We all know how it feels when life starts to get in the way of our getting fit & healthy plans. It’s frustrating & there’s usually a point in time when we just can’t be bothered making an effort anymore … taking the easiest option involves less thinking & less stress. Being healthy is important to you. But healthy meal prep when you are busy and life is getting in the way … It’s probably not going to happen, right?
Scary fact, though, is that life will always get in the way. We will always be busy in some way, whether it’s trying to keep up with work, the kids, or the housework, there will always be something demanding our time.
Like it or not, if you are not fit & healthy you won’t be able to keep up & enjoy life at the same time.
My clients are busy women. They have families, careers, kids & households to keep on an even keel .. and they need to work hard to keep on top of this. It’s one of the things that we chat about in our sessions. Those little things that they can do to make the healthiest choices when life gets a little busy and things don’t always go to plan.
Here we go …
1 Plan & Prep Time
This is #1 in my view. Take an hour each week to sit down & plan your week ahead. Plan some meal & snack ideas .. doesn’t have to be exact, even say 5 meals that you could pick from that week depending on what you feel like & how much time you have. From here, plan your grocery list so that you can do a bulk shop. Honestly, I would love to only have to go to Woollies once a week but it’s just not reality. If I have the majority of ingredients I find I’m not rushing for ideas or ingredients at the last minute. Having all the ingredients in the fridge or pantry also lets you organise stuff in advance. Doesn’t always fall into place, but occasionally the stars will align!
While you are planning and looking through your diary for the week, make sure you schedule in your workouts. When they are scheduled in your diary, they will be front of mind and you will find yourself more inclined to make the effort to fit them in.
Here’s a basic version of how I plan out my week … Weekly Planning Guide
2 Grocery Shop
You’ve planned some meals & snacks for the week so get that grocery list done & head to the shops. I know it’s an obvious tip, but keep the staples on hand. Being sure to have the basics in the pantry makes it quicker & easier to prep meals & grab snacks in the everyday rush.
I suggest to my clients to have 2 – 3 options for breakfast that you really love, then always make sure that you have everything on hand to throw breakfast together in the morning rush.
Again, have 2 – 3 of your favourite healthy snack options on hand in the fridge or pantry so that they are you first choice and not the cookies, chips or chocolates that give you a quick hit, then the guilt kicks in!
3 Meal Prep & Freeze
Now that you have done your meal plans & grocery shop for the week you can start to prep to save time during the week. If the meals you have planned are quick & easy you may not need to worry about prepping, but if you know that you are going to be busy at work or taxiing kids then doing some prep work will certainly help out.
A few prep ideas
* start the base of slow cooker type meals & then store them in a snap lock bag in the fridge so that in the morning all you need to do is grab it out and throw everything in the slow cooker.
* cook up some rice that you can heat up the next day
* chop veg ready to add to slow cooker, stir fries or for snacks during the week
* cook up whole meals such as soup, spaghetti bolognaise or chilli mince and freeze for no prep meals during the week or portion up for individual meals.
* make up individual salads into takeaway containers for grab and go lunches
4 Healthy Go To Options
Having healthy options that you can grab quickly & easily makes it so much easier to make your first choice a healthy one. During your planning find a quick & healthy option that you can make for those meals / nights when you run out of time. Make sure that your fridge / pantry is stocked with the staples for that quick healthy option for both snacks & meals so that there is a quick & healthy “just in case” option. And you know those nights when you really just can’t be bothered .. work out your closest heathiest take away option
Some examples of meal / snack ideas
*cheese & crackers *pre prepared salad mixes
*fruit / veg *tin salmon / tuna
*yoghurt *boiled eggs
*trail mix *cooked chicken breast for salads
5 Left Overs
OK, I love this one. It’s so quick, so easy to make a healthy choice! Love left overs!
* When you prep dinner at night, chop some extra veg or throw together a salad in a takeaway container.
* Cook up extra chicken breast that you can use in lunch for the next day ( this is the one I use all the time! )
* Cook up some extra rice to use for lunch
* Cook an extra portion of your dinner and set it aside in your takeaway container for next days lunch.
You are probably looking at these thinking to yourself that they are a bit basic .. but that is the beauty of them. And, it’s why they work! Too often we look for a quick fix, magic pill or potion that we don’t yet know about .. there is none. Getting back to basics will work every time! You can make it work!
OK, while I think of it there’s one last thing that will really help .. keep it simple! Don’t overthink, overcomplicate meals or recipes because it becomes stressful, overwhelming & annoying.
Stick to the basics, commit to the basics, master the basics & making healthy choices will be that little bit easier!
What is your favourite healthy meal prep tip?
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