesday. You’ll save time and money in the long run, allowing you to spend more energy on more important things, like crushing your next PR.
Designate a day and time each week to write down your meal plan—what you will have each day for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Determine which meals you will cook fresh and which will be leftovers. Take into account your workouts and which days may require a higher or lower carb intake. By writing your meals down ahead of time, you will be more likely to stay on track. It’s important to track the process in order to make progress!
Food of the Week
Choose a food (or foods) that you will make in bulk and will last throughout the week. Schedule prep day into your meal plan. Foods such as brown rice, quinoa, hard-boiled eggs, chicken and fresh, chopped veggies can be prepared in a variety of ways throughout the week.
- Brown rice can be mixed with beans or veggies
- Quinoa can be added to a salad or served with fresh fruit for breakfast
- Hard-boiled eggs are a great addition to salads or sandwiches and are a convenient, portable breakfast
- Chicken can be added to rice or quinoa, or served as a sandwich
- Fresh veggies can be dipped into hummus as a healthy snack or can be steamed or roasted as a side dish
Equip Yourself With the Right Tools
Perhaps you’ve invested in wireless earbuds or an activity tracker to support your fitness goals at the gym. When it comes to the kitchen, there’s no need to tap into your savings account to create a “tool box” of appliances that will make meal prep more efficient and more “fun” (you have to admit, there’s something strangely exciting about spiralizing zucchini). Consider adding a spiralizer, food processor and crockpot for additional meal prep options.
Experiment With New Recipes
Look no further than Pinterest or Google for a mind-boggling menu of options. Search “overnight oats” and “mason jar salads” for on-the-go breakfasts and break-room-friendly meals. While you’re at it, find your favorite crockpot and spiralized veggie recipes and add them to your weekly meal plan as well.
From time to time, we all feel a bit frazzled and underprepared. Making time to prepare your meals can prevent the “hangriness” that results from too much coffee and not enough sleep. Prioritize your nutrition so you can continue to make progress.