Let’s talk about meal planning during the holidays, shall we.
Ah the hustle and bustle of the holidays. It’s such a busy time of the year! Parties and shopping and parties and shopping and decorating and parties….
You get the idea. We are straight up busy.
It’s also the main reason we gain weight over the holidays. We don’t have a healthy meals planned for times we aren’t at parties eating the holiday goodies. So we grab the closest convenience food at the mall or hit the drive through on the way home or just load up on the pre-packaged snack foods that seem to be in abundance this time of year.
We end up consuming far more calories than we normally would during this time of year when we are not indulging at the holiday parties.
With a little bit of planning, it doesn’t have to be this way!
I myself absolutely MUST MUST MUST food prep each week, not just during the holidays. I work really long hours and don’t get home most nights until 8:45pm. If I didn’t have food already pre-prepped and ready to go, you can bet I would have to rely and much less healthier options.
The great thing about food prep is that it DOES NOT have to be complicated! Not at all!
So what do I do?
For breakfast options, I hard boil a dozen eggs so they are ready to grab and go with a piece of fruit- and I’m out the door. I also pre-make a smoothie with 1/2 a cup of plain greek yogurt, spinach, frozen berries, 1/2 a banana and some flax seeds- throw it in the blender the night before- and just blend with a little ice the next morning- boom ready to go.
I am a HUGE salad fan…eat one everyday so I even through my salad veggies into 2 or 3 bowls and just add the dressing and protein the day I eat them- again a no brainer & ready to go.
For quick dinners, I use my crockpot. This week I made a turkey veggie chili. What’s great about this is that I can freeze several containers of this and have a variety of soups and other meals on hand in the freezer for variety of delicious and healthy time saving options.
To start your food prep:
1) Find recipes that you are interested in and start making a start a grocery list. Be thinking ahead…what will you have for the next few days. Frozen vegetables and fruits such as berries are fabulous to have on hand to make meal prep even easier.
Here is a great link for slow cooker breakfast recipes. http://greatist.com/…/healthy-crock-pot-recipes-for-breakfa…
2) Carve out 2-3 hours to prep eggs, shakes, soups, baking or grilling veggies, and meats that can be used in salads, wraps, sandwiches, etc. throughout the week.
Here is another link for more crockpot lunch and dinner recipes.
To save time, we go for the fast food and pre-packaged foods that are both high in empty calories, loaded with unhealthy fats,sugar and tons of sodium.
The thing is, with a little bit of thought and a game plan; you can have some delicious healthy meals prepared ahead of time to get you through the hectic holiday season.
Start with one or two recipes and get into the habit of setting time aside for meal prep. You’ll see that over time this becomes second nature and you will be a food prep master in no time!
Happy Holidays and Happy Planning!