The Prep Effect

Here we are, post-chocolate + food coma and its a Monday. Yuck.  I’ll bet that many of you have some left over V-day treats that are still calling your names (I’ve got a bag of mini m&m’s that will not be quiet). But, we all made a commitment to be healthy, so its time to get back on track. I’m not telling you to rid your kitchen of the delicious leftovers, oh no, that would be a sin. I’m just here to remind you that its time to get back to your nutritionally balanced diet.

My favorite thing to do after a holiday is to grocery shop and stock my pantry and fridge with healthy foods. This way I have no other choice but to eat them because 1. I don’t want to waste the food 2. I do not want to waste money and 3. I know the healthy food will fuel my body with what it needs to feel its best. After I buy all of my healthy goodies, I like to cook up a bunch of food to stock the fridge for the week. Its so much easier to make healthy decisions when you already have the food prepared. Personally, when I’m really hungry I will eat everything and anything in sight — there is no stopping me. I like to combat that “I’m so hungry I think I blacked out and ate the entire fridge” scenario by preparing food ahead of time.

You do not need to go out and buy 21 containers and prep every meal and snack that you will eat for the next week. The only people who have a reason to do that are body builders and physique competitors. Our focus is to eat a variety of healthy foods, so that won’t work for us. That kind of meal prep and planning doesn’t make sense for daily living. You don’t know what you will be craving for lunch on Thursday afternoon, so don’t plan that far ahead. I like to have a rough plan in the morning of what I will be eating for that given day. Ever since I was little, I would ask my mom what was for dinner while I was finishing my breakfast. I’m not kidding, food is always on my mind. If I’ve got a particular craving for sweets, I’ll plan on having a banana + peanut butter for a snack or make a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. If I feel extra hungry that day, I’ll plan on eating a lot of popcorn as a snack (popped on the stove with olive oil — delicious!)

Today I cooked up enough chicken, peppers, onions, mushrooms and shredded brussels sprouts for the next couple days. These are some of my favorite foods and I know I will enjoy eating them for lunch or dinner. I can pair the chicken with a combination of different veggies or throw it on a salad. I can add quinoa or brown rice to make dinner more filling. The options are endless and nutritious.

My challenge for you this week: come up with a protein and combination of vegetables that you enjoy, cook them up and stock your fridge for the week. Also, I encourage you to continue finding time to exercise, don’t let to cold weather get you down! Remember, spring will be here before we know it 🙂

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“A balanced diet is chocolate in both hands.” – Unknown 😉

With love,

Hailey


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