When I was teaching middle school years ago, I used to have this poster on my wall in my classroom that said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”
I say it to my kids all the time…in fact, I should probably resurrect that poster from a storage bin deep in my basement, I say it so much.
And while it is something these kiddos need to learn, the truth is, so do we. This is especially true when it comes to our nutrition.
When we are ready with not just “healthy” options but also “correct” PFCs in our house, eating the right foods, in the right portions in the right frequency is really, really simple and is the most significant factor in my clients being able to sustain the lifestyle we teach…by making it a habit of being well planned.
However, meal prepping is in the top 10% off #1 challenges that my followers tell me they struggle with and so it is something we dig into deeply when my clients join our 4 Weeks 2 Wellness Lifestyle Launch. As a result, they get to learn just how simple it can be when we have a less overwhelming definition of what “meal prepping” actually means.
The thing is, I think we look at meal prep as this big commitment of time that takes hours and hours out of our Sunday. And that doesn’t include the time it takes to figure out what you are going to make for the week, nevermind grocery shop for it.
But here’s the thing. We are looking at it all wrong.
Truth time? I am not much of a meal prepper. But I am a planner.
Here’s the difference.
Meal prepping is just that…pre-cooking and preparing recipes so that you have a variety of options in pretty containers in your home, ready to go for the week. It includes planning in advance and looking into the future about each day that week.
What I do, however, and what I teach our clients, is a different type of prepping. I simply call it “planning.”
Because we follow an approach that allows us to fuel our bodies with food by eating a protein, fat and carb every 3-4 hours, we need to be ready to eat 5-6 meals everyday! CLICK HERE for more info about how we use food as fuel.
Of course we need to be prepared, but meal prepping? Aint nobody got time for that. (At least I don’t WANT to make time for that)
So here are the ways that I plan ahead so I am ready for success!
- Be okay with simple during the day. During the days and even on most weekends, I am cool with convenience. I prefer to be in a routine and to have a lot of the similar kinds of PFC meals because they are good, they are simple and they are easy to plan for. Get yourself out of the thinking that every one of your 5-6 meals has to be a gourmet feast. I use the day for food to fuel me and save my desire for something fancier for dinner.
- Think of your food like you think of a puzzle. I have all the “pieces” ready in my fridge or pantry and each meal I mix and match, putting together different combinations of proteins, fats and carbs in a way that is satisfying but takes less than a minute. If you work outside of the home, it is really simple and fast to put together 3-4 simple PFC meal combinations together in less than 2 minutes.
- Prepare PFC options while you do other things. I am literally making hard boiled eggs in my instapot as I type this blog. I will throw some brown rice in there after that and let that do it’s bad-ass thing. Quinoa is requires bringing equal measure of water to quinoa to a boil and then I turn it off and let it sit covered until I remember to put it in a container and throw it in the fridge.
I have the oven on and sweet potatoes are baking. I will throw chicken breasts in there later and then portion them tonight while I am binging on a Schitt’s Creek episode. Simple proteins, fats and carbs that you can cook while you do other things hardly puts a dent in your day, it just takes intentionality, but not time.
When I really want to get fancy I spray some muffin tins and throw an egg and 3 tbsps of egg whites in each tin. Sometimes I add veggies but usually I just make time to add salt and pepper. Bake them in the oven and two of those are a great protein and fat in the morning!
- Have a staple list of PFC options that you always get at the store. I have a weekly Costco list that I use. Grab it here. If you don’t have costco, just adapt it for your own grocery store but think about ways you can stock easy to grab proteins, fats and carbs so you always have them on hand for your puzzle pieces
Here are a few examples of quick go tos youo can grab at the store to mix and match:
Carbs: Apples, oranges, berries, watermelon, etc. Thin Stackers, rice, bread, baby carrots, dried fruit
Fats: Nuts, avocado, wholly guacamole, cheese, oil, salad dressing, etc
Protein: Yogurt (also a F and C), pre-cooked chicken, deli meat, eggs, Vermont Turkey Jerky, cottage cheese, frozen shrimp, etc
Want more simple ideas? Grab our amazing resource of 101 Simple PFC Combinations so many ways to mix and match!
CLICK HERE now!
- Have your meal replacements ready to go. We have a small container in our pantry with our ninja and all the parts to it, and containers next to it with our protein powder, chia seeds and fiber. My husband is the shake maker each morning so he throws in frozen strawberries (from Costco) and almond milk (Costco, too) and makes our shakes in about 7 minutes. Click here for my favorite protein shakes. We also ALWAYS have protein bars (Click here for out favorites!) on hand which can be another meal replacement…so when you think about it, if you are doing 2 meal replacements a day, that is only 3-4 PFC meals you have to be ready for…and if one if them is dinner, well, then it’s only 2-3!
- Make extra for dinner. For those of you who make dinner at night, I DO plan out my dinners on Sundays by just writing them in my phone. I use the PFC balanced recipes from our Membership Group (Click here for more info) and it’s super simple. With a grocery list already provided, I often just use Amazon Whole Foods to deliver everything I need for dinners. Then I make extra and during clean up, throw them in smaller containers so leftovers can be easy PFC meals the next day!
So, meal prep isn’t actually a part of my routine…but planning is. And because I like to use my Sundays for family time, I find this routine of being intentional with my time allows me to plan for success without sacrifice!
What tips do you find helpful here? Comment below and let me know!
Want to know more about how we support our clients by teaching them about our approach while setting our bodies up for ultimate success?? Consider joining our 4 Weeks 2 Wellness Lifestyle Launch! It’’s an amazing way to launch your body and your mindset into a new way of living, learning and feeling about food and yourself! www.4w2w.com