Health/Fitness Lifestyle

Meal Prep Is Key!

If your excuse for eating unhealthy is that you simply don't have time to cook, your excuse is invalid.

Living a busy life means that we don’t prioritize things that don’t need our immediate attention. We tell ourselves that some things can wait, or that we’ll figure them out once we have a little more time to get them done.

One of the things that we tend to shove to the side is food, since it’s available everywhere at any time. If we’re short on time, we can always stop by our favorite drive-through, order what we want and be on our way… RIGHT? Well, yes and no. I dare you to stop and ask yourself if eating junk food bring you any closer to  your fitness goals.

The answer is NO.

If your excuse for eating unhealthy is that you simply don’t have time to cook, your excuse is invalid.

Personally, I don’t have time to cook every day. My day is pretty much packed from the moment I wake up, but I still manage to eat healthy. How is that? Well, my brother taught me the beauty of something called ‘Meal Prepping.’ If you don’t already know how to meal prep, let me walk you through it. It’s literally going to change your life.

Every Saturday, my mom and I go grocery shopping. Once we get home with the fresh produce that we just bought, we put all the proteins, veggies and nuts that need to be weighed and sectioned in the counter-top near the sink along with some zip-lock bags.

If you’ve ever bought ground or lean meat and chicken you know that it’s usually sold in one big container/bag/box. Therefore, you have to section your food so that the calories match the serving size you’re going to consume. What I mean is that even though the nutrition facts tell you how many calories a certain food has, it’s important to note that the calories are according to the food’s serving size. They’re NOT for the entire bag you just bought.

For example, let’s say that the lean-ground meat you just bought has 147 calories per 112 grams serving size. Now, you bought 336 grams of meat in total so… in those 336 grams you have three servings, each having 147 calories. The calories for the entire 336 grams of meat you purchased are 441, not 147. Makes sense?

Anyway, once you’ve sectioned your food according to its serving size, you can either prepare it or store it for later use.

I like to prepare my  protein (salmon, tilapia, turkey meat or red-ground meat) on Sundays, so I don’t have to worry about it the rest of the week. The reason why I don’t like to prepare my veggies ahead of time is because they don’t taste the same. Besides, I like to mix and match my veggie bowls depending on what I’m in the mood for that day, so it’s better to leave them in the fridge until I decide what to make.

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In regards to carbs, my diet tends to be high protein, high fat and low carbs. I don’t really worry about carbohydrates unless I want to eat something specific, like an oven-baked sweet potato. Whenever I do have carbs, I tend to stick with canned kidney beans, oatmeal, pretzels and rice cakes. Nothing too complex.

By having my protein cooked and everything else ready to go, my meals are pretty much done for the entire week. I just grab a protein container off the fridge, add some veggies and a 28 g. bag of nuts of my choosing from the pantry and I’m all set.

It’ easy, quick and painless. Trust me, your body will thank you for cooking ahead of time. Not only is it healthier for you, but it also saves you all that money that you’re used to spending on junk food.

XOXO,

Manuela

 

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