So you’re getting ready to start the next Round of The Healthy Mummy 28 Day Challenge and you want to be as organised as possible right? Customising your healthy eating meal plans for the week ahead and scheduling in time for exercise as often as possible, will give you the best start to staying on track throughout the Challenge to reach your goals.
A little bit of organisation and planning at the start will make things much easier for you and you won’t have the excuse of not having enough time or that recipes are taking too long to prepare etc.
Once you’ve done your shopping for the week and know what you want to cook, take a look at those recipes and see whether any can be pre-prepared, either completely and then refrigerated, or components of them to make meal prep as fast as possible. Or if there are any meals that can be made ahead of time and then frozen not only for you to eat in the week ahead but also weeks to follow.
Here are some tips on pre-preparing and freezing meals to make your life much easier:
- Look at which breakfasts you have chosen for the week. If you are having The Healthy Mummy Smoothies then ensure you have all the ingredients to make your favourite combinations so you can just place everything in the blender, whizz and enjoy.
- If you are having porridges, eggs, chia puddings etc then consider making up a larger batch of chia pudding for a few days worth of breakfast or cooking your porridge the night before and just reheating it with a little bit more water or milk on the stove or microwave.
- Scrambled eggs would have to be one of the fastest meals ever – crack, whisk and cook – seriously all of about 5 minutes work!
- When it comes to lunch meals we understand that a lot of you don’t have time to make a full hot meal as such but that doesn’t mean you will miss out on enjoying the delicious lunch recipes available during the Challenge. Look for recipes like soups and salads when you’re short on time.
- Make a larger batch of a soup and then reheat a portion at lunch time or take to work to reheat. Salads can be prepared in larger quantities too. Don’t dress them until ready to eat, then you can package up individual portions to enjoy at lunch throughout the week, whether you’re at home or work.
- Cook extra meat at dinner time so you have leftovers to add to salads or wraps the next day for lunch.
- Dinner can require a little more planning as you’re often feeding the whole family. Again, look at the recipes you’ve chosen and see if there are things you can do ahead of time. Can you pre-marinate all your meat for the week and refrigerate in the portions needed? Can you slice up veggies and keep them in air-tight containers so you can just grab your peeled and sliced onions, garlic, carrots etc when recipes call for them? Can you prepare a large batch of quinoa/brown rice/couscous to have in the fridge and just take out the portions you need to add to salads or sides?
- If you have a food processor it can make food prep much faster. Use it when you need to finely dice onions and garlic or to chop veggies for soups, stews or pastas. It saves a lot of time and in many cases you don’t need to peel some veggies e.g. carrots, potatoes as long as they’re washed, so you keep all the extra fibre in your meals too.
- Having sliced up veggies and fruit in the fridge is great for snacks – just grab some carrots and dip or watermelon and yoghurt when you need something to nibble on.
- Many of you are probably preparing lunch boxes for your children each morning – why not add yourself to that list and make up a lunch box with healthy snacks and a tasty wrap so you have no reason to run out of time during the day to make something good for yourself.
- You can freeze so many meals, you’d be surprised. Basically anything that doesn’t contain uncooked leafy greens e.g. a garden salad, can be frozen, defrosted and reheated (if required) to eat at another time. See some of our favourite meals to freeze here.
- When it comes to the recipes in The 28 Day Challenge that are freezable, look for soups, risottos, frittatas, casseroles/stews, fritters, patties, curries, pasta sauces etc.
- You could even go through the recipes you’ve chosen and look for elements that can be frozen and then defrosted to add to a meal later e.g. the cooked meat and noodles from San Choy Bow, just defrost, reheat and then serve with fresh lettuce cups at dinner time. Or the bean and meat mix used in a dish like Chilli Con Carne or Nachos – freeze this, then defrost and combine with the tortillas or other fresh elements when ready to serve.
- Marinate or crumb your meats in recipe portion sizes and then freeze them so you can just take out from the freezer in the morning what’s required for your dinner recipe and by the time you’re ready to cook, all you’ll have to do is prepare the accompanying salad or vegetables.
- This is great to save money too – buy meat in larger quantities when on special, marinate, then freeze in smaller portions and you’ll soon have a whole freezer full of healthy meals to go – faster than any takeaway!
- Snacks are also great to freeze. Choose some of the healthy protein ball or muffin recipes throughout the Challenge and make in larger portions to freeze. Then just take out the portions you need for a few days and you’ll have healthy snacks with ease.
With a little bit of planning and food prep, you’ll be able to make the recipes you’ve chosen for this Round of the 28 Day Challenge a breeze to put together.