Meal prep doesn’t have to be fancy - it’s supposed to be functional.
I believe there is this big stigma about healthy eating: it’s expensive, it’s time consuming and yes it may be great for you but sometimes it’s just not worth all the effort. Think about it, as humans we’re lazy! We love convenience and taking the easiest route possible to a solution. That’s why fast food joints are so successful, just drive in, drive out and grab yourself a quick fix of fat, sugar and carbs - perfect. At Live Lively, we wish to promote that healthy eating shouldn’t always cost a lot, either of your time or your energy, allowing you to focus on the importance of prioritising healthy food and the creativity of cooking! We understand that these days life is busy. Whether your days are filled with a career driven 9 to 5, life as a mum, or a student pressing through exams and classes. Healthy eating and a good lifestyle should be as easy as a grab and go. It doesn’t have to be boring either!
Deep inside of us, we can’t deny that meal prepping would be a massive step towards reducing our workloads during the week. Restaurant kitchens have been doing it for years and yet in the average household the dinner menu is often something we leave until either our stomachs (or the kids) are growling. The meal prep process allows us to begin a new week with a win, feeling confident that you are prepared and organised for whatever may be thrown at you. For me, as a student, I need quick and easy food solutions that I know will provide me with easy healthy meals which I don’t even have to think about. But for you, your situation might be entirely different. As a mum of 3 kids, perhaps you are struggling with coming up with different dinners every night that you know your kids will love. That’s the amazing thing about meal prepping. It isn’t all about fancy, ‘instagramable’ meals or the other extreme of eating chicken, broccoli and rice 5 days a week. It’s about encouraging functional problem solving, fitting the nutritional needs for you and yours while inspiring you to love and enjoy food - as well as the creative process of preparing it. That’s where this guide comes into play, I’m here to help you identify how meal prepping can revolutionise your week without taking up an entire day, denying you of variety or breaking the bank!
Performance is 80% nutrition and 20% exercise, so let’s prioritise this 80%.
The first step in effective meal prepping is understanding the food requirements of you and your family. Food is fuel. However, it requires an understanding of our daily needs, schedule and activities which shapes how we can make our food fuel us efficiently. Have kids with late night trainings? Or do you fall into the 3pm slump category? Meal prepping is understanding that you are in complete charge of your body and how you fuel it. So do it well, and make it work for you.
Secondly, take a moment to reflect upon your current eating habits. What is your relationship with food? What struggles are you having with food? Are you feeling bored of cooking the same meals? Identity the small changes you desire to make. Here, we’re trying to make our relationship with food and cooking a positive one, one that makes us feel good but also encourages us to be mindful of what we’re putting into our bodies.
Write down some key things which your meal prep must achieve:
Need some inspiration? Hit up pinterest or rattle through your cookbook collection to rediscover some favourite recipes.
Understand that meal prepping will look entirely different for a stay-at-home parent as it may to a 9-5 worker. Depending on how much freedom or time you have to play and be creative in the kitchen, you have complete control over how your shape your meal prepping process.
Here are two meal prep methods that show you this in action:
Personally, my meal prep process has always been focused around elements in food that I can combine, add, subtract or adapt according to my mood while still being based around a prepared meal. For example, for breakfast I base my meal around my gluten free muesli and almond milk. However, I understand that some days I need the refreshing burst of an orange, or the crunch of an apple to really wake me up. So I make sure I maintain variety in my additives throughout the kitchen to accomodate. For lunch, I love salads usually with a peanut satay dressing. A variety of additions I may include range from gluten free noodles, to pickled radishes, fried shallots or even deep fried tofu. At the beginning of the week, I prepare a variety of these garnishes so I’m able to still grab my lunch as I run out the door while incorporating different textures, elements and tastes every day - keeping me inspired and constantly thinking of new and creative ways to mix it up. For dinners, the Gurnsey household is currently getting the Nadia Lite 10 Food Bag. This encourages us to be a little more experimental with new recipes, ingredients and ideas while being aware of seasonal produce and local brands or businesses which we previously may have been unappreciative of. It’s a great solution for quick, easy and affordable meals. You can rest assured that dinner time will always be easy and delicious while having the tick of approval from dietician Nadia Lim herself!
Here are my 5 tips for a successful and efficient meal prep:
Here I have attached a printable which may give you a helping hand in your meal prep process. The first page is for meal planning, perfect for the initial process of understanding your family’s ‘fueling’ needs and giving you a clear idea of what foods and meals will work well. The second page is a doubled sided meal prep sheet, guiding you through the recording of your recipes sources and constructing a ‘week at a glance’ meal plan, listing your ‘before you eat’ preparation notes (which is great to keep on the fridge during the week so anyone in the house knows how to through together a meal), your meal prep action plan and finally your shopping list - divided into the different supermarket sections. This is a great document to print double sided and bring along with you to the supermarket and then attach to the fridge during the week - this also allows the family to add a little note against their favourite meals to let you know what they loved!
I love the feeling of heading off to bed on a Sunday night feeling organised and prepared for the week ahead. With my food and nutrition sorted, I’m immediately starting my week off with a win. I know that I’ve covered all my needs with my meal prep and plan, so I can handle whatever the day throws at me. Join in on this great feeling by starting your meal prepping process this coming weekend!
Share your meal prep snaps with us on instagram or facebook by tagging us @livelivelynz or using the hashtag #livelivelynz
From our home to yours,
Click the Lively Bee to Download your Live Lively Meal Prepping Printables! Enjoy!
Hi there! Thanks for checking out the Live Lively blog. I am so excited to share my passion for productivity, personal growth and wellbeing!