My Secret to Living a Healthy & Balanced Life
Time and time again I prove to myself just how far a little bit of planning and preparation goes, ESPECIALLY when it comes to achieving your health and happiness goals!
For those of you who watch my stories on Instagram, you will know that I am a massive fan of weekly kitchen and meal prep. This highly beneficial ritual is without a doubt one of my favourite tricks to not only make healthy living easy but super enjoyable and an absolute pleasure too.
From personal experience, I can honestly tell you that when my kitchen is equipped with beautiful wholesome food and ingredients, ready and waiting to be made into nourishing meals, I function SO much better. I feel balanced, less stressed, my mood improves and without a doubt I’m a much shinier version of myself.
I know that we all live such busy lives and the thought of preparing food seems like just another item to add on your to-do list BUT I 100% promise you that when you prepare your kitchen, you are actually setting yourself up for some serious success and bliss ahead!
Meal prep has made the biggest difference to my life which is why I’m so passionate about it. You’ll find some of my favourite tips below and I hope that they will impact your life just as they have mine.
STEP 1. GET YOUR PLANNING ON!
Before we begin, I want you to know that you are not expected to perfectly plan every single meal, every single day. And you do not have to feel pressured to create flawless meal prep Tupperware’s all stacked inside your fridge (like you see on social media)! I opt for a much simpler and realistic planning process.
Firstly, on a Sunday morning/afternoon, I have a look in my fridge, freezer and pantry. I then take stock of which kitchen staples need to be topped up. My kitchen staples include things like; fresh produce (greens, veggies, fruit, lemons and avocados), non-dairy milk, oats, nut and nut butters, teas, maple syrup, beans or legumes, cooking oils, eggs, spices, grains, condiments and a gluten free bread / wraps of some kind.
Next, I sit down for a few minutes and plan out what easy on-the-go breakfast options I would like. Having 2-3 options is nice to keep things interesting. Some of my go-to options include, overnight oats, toast with eggs or avocado, smoothies, yoghurt with fruit and nut butter or my mini grab-and-go frittatas.
I then decide what snacks I would like to keep on hand. I generally stick to my Healthy Girl protein balls, fresh fruit, nuts, veggie sticks, seed crackers, dips (such as hummus), rice crackers with nut butter or some yoghurt and berries to name a few.
I’m personally not one for planning out my entire week of eating because; 1. The thought of it overwhelms and pressurizes me! 2. I feel that it’s not realistic because who knows what can come up and how you will feel later in the week?! SO, the last thing that I do? I decide what we are going to have for Sunday night dinner and I’m sure to make extra so that my lunch for Monday is sorted. EASY!
STEP 2. SHOP!
Head over to your local market or favourite grocery store and fill your basket up with everything that you need. Remember to take a second and appreciate how lucky you are to have access to such amazing and nutritious food!
STEP 3. GET COOKING!
I know that there are lots of people in this world who don’t like to cook. I get it! Everything can feel a little overwhelming and you are pressed for time. But if you want to get healthy and happy it all starts with getting into your kitchen and cooking with lots of vitamin L… LOVE!
Cooking has to be one of the most ancient acts of self-love and care which is why it’s so important that you do it for yourself and your family. Make it fun! Get your family involved, put some music on, light a candle or listen to a soulful and thought-provoking podcast. Soon you will see that this will become one of your favourite times of day!
What I normally make when I meal prep:
• A batch of my Healthy Girl No Bake Protein Balls. They really help to satisfy my sweet tooth during the week.
• Roasted Veggies. All I use is some olive/coconut oil, seasoning and some spices. My favourite veggies to roast are butternut, cauliflower, sweet potato, Brussels and any other combination that I am feeling like at the time.
• Quinoa or brown rice. These grains last well in the fridge and can easily be added to any main meal.
• Wash & prepare some fresh produce for salads or snacks – anything from greens and lettuce to cucumber, tomato and carrots etc.
• A healthy dressing to be used for lunch or dinner dishes. I enjoy my go-to dressing, a lemon tahini type dressing or a good-quality pesto.
• Protein of some kind. I love making my HG crispy chicken, mince, boiled eggs, roasted chickpeas, frittatas or healthy burger patties (meat and meatless options)
• If I haven’t bought a good quality gluten-free bread to keep in my freezer and I have some extra time, I will make my HG Gluten-free loaf. This is an absolute lifesaver for breakfast, lunch or a snack in a rush. Check out my favouite toast toppers for some inspo!
• Lastly, for breakfast, I will make some overnight oats, freeze some banana to go in my smoothies, keep some toast on hand to have with nut butter, eggs or smashed avo.
AND THAT IS IT! 1-2 hours of bliss and you’re all set for an AWESOME week ahead! While I personally do this ritual every Sunday remember that you are different to me so find a day/time that works for you as the wonderful individual that you are, Gorgeous!
STEP 4: BE FLEXIBLE & STAY REAL!
Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. Although it is great for you so sit down and plan every meal for the week ahead (and if this works for you then please carry on), I found that this approach wasn’t always the best. Because LIFE!
Sometimes you can plan and then reality hits. Your plans might change, something can come up like lunch or dinner with a friend, your mood can even change!
This is why I like to leave some room in my life for some flexibility and reality. In addition to my main grocery shop on a Sunday, I like to include a few mini shops throughout the week. Usually after work, my hubby and I decide what we feel like for dinner. Then one of us goes and gets the ingredients.
My favourite way to wind down each day is by cooking a yummy dinner. And I always apply the following philosophy, cook once but eat twice! Make extra dinner so that you can have leftovers for lunch the next day. This method is EPIC! And if for whatever reason there is no food leftover, you have your fully equipped fridge, pantry and freezer to fall back on!
I would love to know what you think, of this blog and if you found it useful, in the comments below. Don’t forget to tag me in your Healthy Girl inspired meal prep photos @healthygirl_with_a_sweettooth ☺
If you feel like you need some extra support and health coaching around nutrition and food then please contact me. I would love to help!