There’s often ONE reason why women don’t see results beyond the first few weeks of starting a new “diet” or when trying to “get back on track”: FAILING TO PREPARE!
But here’s the thing…we often overthink preparation…
I used to think that I needed to pre-make full-blown meals on the weekend. That would mean actually taking the time to write-out a meal plan for the week, figuring out what ingredients I need, then grocery shopping accordingly. I would consistently set myself for failure…
What I have learned is that, for me, the most effective preparation is what doesn’t take much time at all (it does require forethought and actually REMEMBERING to do it) and it’s about prepping a few foods or components of meals that will keep me on track.
Here are 11 easy things to prepare – TODAY – that will set you up for far greater success this upcoming week. Pick a couple out of the list that are simple for you to start with. See what works for you, tweak it over time so that it really fits in to YOUR lifestyle and doesn’t feel overwhelming or cumbersome. Otherwise, you simply won’t do it.
One of the cornerstones of my teaching is committing to certain non-negotiable actions that are sustainable and have the greatest impact on long-term success.
One of my most important non-negotiables is this weekend prep – either on Saturday or Sunday, and usually I try to do it while I’m making Sunday breakfast or dinner while I’m in the kitchen with everything out. I certainly don’t want to spend the entire weekend in the kitchen! I don’t do all 11 of these, but I usually pick any 3-4 depending on what my schedule and time allows and how busy my upcoming week is looking.
So give it a try for the next few weeks…and see what best works for you.
I’m ALWAYS looking for new easy prep ideas, so if you have anything that works really well for you – I’d love to hear it! Share below!
Literally as simple as boiling water. The game-changer here is that I have to also be sure to peel them when they’re done…or they’re not quite as easy to grab-and-go. I use for added protein at breakfast, add to salads or for a quick snack (great for my family too). I usually boil 4-6 for the week, peel and refrigerate in an airtight container.
2. Pre-make brown rice, black/forbidden/purple rice, quinoa, wild rice…any whole grain
Again…as simple as boiling water! I rotate the whole grains I pre-make…usually yielding about 2-3 cups total. I use about 1/2 cup – 3/4 cup for a service for my breakfast bowls (I add those hard-boiled eggs) and top with avocado, olive oil, salt & pepper; to top my lunch salads or to add as a side for dinner on days I’m more active (otherwise, we typically suggest keeping your grains before about 3pm)
3. Make-ahead sweet potatoes
This tip comes from our BP Team Member, Jolie – she pre-bakes a few sweet potatoes for the week – she tops them with almond butter and cinnamon for a great snack or add to salads or as a side.
4. Make a tray of homemade protein bars
I get asked ALL THE TIME…”what’s the best bar to eat!?” Unfortunately…I’m still searching for the bar that is low in sugar and high in protein and doesn’t have a bunch of junk in it (unlike so much on the market!). If you follow us on Pinterest (one of my favorite places to search and store recipes), you’ll find several posts on homemade protein bars and snack bars…and I’ve taste-tested them on my toddler too!
5. Roast veggies
Most of us don’t eat nearly enough veggies…nor enough of a variety. I’ve found the BEST way to prep…and my favorite taste for veggies is roasting. You can roast virtually ANY vegetable (have you ever tried roasted broccoli or cauliflower?). Squash, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, kale, carrots…you name it… I usually just cut whatever I have (and I’ve even thawed and roasted frozen veg!), toss in a bowl with olive oil, some pink Himalayan salt (more flavorful and better for you), pepper, garlic powder and then throw on a few sheet pans and pop in the oven at around 375 until yummy…
6. Turkey meatballs
Such a simple and great protein source. Ground turkey is a staple on my weekly shopping list. In one bowl, I mix the turkey, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, 1 egg, some grated Parmesan cheese, and some bread crumbs (and one of the best tips I actually received from one of our members, Natalie, is to use cooked quinoa in lieu of breadcrumbs!). Mix it and use a 1″ scoop/baller and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 350 until done. Eat with breakfast (basically it’s a WAY better option than pre-made sausage!), add to your salad, soups or do for dinner.
7. Breakfast jars
I find breakfast for many women is a “if-I-can-get-to-it” meal or usually is WAY less nutrition than most women need (leading to the 3pm sugar crash). We’ve posted several “breakfast jar” recipes to our Pinterest page – everything from different chia seed pudding recipes to different overnight oatmeals. Make a few jars for the week for a perfect grab-and-go breakfast for you and the family! And a Body Project member favorite recipe is our Make-ahead Oatmeal Bars…
8. Pre-make salads
Most of the women at Body Project are busy, busy women! So prep is key…and simple prep is even more important. If salads are your staple for lunch – try pre-making your salads on the weekend. You can layer your salad fixings in a jar, tupperware or even in a big ziplock bag.
9. Grill/bake extra chicken/turkey
I’ve made it a habit that every time I’m in the kitchen making a meal think to myself, “How can I get more out of the time I’m spending in the kitchen” – whether this means just making double of what I’m making to save for the next few days or cutting up veggies, etc. while I have all the equipment out. Whenever you’re making chicken or turkey, start making it a habit to cook double so you have it done for other meals…
10. Make extra Sunday breakfast
Sunday morning breakfast is a ritual in my home. Among our favorites are waffles, crepes, big omelets and pancakes. Over the years, we’ve found ways to make ordinarily “bad” recipes for waffles, crepes, pancakes, muffins, etc. and make them still taste amazing AND actually have really good ingredients. IT. IS. POSSIBLE! My high-protein waffles we make, for example, we always make extra so we have Monday’s breakfast and maybe even Tuesday’s breakfast done for us! (A few key things we do to make our waffles better is add a scoop of plant-based protein powder, sub 1/2 the flour with almond flour, and we often use coconut oil in lieu of butter/oil and almond milk in lieu of dairy milk…took some trial and error but they’re delicious and rival “regular” waffles!).
11. Quiche cups
A Body Project member favorite! Here is a recipe for simple quiche cups for a high-protein morning (or lunch, or snack) punch! Add plenty of veggies and I love them with goat cheese or feta cheese. Just pay attention to how many you need in order to hold you over (some women do well with 2-3 cups and a slice of sprouted grain toast (like the brand Ezekiel).
Success LOVES preparation…
I hope these help you and I’ll keep sharing new prep ideas and I hope you’ll share what works for you below!
Committed to your success,
photo credit: fitlife.tv