March is National Nutrition Month and is a perfect time for reflection and planning. Planning is a big part of my life as I balance two jobs, daily work-outs, and social meet-ups. Vegan, Flexitarian, and Keto are all lifestyles that have unique food requirements. I have been vegetarian for over 20 years, and believe me, twenty years ago that was not an easy lifestyle to follow in York County, PA. My salvation then and now for maintaining sanity and healthy eating is meal prepping. Meal prep requires effort but is worth every minute at the end of the day.
Here are 5 basic steps to make your life easier:
- Gather all those food storage containers in your house and organize them by the volume they hold, ex: 8oz, 4oz, etc. Can they be used in the freezer?
- Join a wholesale club and buy in bulk. CSA is also great in the summer time for all those fresh veggies!
- Plan a simple menu for the week. This can be super detailed or just generalized. Example: No Meat Monday, Taco Tuesday, etc.
- Dedicate a block of time to batch-cook ingredients, at least 60 minutes. Cooking is faster than ever with appliances like the Instant Pot. My advice if you are going to purchase a pot is to get the largest size.
- Portion each item for meals, snacks, or add-ins to meals you are going to prepare.
Planning, preparing, and portioning your meals ahead of time keeps your food budget in check and your diet on track.