Whether you love it or loathe it, if you want to lose weight and feel healthy, food preparation will play a pretty significant role. The successful person does everything on purpose; if time isn’t your friend and cooking individual meals simply doesn’t fit into your lifestyle, then mastering food prep will be the key to your success. You don’t have to be a MasterChef to nail it; you just need good quality ingredients at hand, some yummy recipes to keep you inspired and more than 1 hour to string together. You know the old saying “a stitch in time”, or in this case, a cook in time saves 9….
Here are five ways to make food prep fun when working towards your goals
- Theme your meals:
Pick a cuisine, a type of food or a method of cooking and run with it. For example,
Monday can be Chicken….. or Italian…. or BBQ;
Tuesday can be Fish…..or Asian….or Roast
Wednesday can be Eggs….or Greek …..or Skewers
Once you set your theme, you can then plan your meals accordingly. You will spend less time deciding on what to cook, and more time exploring how creative you can be.
- Get your s**t together:
Four days of meal preparation isn’t going to happen in 30 minutes with half a carton of eggs and a broken veggie peeler. Get organised! Get yourself down to the shops, get what you need, and set aside the time to make your food for the week. Enlist the help of your family, tune into some good music or have a movie on. Many hands will make light work – what would normally take 3 hours with one pair of hands could take 1 and a half with three pairs. Not only do you get to spend quality time together, but you can also teach little ones the value of healthy eating and helping out at home.
- Experiment with new recipes:
Do you get sick of eating the same meals over and over? Well nothing changes if nothing changes; commit to preparing one new recipe each week. Over roast chicken? Try chicken skewers with veggies and a homemade dressing, or chicken stir fry, or BBQ chicken. If your cooking lacks variety, your body will become bored. How much more enticing is a colourful seasonal salad over chopped carrot and cucumber?
…your own meals that is. Pick four to five vegetables, two protein sources, add some condiments (olives, avocado, olive oil, pumpkin seeds, pickled veggies) chop away, store in separate containers, and then build some vibrant colourful meals. This can be a crunchy salad, wrap filling or the base of a stir fry.
- Be realistic
I am not suggesting you need to have every single meal planned from Monday breakfast to Friday supper, but if you can prepare three – four generic dishes in advance, this will save you time during those times when you have no time.
Successful people succeed on purpose – they think ahead, plan and prepare themselves. Food preparation is just one of their many secret weapons.
Danielle Fancellu, Nutrition Counselor