#1 Tip to Keep New Years Goals: Meal Prep

#1 Tip to Keep New Years Goals: Meal Prep

Happy New Years all!

I hope everyone had a great holiday, but I don’t know about you all, but I struggled these past 2 weeks. Holidays are a great time with friends and family, but as a person who strives on routine (yes, I’m a type A person ha), these weeks were a struggle to be productive on the non-holiday days. So I’m happy to have this week! First full week back in routine, and I’m even adding running back in (more to come on that).

This week also marks almost a full week since making your New Years goals or resolutions. So how are those sticking? Feel like they aren’t achievable. Well, if you made a nutritional New Year’s goal, like “Eat healthier” or “Eat more vegetables”, then you might be struggling right about now. You have all the right intentions, those goals just have to go a little farther. Goals need to be achievable and specific in order to succeed.

“Eat Healthier” becomes “Meal prep for 2 lunches a week”

“Eat more vegetables” becomes “Meal prep 3 meals a week that include 30-50% vegetables”

Sensing a theme?

Meal Prep.

Lydia preparing some  Pre  Steaks for the week. Photo Credit  Mike Killon

Lydia preparing some Pre Steaks for the week. Photo Credit Mike Killon

It is truly the key to make your goals happen. And the best part: it is achievable by EVERYONE.

Now, when you think of meal prep, you may think of lots of recipes and hours in the kitchen. That is the old way of thinking about meal prep. Truly, meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated of time consuming at all!

So over the next couple of weeks, I will be sharing a series of secrets and tips on making meal prep achievable and fun for YOU!

First, up: Plan ahead.

Plan out your week and your grocery list. Photo Credit  Mike Killion

Plan out your week and your grocery list. Photo Credit Mike Killion

Now this may seem easy enough, but there are 5 easy steps for this.

Step 1) Set a weekly 1 hour time to sit down and get recipes together for the week and write out grocery list

The worst thing you can do is go grocery shopping with out a plan because guaranteed, you will end up spending more money and leave with items you don’t even need!

Taking this 1 hour to sit down with your recipes and going through them, ingredient by ingredient, reading the instructions, etc, allows you to save time not only grocery shopping, but also in the meal prepping stage.

Step 2) Pick 1-2 recipes for breakfast and 2-3 recipes for lunch/dinner (for 1 person)

Now those numbers aren’t intimidating are they? No more than 5 recipes needed for the week for 1 person of meal prepping. And if you are starting off meal prepping, keep it simple:

  • Less than 10 ingredients (including salt and pepper and water)

  • Less than 45 minutes to prepare

  • Makes at least 3-4 servings (lunch/dinner) or 4-6 servings (breakfast)

    Grab my FREE Athlete Cookbook that meets all the above needs today!

Step 3) Sit down for 1 hour meal planning session.

Whether it’s you or your roommates or your family, this time is great to focus and get prepared and be intentional for the upcoming week. And this doesn’t have to be done on the weekends. I personally like to do this on Mondays.

So what do you need:

  1. Pencil/pen

  2. Print outs of recipes OR recipes pulled up on computer

  3. Grocery List to write out (Grab this RUN specific one!)

  4. Your weekly calendar (To see what days and nights you will need meals and when you will be eating out)

Step 4) Check Grocery List with Your kitchen supplies

If you do this list in your kitchen, you can check what ingredients you already have for your recipes. This saves money and lowers your food waste.

Areas to Check in your kitchen:

  • Spice Cabinet

  • Dry Goods (Cereal, Flour, Pastas, Potatoes, Onions)

  • Fridge (Vegetables, Condiments)

  • Freezer (Vegetables, Meat)

Step 5) Plan day and time to go grocery shopping

Set this time in your calendar to hold you accountable. Go by yourself or with your family.

Pick your grocery store and try to get everything there, which saves time.

Personally, I like to do my grocery shopping on the weekdays because the grocery stores are less crowded. I like Fresh Thyme for many reasons, but mainly because of their awesome app. I can go their their weekly ads and compare to my grocery list (even add my grocery list in the app!) and get all my ingredients for the week. Save money too!

Other great grocery store apps:

These simple 5 steps will get you started on the right foot to mastering meal prep in no time. And remember, like any healthy lifestyle, it isn’t always perfect and it will take time to get into a routine, but very soon, you will feel like a meal prep pro!

Join me next week for the next meal prep like a pro: Cooking Basics blog!

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