Why Food Prepping is a Time Saving Genius!
Time to Plan! Why Food Prepping is Genius!
Fail to Plan? Then You Plan to Fail
"Today's Greatest Labor is Tomorrows Greatest Time Saving Device"
Ah, rest days! It doesn’t matter which day(s) of the week it is, recovery is just as important as working out. For me, it normally falls on Sunday Funday or Wine Down Wednesday, but before I get to the chilling, I do an early morning grocery store run and all of my food prep.
When I was first introduced to doing all of my food prep on one day (it can be whatever day fits best with your schedule) by my coach I thought it was SO much work! Urgh, I was not looking forwards to spending my day off like this! However, by the end of the first week I was hooked and realized it was a genius concept!
If you don’t want to prep all of your food, why not just cook a couple of your favorite dishes in bulk and then freeze it into whatever size portions work for you, so you don’t have to cook it from scratch several times over. I even have my husband hooked on cooking his Wholefoods Lean Beef Chilli Recipe and bolognese in bulk!
While it takes a few hours in the beginning when you’re figuring it all out, after a few weeks you’ll have it done in no time, plus you can multi-task while a lot of the things are cooking. It also saves thinking about what to eat, cooking, grocery shopping and washing up during the week which is a savior! It's also super helpful during the holidays when you're pushed for time and running about like a headless chicken. I like to eat before I go to parties so that I can indulge a little, but it makes me not want to stuff my face as much as I would if I'd skipped dinner.
Saving time by cooking in bulk.
Why and how to do it:
• Decide what you’re going to eat for each meal through the week and make a grocery list.
I like to stick to a meal plan for 2-4 weeks because it makes it easier. When you are planning your meal think unprocessed protein, quality complex carbohydrates, and either a fruit or vegetable(s) for every meal. You’ll also want to add a quality to fat to a few of your meals such as 1 tsp flax or olive oil (use code EVE20 for 20% off) to breakfast and salads or flax/hemp seeds. It may take a while to figure out the exact amount of each that you need to buy, but if you buy or cook too much it can always be frozen. You’ll figure out quickly how much you need.
• Stick to your grocery list.
When you have a grocery list it also makes grocery shopping easier as you know what you’re going there for. I’m in and out of the store in 10-15 minutes (20 minutes absolute max if there’s a line at the checkout). I don’t buy anything that's not on the list. I’ll grab a bottle of wine (more often than not) or a treat but I prefer not to keep treats in the house unless I’m having guests over as it just leads to temptation and I have a massive weakness for popcorn and European chocolate.
• Stick to outside walls of the grocery store
All grocery stores pretty much have the same layout; fresh produce on the outside and processed or as l like to call them 'science experiments' down the aisles. There are 3 aisles I’ll go down and that’s for grains (rice, beans, gluten free pasta), olive oil and balsamic vinegar, coffee and personal hygiene items. There’s nothing on the other aisles I need.
• Cook and allow all of your food to cool and then portion out for the week.
Generally, my portion sizes are 4oz (cooked weight) protein, 2-4oz carbs, a large serving of vegetables or a small serving of fruit and 1 tsp-1tbsp of a high-quality unsaturated fat.
• Choose how to pack and label your food.
You may wish to label it with a marker or hand written sticker (frozen tilapia and frozen chicken tend to look the same). I use zip-lock bags rather than Tupperware as it takes up less space and means less washing up (another time-saving bonus).
• Leave 1-2 days of food in the fridge and then freeze the rest
Put what you need into the fridge to defrost each night before you need it.
- Choose nutritious recipes that you'll love.
• You don’t have to cook during the week as it’s done (besides reheating and prepping vegetables so they’re fresh; lettuce, asparagus, and spinach don’t freeze well!)
• Minimal washing up as you’re not cooking during the week
• No excuses for resorting to eating rubbish whilst you’re out all day as you can take your food with you. Six Pack Bags are brilliant for stylishly carrying around your food whilst keeping it cool and fresh. No one wants to carry around a dorky cooler!
• You won’t overeat or have to worry about calories and you’ve already pre-portioned it
• It saves money, as you aren’t buying excess food you don’t need.
• Have fun, try and include as many varieties of protein, quality carbohydrates (think brown rice, pasta and sweet potatoes, and avoid anything white) and seasonal, fresh, colorful vegetables (not out of a can). The more variety you use the more nutritional value you are likely to have.
Choose fresh, organic, locally sourced, produce as far as possible.
Do you have any food prep or time saving tips? Leave them in the comments below, I love sharing here on fitnessbyeve.com.
Happy cooking xoxo
Photos: Pixabay & Noel Daganta. Sportswear: Bodyrock