Meal Prep and How to Manage It!*

Wednesday, 31 July 2019, By Hugh Hamilton

We all lead busy lives! I mean let's face it, we live in Sydney so things can get a little full on and stressful from time to time.

However, no matter how busy you are you need to remind yourself that your body needs fuel! You wouldn't stop putting petrol in your car or credit on your opal card, and the human body is no different.  Throughout this article, I will aim to address some healthy options as well as managing your time to make sure you fit in those meals that you keep missing.

Breakfast time is by far one of the most commonly missed meals but also the most manageable. As all of you would have heard from your trainers at some point in time - "breakfast is the most important meal of the day!" and the fact is, it is. Making sure to start your day with a nutritious meal is not only going to sustain you throughout the morning but also help to maintain your mood and promote positive brain and bodily function.

A frequently used reason for missing breakfast is "I just don't have time". And that's okay! Breakfast shouldn't be causing you stress and luckily it doesn't have to take up much time. Therefore, my first and best option for you is going to be to set your alarm 10 minutes earlier and have something nice and easy. Some options include:

  • Porridge
  • Muesli
  • Low sugar cereals

All 3 of the above options are as we know, are extremely quick and easy to make. Match this with a black coffee (if you're an Arabica bean enthusiast) and you're on your way to starting your day!

However, I completely understand that some of us just need that extra 10 minutes sleep, which is also okay because there's an option for you too. At some point between when you get home from work and go to bed, you can prepare a quick and easy meal that you can grab from the fridge and head to work with. A smoothie or shake is going to be your best friend here. Some ingredients that you can include are:

  • Water or milk (careful of full cream options)
  • Blended oats
  • Protein powder
  • Assorted berries
  • Chia seeds
  • Yoghurt

If you are choosing this option, try to ensure that you do incorporate some form of carbs into it (e.g. banana, oats etc.) as you want to start your day off strong!  Without carbs, you will find that by the time you get to work you're more than likely going to be hungry again. This may cause you to turn to a quick fix which you want to avoid!

 

Snack time. Here at Vision, we encourage you to fulfil 5 meals a day (breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner). The main reasoning behind this is that it will inspire your body to learn to use the fuel it is being given. Or in other words, it helps to keep your metabolism (rate at which you burn energy) moving consistently. By skipping meals, your body starts to go into what we call a "survival mode". This means that your metabolic rate slows down and then when you eventually do have a meal, your body will want to store it rather than use it.

Essentially what I'm getting at is that snacks are important and typically very easy to prepare! Next time you go to the supermarket you're going to buy 2 things:

  • Nuts
  • Chobani Fit or Yopro yoghurt

These 2 products require virtually no preparation and are a great snack whilst at work on your computer or a 10 minute break. A small portion of nuts (10 or so almonds) and a 160g tub of yoghurt are an awesome option to tie you over until that next major meal. Another alternative is a protein shake! (1 scoop of whey powder with 400-500ml of water) Again, requiring very little preparation and being that its protein - it will make you feel fuller for longer, giving you a feeling of satiety.

 

Dinner time. That pesky meal that no one ever wants to prepare because it's been a long day and who wants to cook? Simplify it for yourself! Dinner doesn't need to become an extravagant meal every night of the week. Pick a time in the week where you've got a spare 15 minutes and cook some meat in bulk. Some strong options include:

  • Lean beef mince
  • Lean chicken mince
  • Lean pork mince

Obviously, there are other options out there and feel free to make a choice that caters to your taste. However, I have found that using these as staple foods for dinner gives me enough variety to get by for at least a few days. The reason these meats in particular work so well is because you can buy it by the kg, it takes less than 10 minutes to cook, they store well in the fridge and can be mixed through with a variety of other ingredients to make a quick and healthy dinner. Some ideas include:

  • Healthier versions of Sang Choi Bow
  • Stir fry
  • Naked burgers
  • Chip free nachos
  • Salads

In order to make sure that this option is effective, you will need to keep your fridge filled with a range of vegetables. Make sure to have plenty of lettuce leaf mixes, avocado, tomato, capsicum, cucumber and anything else from the veggie section that appeals to your taste buds! Just remember that most typical serving sizes for meat is roughly the size of your palm. If you're unsure then this is where your kitchen scale and the My Vision App will come in handy!

 

Before you come to a conclusion about this article, I would like you to go out and try the methods that I have spoken about. Go to the supermarket and grab these ingredients and try setting aside a small portion of your time each week to doing some meal preparation. Just remember that 70% of your results come down to your nutrition. You can't out train a bad diet! Believe me, I've tried. Studies show that it takes the average person 66 days to form a habit. 66 days out of the rest of your life is not much to give up in order to lead a healthier lifestyle. So, give it a go!

 

 

*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.

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