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Food PSA: I Refuse to Meal Prep, but I Still Have Healthy Meals - Here's How

00:17  24 april  2018
00:17  24 april  2018 Source:   popsugar.com

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If your meal idea includes vegetables (as it should), then keep in mind that it doesn't need to be the same set of vegetables each time. You can pick up what appeals to you (or what' s local and in season) and use those ingredients to create your dish. Remember, even the most strict recipes have flexibility.

Today, as part of our healthy meal prep monthly series, I want to share with you how I do our family’ s weekly meal prep . Running a recipes website with so much recipe testing doesn’t exactly call for a full week of prepared meals , however once a week I meal prep for a few days and IT HELPS A LOT.

Should You Meal Prep? © POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar Should You Meal Prep?

We've all seen the weeks' worth of perfectly portioned meals on Instagram. They typically flood my feed on a Sunday, a day that I love to kick back and avoid the stress of the week ahead. The timing of these overly organized meal posts is enough to give anyone the Sunday scaries.

I've never been into meal prepping, so when I first started to notice this trend on social media, I started to question my own decisions. As a registered dietitian, I'm hyper aware of food trends, especially the ones promising to make healthy eating easier. It works for some people sure, but for me and many others, meal prepping isn't a part of normal life and that's OK! Don't stress, I have three legitimate reasons that prove you don't need to meal prep for a healthy diet.

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Can't be bothered with meal prep ? Diet guru reveals how to make 10 healthy dinners in less than an HOUR - and they will set you back just £14. When you' re trying to follow a healthy eating plan, stick to a budget or save time in the kitchen, meal prepping is heralded as the answer to eating well and is

RELATED: I Refuse to Spend Sunday Doing Meal Prep — Here Are My Time-Saving Secrets for Cooking on Weeknights. This challenge taught me that meal prep can be totally worth the health benefits, both mental and physical. I started out my week feeling accomplished because I took care of

No Prep Does Not Mean No Plan

Planning what foods to buy makes for easier meal prep and saves money, but there are other ways to save time throughout the week that don't involve a marathon day of meal prepping. Just a few of my favorites.

  • Cook more whole grains than you need for a recipe and package the rest of the plain, cooked grain in the fridge for the coming day's meals.
  • Stock up on frozen, already prepped vegetables. They're just as nutritious as fresh and save lots of time on cleaning and chopping. Frozen veggies are great for stir-fry dishes, pizza, soups, and pasta sauce.
  • Don't pressure yourself into cooking everything from scratch. We have food companies for a reason and lot of them are making innovative products that can easily fit into a healthy diet. I'll pick up a jar of tomato sauce (the lower the sodium, the better, so compare brands!) and "fortify" it with added vegetables like leafy greens, peppers, squash and zucchini, and mushrooms. Other options like premade whole wheat pizza dough, jarred, low-sodium marinades, low sodium canned beans, and quick-cooking whole grains are all staples in my house.

Meal Prep Can Limit Variety

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Getting started with Meal Prep but need help with meal prep ideas? Here is the why and how to help you get started on your meal prep journey. How To Meal Prep

Meal prep does not mean you have to take Pinterest-perfect photos of containers. It’s really all about helping you get ahead this week, so you can Ready to try it? Here ’ s a healthy meal plan you can totally prep ahead, featuring wild salmon fillet, a pot of quinoa, and a whole lot of superfood veggies.

OK, I realize you can have variety with meal prepping, but the majority of meal preps I've seen include five to seven containers of the same exact foods. It might make a nice-looking Instagram post, but seriously, how boring is that? No wonder people ditch their attempts to eat healthy – I would too if it meant eating the same thing every day! Instead, start with a meal in mind and shop accordingly.

If your meal idea includes vegetables (as it should), then keep in mind that it doesn't need to be the same set of vegetables each time. You can pick up what appeals to you (or what's local and in season) and use those ingredients to create your dish.

Remember, even the most strict recipes have flexibility. Recognize that you can swap a whole grain like brown rice for another type like farro and you can sub veggies of your choice in place of others you may not enjoy or for the ones you have on hand. If a recipe calls for broccoli, but you hate broccoli, why not try cauliflower instead? The point is to try new foods and flavors, increase variety, and keep your taste buds entertained while also providing the variety of nutrients your body needs.

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( Here are more guidelines on how long your meal prep go-tos keep.) Pop into a grocery store mid-week to grab any more fresh fruits, veggies, herbs, and See ya, cereal for dinner and ice cream for dessert. When you have healthy food on hand, you' re more likely to eat healthy food, simple as that.

Here ' s what I learned. Eating six times a day managed to curb that insatiable hormone-driven hunger. Sure, I still had cravings for sweets—and I confess I caved a few times—but for the first time in a very long time, I got through both my ovulatory and premenstrual periods without binge eating.

Avoid Meal Prep and Remain Flexible

How do you know what will sound good to you on a Thursday when you're prepping the Sunday before? Most people don't and I'm not a fan of eating food that doesn't sound appealing. Remaining flexible in your meal planning throughout the week allows you to create satisfying meals you crave, not force a meal into your day that doesn't sound great at the time. Food is meant to nourish your body, but it should also to bring enjoyment and pleasure.

Meal prepping works for some people, and for those who enjoy it, please keep prepping away. But for those like me who are spending their weekends meal-prep free, remember, meal prepping is not the only way to a healthy diet.

Related gallery: 20 Healthy Chicken Casserole Recipes to Keep in Heavy Rotation

9 Expert Meal-Prep Tips to Save Serious Time .
There’s no one right way to meal prep correctly—it’s really more of a “do what works for you” kind of thing. But while no two methods look exactly alike, there are some tips everyone should know that make meal prepping about ten billion times less stressful. Don’t take our word for it, though—let the real pros tell you. From registered dietitians to book authors and YouTubers, these meal prep experts share their favorite ways to keep the process simple and efficient.1. Multitask. Prepping several different foods can feel overwhelming if you’re not used to it.

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