How to get your nutrition cleaned up after the summer splurge.
Although we still technically have a few more more days of summer, it is dwindling down degree by degree. The boat parties on the lake are over, the all-inclusive vacations are a nice memory and the family reunions and BBQs are in the rearview mirror! So let’s look at how we can clean up our eating habits a bit! Then we can get back to cleaner eating before the holiday season comes rolling in!
5 tips on how to get your nutrition on track without making your head explode:
Make a meal-plan!
I use a meal-plan that attaches to my fridge with a magnet. Every week I try to jot down some meals to plan out my week as far out as I can. Pick about four or five dinner meals. That way if you want to leave room for two or three “on the fly” meals. For example, maybe someone invites you out for dinner or perhaps you’re feeling carry-out. A meal plan doesn’t need to be followed 100%, it can be a guideline towards a less chaotic dinner time.
Build your meals up from the proteins and rotate those for more variety as follows: Monday – chicken tenderloins, Tuesday – pork sausage, Wednesday – beef meatballs, etc. Now pair up your proteins with a vegetable and a starch and VOILA: you have your dinners! Jot it down on your meal plan. Then write next to it what you’ll need to get from the grocery store.
Meal prep whenever you have time.
Meal prep does not have to be an 8 hour window every Sunday… It can be a half hour here or an hour there, or even cutting up some extra veggies while you’re already making dinner. Cooking a pot of rice, quinoa or potatoes can help you out a lot! Even washing, peeling, or already cutting up your veggies in advance will save you oodles of time during your week.
Breakfasts and lunches can be rotated and can also be put together in advance. Get a set of medium and large Mason jars. Then when you have a quick minute throw together some overnight oats or salad jars.
Keep your food fresh.
Choose short & easy recipes.
When you look for your recipes to fill up your meal plan, choose recipes that are 30 minutes or less with about 5-10 minutes of prep. I say this because in most cases it will take you at least 5 minutes longer. I love websites like Taste Of Home or All Recipes where you can select “dinners” then dinners for one or two and then easy or quick recipes. If you don’t like following recipes there are lots of ideas on how to make a simple chicken breast or pork chop a phenomenal meat for your dinners.
Be in control of your own meals.
A few important lessons I have learned are “if I don’t buy it, I can’t eat it” and “be in control of your own meals”. Eating out more often is not a great idea if you want to know what goes into your meals.
A wise nutrition trainer once said, “Being prepared isn’t half the battle, it IS the battle!” Any kind of meal planning and prepping you can do, will help you save time somewhere else during your week. Remember, simplify to amplify.
And even if you only followed your plan 60-70% of the time, that is still better than following no plan at all, am I right? Happy prepping!