So…you have been a dedicated MAC member…working out…going to classes…working with your trainer, but maybe you’re not seeing the results as quickly as you want. So, what’s missing?
Well, as much as we may not want to hear this, we have to provide the proper fuel for our bodies to perform in the way we are asking them to. In other words, we need to eat right. That means eating healthy foods, in the right amount, at the right time, and cooked the right way. Wow! there’s so much to this, right? Don’t you just wish you could have a personal chef who would go to the grocery store for you, prep your meals, cook them, serve them, and maybe even clean up afterwards? Just in case your wish hasn’t come true yet, I would like to offer a few reminders and tips to help you succeed in your long term health goals.
Meal prepping saves time, saves money, decreases food waste, helps with portion control, and promotes and maintains a healthier diet!
PREPARE: Pick a day of the week that will allow you the time needed to prepare for the week ahead. Trust me, the time spent on this one day will save you valuable time during your upcoming hectic week. On this day you’re going to:
- Plan your meals for the week:
Get input from your entire family for menu ideas. Plan to utilize items from tonight’s dinner in tomorrow’s lunch! For example, Salsa Chicken – chicken breasts and salsa cooked in the crockpot can be served over zucchini spirals for dinner and made into a healthy chicken and black bean bowl for lunch. Include fresh herbs in your meals – they will add that extra pizazz!
- Make a grocery list:
Prevent a cheating disaster. Stick to the list!
- Go to the grocery store (not on an empty stomach):
In general, a good rule of thumb is to shop the perimeter of a grocery store. This keeps you in the fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy sections and away from the foods high in carbs and low in nutritional value.
- Prepare meals for the week and pack/store accordingly:
Have a prep and packing party with your family or friend! Make it fun! If you have all of the necessary ingredients, the time that you’ve designated to dedicate to the project, and the containers to pack them in, this will go much smoother than you think.
We humans have a wide variety of types of relationships with food, most of which are not necessarily healthy. It’s a tough one because we need food to survive. We can’t just give it up like we might be able to do with cigarettes or drugs. We have to learn how to manage it properly. I suggest keeping a journal, not only of what you’re eating, but also how you feel about the entire process from planning, to shopping, to eating. Journaling is a very powerful tool to help us understand why we eat what we eat when we eat it and how we are feeling about.
Keep up the good work! We’re in this for the long haul, so be patient with yourself!
-Anna, MAC Club Manager