The days are getting darker earlier and shorter quicker and sometimes, after a long day the last thing you feel like doing is providing some dinner that at least kind of resembles a healthyish meal (sorry to break it to you, but a handful of nuts and a slice of cheese ain’t dinner). We all KNOW what a healthy and balanced meal looks like, but how do we find the time between life, running around, errands, that endless pile of laundry and also trying to find some time for you too?!
Now that winter is coming, it really is time to embrace the meal prep. I know it can seem daunting to try and fit something else on your to do list, but the more you plan and prep the more likely you’re going to stick to your plan and soon getting those meals ready will be a part of your usual routine. Planning ahead means you’re giving yourself the chance to eat healthy, without even thinking about it. Don’t let anything else but you dictate achieving your fitness goals. Try some of my tips and plan ahead instead:
1. MAKE A PLAN
Figure out your week’s meals (my online program TIFFXO.com can do this for you, plus auto generate a shopping list!) go to the shops with a clear and concise list so you don’t walk out with the whole snack aisle. Knowing what you need (and what meals are ahead) means not only will it save you from going rogue at the supermarket, it will also save you some extra dollars too. TIFFXO gives you the option of shopping for the entire weekly menu plan – and swapping out recipes to suit from our delicious meals, and even adjusting serving sizes to suit families. So easy!
2. A SUNDAY WELL SPENT
Brings a week of content… Prepping doesn’t stop at the shops. When you get home it’s time to get ready to make your week even easier. Bulk cook your veggies at the start of the week, get out your biggest tray and get baking / roasting. Precut and portion as much as you can for your week, pre assemble your breakies, smoothies, lunches, salad jars, oats etc. Prep foods that last for longer than a day – boil some eggs, cut up those veggie sticks, get some TIFFXO snacks into the oven and you’re already off to a better start than last week.
3. PORTIONS ARE POWER
It’s not just your veggies and snacks you can portion out for the week. During your Sunday prep time, store your ready to eat meals and lunches in the freezer portioned out. Now your meals are now easily attainable and conveniently located, with your portion size controlled. You’re much more likely to stick to your plan if it’s already there, just waiting for a bit of a thaw.
4. SLOW IT DOWN
Especially now it’s getting a bit colder, embrace your slow cooker! You can cook whole chickens, lamb shoulders, soups, casseroles and curries which you can then freeze in portions for quick easy weeknight meals.
5. WASTE NOT WANT NOT
Use what you already have floating around in your kitchen. If your recipe calls for spinach but you only have some kale, swap it over and give yourself a pat on the back for not wasting those delicious greens. Have a look at your plan for the week and group them together by overlapping ingredients. Embrace the seasons too – swap your produce around for seasonal fruits and veggies, they’re not only better quality but cheaper too.
6. TIME TO INVEST
But I’m not talking stock market, I’m talking the right kind of storage containers. I don’t think you understand the world of difference it makes! This will help you portion size and store your meals easily, and will make transporting your snacks of various shapes and sizes around. If you choose plastic containers, make sure they’re BPA free and are microwave / dishwasher friendly.
7. GO GO GADGET
It’s not always easy to make a week’s worth of meals by yourself, so time to bust out those gadgets that seem to be forgotten in summer. Slow cookers, rice cookers, pressure cookers, oven, microwave, toaster the whole kit and kaboodle. It may take a little longer to clean up, but will drastically cut down both your prep and cook time, plus think of it as pre doing the dishes.
8. BUILDING BLOCKS
You can give yourself an even better chance of success by creating building blocks for meals so you can get started quickly easy peasy. Freeze pre portioned serves of stock, pesto or even herbed butter (TIFF TIP: an ice tray is a handy little number for these kinds of portions). Make up your own bags of spice mixes so you can easily create a masterpiece when you are more time poor than usual.
9. KISN (Keep it Simple Ninja)
Keep it simple and choose recipes that have similar flavours and ingredients. Staying within your comfort zone (with the occasional adventure into a new ingredient or meal) when trying to meal prep will help encourage you stay on track and make meal prep easier. Or let TIFFXO meal plan do all the work for you, you can swap out a few of your old faves, but my kitchen works hard to introduce you to new favourites, you’d be mad to miss it!
10. SHELF LIFE
Have yourself a bit of an investigation into your pantry and fridge and work out which foods need to be eaten first. It’s good to acquaint yourself with the shelf life of your food. Things like berries, spinach, avocado and rocket won’t last as long as vegetables like pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, carrots, corn, broccoli which can all be used later in the week.
Words by Tiffiny Hall, Founder of www.tiffxo.com
Follow Tiff @tiffhall_xo