As we approach the end of the summer, many of us are starting to slowly transition out of vacation mode and into get back to healthy mode. Often that starts with a healthier nutrition plan because let’s face it, when you’re on the road, you’re rarely looking for the cleanest and healthiest meals.
When getting back into the routine I find that for many people the most important part of eating healthier consistently is finding an easy way to do it. As a trainer and healthy foodie, I’d love to sit down and cook healthy meals each night, but as a busy Washington business owner, I really don’t have the time. So today I’m going to give you a few of my special insights on the easiest ways to save time and eat clean all in one.
Meal prepping is super hot right now. Just look on Instagram and you’ll see so many variations of shirtless people showing how they lost weight, got ripped and muscled up all due to their amazing meal prepping, but what really is it?
Meal prepping really just means you take a day or two each week to gather up, cook and section out all of your food for the week to save time from cooking each day. I think of it as cafeteria-style cooking. The thought is that by becoming more organized in your meals, you will avoid random unhealthy drop ins to fast food or even your favorite pasta place.
I always pick out Sundays to do my meal prepping and stick to cooking out all of my meats, which I find to be the hardest part of the meal to keep in tack. I don’t suggest pre- cooking a lot of veggies because many times they taste terrible on day three and if it tastes bad, you won’t eat it.
The other hot trend in the meal prep family is what I call “prepless” meal prep. Here, you’re paying someone to do the meal prep for you. Many new companies are popping up with different ways they go about it, but in essence they all do the same thing — make it easier for you to have healthy food ready quicker. My favorites are companies like Territory Foods, whose products are locally sourced and whose staff actually prepares the meals so you only have to microwave.
If you’re more into the actual cooking but don’t want to think about what to get or what meal to prepare, check out companies like 80 Fresh, which mails you all the ingredients to cook your own five-star healthy meal in less than 15 minutes. Both companies tell you the nutritional break down of each so you can make sure you aren’t going over your daily calorie count while also managing your macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats and proteins).
The oldest version and most effective of meal prep is still the good old-fashioned frozen foods section. Granted you need to avoid the casseroles and lasagna, but with today’s consumer wanting a healthy version of every food, more grocery stores are carrying better choices in their freezers.
My first recommendation are frozen veggies. Most of these veggies are flash frozen at their peak ripeness so they don’t lose any nutrients in the process. Many companies make microwavable instant veggie bags that complement your meal-prepped meats (see above) very well. You can also find many premade smoothies with veggies and fruits that you just have to pop in the blender. Just make sure you’re checking out the back of each label so you know what’s in it. Even in simple foods, the food companies love to add in sauces to make healthy foods unhealthy.
Staying healthy on the nutrition side is always a battle, but remember the more organized you are, the better off you’ll be. Different meal prepping and meal organizing tools work differently for each person so if something doesn’t work out, don’t get discouraged just try something new. Stay meal prepped, stay healthy and stay motivated.