Nutrition is the key to succeeding your fitness goals, weight loss or simply to live a healthier life. I know when life can sometimes get hectic and busy, you have to suffer by choosing processed meals for lunch or dread the thought of going home to cook dinner after a long day. We've all been there. Is it fun? No, not really. Do we like it? Only if you like torture, stress and anxiety. Not I.
Over the last couple years, I have managed to work out a schedule that fits into my daily life where I would NOT have to put myself in that situation as much as possible. Thus as the saying goes, "Failure to prepare, be prepared to fail".
Time Management. Sit yourself down and create a timeline of your daily schedule for the week. Whether it involves going to work, school, gym, kids, etc. Remember - the goal is find a space about a 2-3 hour window on a day that you will be able to go to the grocery store and go home to cook for at least 3-4 days.
For example, here's what my schedule looks like:
Work: Monday - Thursday 7:00 am - 4:00 pm Friday 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Gym: Monday - Thursday 4:00 am - 5:10 am (yes, I am an early bird)
Gym: Friday 5:00 am - 6:30 am
Yoga: Monday/Wednesday 5:45 pm - 7:00 pm
Though my schedule does not look as complicated, my energy is utilized throughout the day working with patients in healthcare as well as waking up before the roosters are.
So! What works for me? I generally cook my meals twice a week: Sundays and Wednesdays. I shop at Sprouts grocery store (because their prices are remarkable and quality is excellent) on Wednesdays for the "Double Ad Wednesday" which means EXTRA SAVINGS! One trip a week is recommended if you're like me who purchases more protein in bulk where you can freeze half and have it readily to defrost before your next batch. Sundays are my favorite day to cook because it signifies a day to relax in pjs, blast on the music and set your mind for a solid new week ahead.
How to prepare your meals and where do you start?
First, I would suggest keeping it pretty simple at first because you definitely do not want to overwhelm and scare yourself away. You also need to figure out cooking methods that are easy and require less clean up. Once you have all the meals cooked, cooled and ready, it can be stored easily in containers and tupperwares so you are always prepared and know what's waiting for you in the fridge.
Recommended cooking methods
Chicken breast skinless & boneless:
Pre-heat oven to 385 degrees. Cut into strips, toss with olive oil, season with sea salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic powder OR any of your favorite Flavor God seasonings. Spread chicken on a foil covered cookie sheet pan (you may use up to 2 pans). Bake for 30 minutes turning pan midway through. Then broil on LOW for 5-7 minutes to add a little more color and crisp.
Atlantic salmon filet skin on one side:
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Season with sea salt, black pepper, parsley, garlic powder and fresh juice of lemon. Lay skin side down on a foil covered cookie sheet. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
Broccoli, Asparagus, Zucchini or any of your favorite greens:
Chop and toss onto a pre-heated stovetop pan. Pour 1/4 cup water and 1/2-1 whole juice of lemon. Toss until your liking. But remember - overcooking the vegetables will extract the nutrients from it's natural state.
Invest in a rice cooker. This will save your life - trust me! No one wants to watch a boiling pot and stirring the rice every 3 minutes. Nope!
The one I have was purchased from Costco and it cooks the rice perfectly with a press of button.
Those are just a few examples of how to utilize time and less clean up of several pans, bowls and more. Oven-baked is the easiest and healthiest method for cooking chicken, fish, potatoes and vegetables. Requires minimal amount of oils and mess.
Now there's a positive lighting!
Just think about how much money you will save and how much progress you can make towards a happier you! Countless hours at the gym will no longer be wasted due to a poorly made meal choices or stress binges!
As time goes on and you become more advanced on your methods, you will be able to pre-measure your meals into tupperwares which will make life much easier! You will also be able to spice up your meals and get fancier on trying new recipes to make.
Any questions on how to meal plan or other recipes, please feel free to send us a message or comment below! We are open to all inquires and feedback!
Stay happy and healthy,