You get home from work and you’re ravenous.
You have to leave in 5 minutes but you’re starving.
It’s 11pm and you need to eat something but no one’s cooking at this hour so you eat packaged junk.
Ring a bell?
Two words. Two words that will save you.
Make It Ahead.
Schedule a block of time once or twice a week to prepare a few items in the kitchen. Everyone’s preparation will be a bit different depending on what you like to eat and how often you eat at home. However, I recommend that during this scheduled meal prep sesh, you prepare a cooked vegetable (broccoli, beans, squash, etc.), a protein (meat, fish, or beans), and that you chop any fresh veggies you have such as celery or bell peppers. You also may enjoy making a homemade sauce, dressing, dip, hummus, or nut cheese. Even a smoothie made ahead can be useful for grab and go. Set yourself up for nutritional success later by preparing as much as you can ahead of time. Because when you’re hungry, you’re going to reach for whatever’s readily available. What if what was right there for you was delicious homemade goodness?
Now. The time has come to address the Cornerstone of all this meal prep, kitchen set-up, recipe-following success. The Grocery Store.
I ask my clients in our first session, What is your relationship with the grocery store? It seems silly, but if getting to the store doesn’t occur to you as a priority, you’re going to have a hard time preparing healthy homemade food for yourself.
I am Type A when it comes to this stuff, so naturally I have a whole system going. I have a class every Tuesday night near a Whole Foods, so every Tuesday night I do a Whole Foods run. It’s about 10:05pm when I arrive and it’s heavenly because it’s not crowded at all. Do you have something in your life that you can conveniently pair with grocery shopping? Pencil your grocery store trips into your calendar, just like you did for your meal prep.
I also recommend finding a local farmers’ market, and making going a weekly ritual. Use this site to find one near you.
If you live with a partner, come out of the health closet and communicate. Try some teamwork strategies out. Trade off grocery store days, or divide the labor- if one person cooks, the other cleans and takes the trash out. Make a menu for the week ahead Sunday night, including nights you’ll eat out or order in.
Another grocery shopping note- frozen food has come a long way. There are lots of clean, organic options out there that can come in handy when you’re in a pinch and haven’t been to the store, or are getting ready to travel, just coming back from traveling, etc. Frozen greens are at the top of my list in this category.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you may like to make breakfast, lunch, and dinner for yourself the day before, so you can stay in the zone and experience more work flow.
Try stuff out. It will be work at first. But you’ll find what helps you, and over time it will become an integrated, worthwhile part of your life.
I’m here for you.
Email me with your questions, or if you want further personal attention, let’s schedule a consultation: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ok. You’ve got this! I am cheering for you!