Food Prep: Stressful or Nurturing?

If you read my blog you KNOW I am an avid food prepper. I teach people in my home, I’ve shot videos on it, and I work with my private site and personal clients on how to do it for their needs.

Some people tell me it is overwhelming and I get that. If you attempt it all at once you feel like it takes too much time and is hard to “plan.” I have written several blogs on how to do them and you can find those here.

My BEST tips are the following:

1) Week One start with ONE MEAL you know you can get right. I find a lot of women do great starting with prepping their lunch for the week. A good lunch helps with the afternoon munchies (have a snack but a good lunch keeps that snack from being CANDY).

You can start with breakfast but that’s such an easy meal to just grab something but lunch is one where many of you fall into the restaurant gang!

2) Stick with one meal for the week. Don’t try to be Ms. Creative. It’s easier to pick something you LOVE (read not diet food) and make it fives times over. Done.

3) Week Two decide if you want to change lunch or add another meal.

4) Dinner can be the same every night just like lunch was. If you live in my house you know I eat something delicious for my meals but whatever I pick on Sunday is what I eat all week. My lunch and dinner are just about the same and that makes life easy.

5) Did you hear me say pick delicious food? Don’t pick diet food! Diet food sucks but healthy food can be filling and tasty.

With that out of the way, I also want to talk about something I read in my 30-Day Food Journal Challenge. It’s DAY ONE and one of members who is new to me and the PNP Gang commented…

“It is only day one, but I am already seeing why I was so hungry last week. Just looking at what everyone else is eating shows me that I need to spend a little more time on my meals. I had two Nathan’s skinless beef hot dogs for lunch. I tend to not cook or take much time preparing food unless my hubby is home. I need to break that habit. I am worth taking time for.”

That is a huge revelation. For some women, hell a lot of YOU, when it’s time to “get healthy” you turn on diet mode with a fancy new name. The 1200 calorie wagon comes rolling through, you hop on, buy a Fiber One bar, and wonder why you are dying, unmotivated, tired, and unable to wrangle up the energy to workout.

If you had to drive for four hours and I gave you a quarter tank of gas, would you just drive until you had to push the car the rest of the way? That’s basically what you do when you decide to eat hardly any calories and then those few calories are loaded with “filler food.”

This is where food prep comes into play. If you have a tank full of premium you are going to cruise into town on time and feeling good. Food prep is where you ensure you will have a good week. You nurture your mind, body, and soul with the food you prepare. As the above poster said, SHE IS WORTH IT.

I don’t look at my food prep each week as a burden. It’s that time of the week I am setting myself up for success, thinking about the things I love to eat, making sure I have plenty of it, and I even do the same for my boys.

Food CAN nurture you. It doesn’t always have to be what we typically think. Often we confuse grabbing fries, eating doughnuts, and the like as nurturing ourselves through stress. Quite the opposite. When you grab stuff out of desperation do you feel stressed or nurtured 30 min. after you ate it? Right. If you have a bad day, come home to delicious healthy food, and eat what you planned, how do you feel 30 min. later?

In both cases the problem or stress is still there. Food didn’t solve anything but when you ate your prepped food you gave yourself nutrients, a WIN, and now have to deal with the stress versus numbing out on the aftermath of junk food.

I hope this makes sense. Food prep, in my opinion, is such a game changer in your weight loss efforts. It’s RARE I have a week I don’t do it. Even after running a marathon yesterday and flying home late, I went to the store today to buy us food that’s good BUT can be prepped QUICK. Guess who is cooking up some healthy eats tonight? Me. If I don’t then the rest of the week I’m picking and grabbing then watching my energy suck. And, I mentally beat myself up. Talk about a beat down.

Nope, I’ll do food prep and here’s the quick version on what I am doing.

Brown some lean ground beef (2lbs) for Chris to eat with white rice and eggs. He cooks his eggs each night and heats up rice. I cook the rice in advance. Then I’ll brown lean turkey breast for me to put on top of roasted cauliflower rice (I made a bunch a week ago so I have frozen individual bags). Microwave some sweet potatoes to eat with my breakfast and I’ll do yogurt and pumpkin seeds or cook up three eggs to eat with it.

Roast two large pans of frozen green beans. Saute a bag of broccoli slaw. Cook a pint of chicken livers (I love them and they restore my iron levels) to eat the next couple of days with my salad. Cut up a cantaloupe, wash and bag grapes, wash and cut strawberries, throw some chicken breast in the crockpot to make shredded chicken for corn tacos, and cut up some peppers to saute with mushrooms and tomatoes. I put the mushroom mix on my salads. I buy slaw mix bags and use that as my lettuce. Throw in some blue cheese and onion when I’m ready to eat and I have my salad!

Feel free to post questions about food prep. I’m always willing to shoot videos and walk you through anything if you just ask!

  • Elayne says:

    How do you make your roasted cauliflower rice?

  • Kay says:

    I used to think it was overwhelming but i had to learn to make it easy for me. I chose to start with breakfast because that was the meal i was eating out the most. For me it was simple as making a batch of muffins and fruit cups for the week. Also food prep means to me having things ready for the week. If i want stir fry i will cut up the veggies and have them on hand and ready to go. It makes putting a healthy meal on the table fast and easy. Thanks for the info and help you have given me through the years.

  • Tara says:

    Great post! I know its so hard when first getting started, but once you get into it and learn how WONDERFUL it is to food prep (all healthy meals, already made, easy to grab and eat, less stress during the week to have to cook or decide what to cook).
    -I always have eggs and veggies on hand. If I am running late or dont have enough prepped food, I will sautee veggies and make an omlette with sprouted toast.
    -I always have sweet pototos/frozen veggies to roast (got for any meal!)
    -Precooked sausages (Al Fresco) are great to suatee with veggies and an easy lunch (my go to is sautee shallots and brussel sprouts w/Al Fresco chix sausage, and sprinkle with parm. cheese). This will make 3 meals or a few snacks.

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    Hi, I'm Corinne

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