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Does It Take Motivation Or Discipline to Form a Habit?
Hey girl, we’re sorry if we’ve triggered you with the words, “meal prep.” Chances are you’ve tried all the tips and tricks you’ve seen on TikTok videos and Instagram reels only for it to last one, maybe two weeks tops, right? We get it. Life gets in the way and it’s hard to keep up sometimes.
It’s like trying to find the motivation to be your friend’s plus one for spin class on Sunday morning. You had the best intentions of joining during Friday night drinks, but then Sunday morning rears its ugly head. And that super soft duvet and silk pillow suddenly becomes too heavenly to leave. Cue the “can’t go, I’m not feeling well, next time though!” text.
The truth is, motivation to do anything ebbs and flows. It’s not always there and that’s when you have to rely on something else that’s even stronger than motivation. What’s that, you ask? Discipline.
As a wellness warrior, we’re sure you’re aware of this admirable trait. You know that the motivation to do those Sunday morning spin classes or the 6am gym sessions before work is not always there. Of course, there are times when you really do not want to do it and it’s so much easier to just ditch it.
But what would our lives be like if we just ditched everything we didn’t want to do or didn’t feel “motivated” to do? Nothing would get done. Again, that’s where discipline comes in. While it may be the easier choice to postpone the gym or meal prep, the hard choice is most often the right choice. Or in this case, the choice that your future self will thank you for.
Before you think. “It’s just meal prep, it’s not that deep!” Let us just say, the way you do one thing is the way you do everything. So rewrite the narrative and the next time you don’t feel motivated to do something, think about your future self. Would she thank you if you took the time to do this thing? If the answer is yes, try to summon the discipline to get it done.
Now, allow us to step off of our soapbox and tell you how you can actually make meal prep so much easier so that you can develop a habit and keep it up long term.
10 Brilliant Meal Prep Hacks That Your Future Self Will Thank You For
Like we said, the words, “meal” and “prep” are so innocent on their own, but when combined they can elicit major “ugh” vibes. A lot of people think that eating healthy requires spending hours and hours in the kitchen meal prepping but that’s not entirely true. If you do it the smart way, it doesn't have to be that way. Let’s get into our top 10 hacks to make it easier for you to meal prep like a boss and in turn, save you so much time and stress during the week.
1. Organize Your Fridge
Having an organized fridge and pantry can make all the difference when it comes to deciding whether to eat from home or answer the tempting siren call from your UberEats app. If you don’t know what’s in there, have no idea what you can cook from the ingredients you see or looking at expired sauce after expired sauce, guess which option is going to win?
Our advice is to do a monthly or bi-weekly (whatever feels right for you) fridge clean out. Declutter each separate compartment by tossing anything that is expired or you know you’re not going to eat. Assign an area for produce, an area for sauces and condiments, an area for meat, etc. This will help you easily spot what you’re looking for. Once you prep your meals, have ready-to-eat snacks readily available and easy to access. This way, you’ll be much more likely to snack on healthy snacks like berries and pre-cut veggies, for example.
2. Make a List and Check It Twice
A grocery list that is. The first step is gathering a list of your go-to recipes or new ones that you’d like to try. Write down all the ingredients you need either the old fashioned way with a pen and paper or create a note on your phone. This way when you go to the supermarket, you won’t be aimlessly wandering around, buying things that you don’t really need or may already have at home. You’ll just be purchasing the exact ingredients you need for the week, eliminating the possibility of throwing that bunch of withered kale in the compost bin a week later.
3. Productive Produce Prep
After shopping, get chopping. Wash and chop your produce right when you bring it home to save time later in the week. This is honestly a game changer when it comes to cooking dinners faster and easily during the week. So, practice your knife skills on your onions, peppers, tomatoes, etc and then pack them in their own glass container or resealable pouch (we love Stasher bags).
4. Baby Steps
Meal prepping each week can be overwhelming when you’re first starting out so give yourself some grace. Just like your dedication to the gym, dedication to meal prep takes time and developing a routine takes time. For example, if whipping out a week’s worth of food in one day is stressing you out or isn’t possible, that’s ok. Start slowly and make one or two recipes your first week. We see a lot of people suggesting Sunday should be your meal prep day, but there are no hard and fast rules here. Pick a day and a meal prep plan that works for YOU.
5. Brekky Prep The Night Before
If you know you’ll be strapped for time in the morning, prep your breakfast the night before if it’s possible. Try making overnight oats with a little extra protein thanks to the help of our super delicious Bright Whey or Bright Vegan protein powder. We also love chia seed puddings.
6. So Nice, Make It Twice
Remember when we said start slow? By simply doubling the ingredients for your go-to meals, you can make double the servings. This way, you’ll be able to store the leftovers so that they’re ready to eat for lunch or dinner during the week.
7. Protein Prep
Cooking and storing your protein in your fridge or freezer is a huge time saver considering most meats and proteins take the most time to cook. We’d suggest cooking your chicken, lean red meat, black beans, eggs and so on and then storing them for easy access throughout the week. You can easily add each protein source to salads, pasta, sandwiches, etc. You can even store your protein shake ingredients in a Stasher bag or mason jar and simply pour its contents into a blender for a super quick smoothie.
8. Treat Yourself to High Quality Containers
As we mentioned, we suggest ditching your plastic tupperware and upgrading to high quality glass containers or silicone bags. Why? Not only are plastic tupperware or single-use containers less eco-friendly, the leftover food smell that collects inside plastic containers will likely be off-putting and ruin an otherwise tasty dish.
9. Make Friends With Shortcuts
While some people may think that buying pre-cut veggies or pre-made cauliflower rice is lazy, we say it’s efficient. Here’s your full permission to skip doing things you do not like (like cutting a weirdly shaped sweet potato) and value the opportunity cost of buying pre-cut, pre-cooked food (Ahem, Costco’s rotisserie chicken).
10. Stock Up On Frozen Fruits And Veggies
This goes hand in hand with our last hack. Not only will this hack save you time, but it is a major money saving hack as well. There is no evidence to show that frozen fruits and veggies are not as healthy as fresh produce. With that said, load up on peas, cauliflower, berries, green beans, corn and broccoli. The best part? They last for months in the freezer.
That’s it! Our top 10 hacks for meal prepping. We want to know, what was your favorite hack that we’ve listed? Better yet, is there something you feel we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments below.