If the idea preparing your food seems overwhelming, here’s 3 easy tricks ANYBODY can start doing today
Hi everyone, I hope you’re making the most of the impending Spring weather! This time of year always gets me excited with the prospect of everything looking greener, brighter and (dare I add?) more sunshine!! Here’s hoping…
Today I thought I’d share with you three of the most effective tricks that I use today, to minimise the stress associated with maintaining healthy eating. These strategies have also been employed by my personal training clients, who have reported how effective they have found them at helping them stay on track, instead of falling off the wagon.
Feeling disorganised and getting stressed out takes up an incredible amount of energy. It’s no wonder so many of the population resort to convenience foods that are ‘quick’; the idea of cooking something from scratch after a long day at work being far too overwhelming.
And once again, I speak from experience! It was only a few years ago that NONE of the strategies that I’m about to share with you were a part of my life. Both my husband (then fiancé) and I were working ridiculously long hours (him on shifts, me building a business while training clients morning, noon and night) and combined with a lack of organisation, neither of us were really eating that great.
We’d argue about who’s turn it was to cook, why there wasn’t anything to cook anything with and end up often getting a takeaway kebab or running to the cornershop 3-5 x week, in addition to a big weekly supermarket shop, that didn’t seem to go anywhere.
So, in a nutshell living this way was hardly worth it! Fortunately over time we decided to really take a look at ourselves and our way of living. As it wasn’t serving us in the slightest, we discussed what changes we could make and eventually the way we operate today was born!
On reflection, the strategies I’m about to share with you may seem painfully simple. But the results they have created for both of us, as well as for my personal training clients speak for themselves! I truly hope the same happens for you, if you are currently not sure where to start.
1) Planning your meals
If you just take away one strategy from this article, let it be this one. Not only will planning your meals for the week save you precious energy spent on deciding what to have for dinner/lunch (where people tend to struggle the most) but you’ll also find you save money on your weekly shop!
Youll only be buying the food you’ll be needing for the week, which means less visits to the supermarket and therefore less money spent. You’ll also be far less likely to buy things that aren’t on your shopping list (despite what’s on special offer) as you know what you’ll be needing for the week.
So pick a time (preferably the same time) each week to write your meal plan, followed by your shopping list. You’ll be amazed how little time this takes and how much stress it eliminates!
2) Advance Bulking
Don’t worry, this doesn’t require any overeating or bulking up 😉
Just like with your designated time for meal-planning in strategy 1, once your weekly shop has been done (or delivered if you do it online) pick a couple of meals that you can cook in advance, in bulk.
You can divide these into portions and keep them in the freezer (or fridge) depending on how lon their shelf life is. My favourite staples to have to hand are some hummus, bread, pesto, crackers and a batch of soup.
Doing this will mean you are always ahead of the game, and if anything unexpected happens then at least you will always have something available as a back up. Have a look at your calendar for the week and pencil in a time to do this, treating it with the same value as an important meeting. That way you’ll stick to it and your body will thank you.
3) Multitask as much as possible
This essentially means preparing as much food ahead of time as you can. For example, if you are making a batch of soup then what else could you prep while it’s cooking? I often have several things on the go, which saves me so much time and energy!
The other aspect of this strategy is thinking about how many servings you can make in one go. If you are cutting up a bunch of crudités to have with your hummus, why not do a few days worth instead of just one serving?
And if you’re cooking something like chicken breasts, it takes exactly the same amount of time to cook one than it does three! So that could be three meals sorted, in the same time that it takes to cook one. ALWAYS cook more than you need to eat, when making anything so you’ll never be out of leftovers. Again, these come in pretty handy for emergencies.
REMEMBER: the better you eat, the better you’ll feel. By committing a small percentage of time each week to being organised, you’ll soon enough start to notice how much more energy you have as this is not being spent being stressed out!
This new way of living will eventually become second nature and a part of you weekly routine. As well as something pretty empowering that you can feel very proud of.
The results will speak for themselves, all you have to do is start 😉