To make your meal preparation and recipe making a breeze whilst on the 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge, you need to think in an orderly, organised way, a bit like the head chef of a large kitchen.
If you’re organised and know what meals you’re making and what’s involved with them then you’ll never have the excuse of it takes too long to prepare your food and you’re more likely to stay on track with healthy eating choices.
Here are some tips to consider to get you putting on your “chef’s hat”:
- Making a number of meals in one session is great as it gets you motivated and really organised for the week ahead. Check your Meal Plan and see what meals you could make ahead of time and then freeze in the number of portions you’re planning to serve.
- Freezer meals like soups, stews, pasta sauces, San Choy Bow mix, risottos, pies, lasagnes, burgers and fritters are all great ones to look out for. Make them completely ahead of time or make an extra batch when preparing for a particular day and then freeze the extras to eat in another week of the Challenge.
- As this Challenge is during the height of Summer we’ve added a number of tasty frozen snacks for you to keep you cool and choosing healthy options. Look out for the frozen fruit snacks like Frozen Pineapple Sticks or Frozen Orange Slices, sorbet, chocolate dipped banana coins as well as some delicious homemade, healthy icy poles. These are all great to make in larger quantities and grab for a snack or dessert to avoid reaching out for the ice-cream or processed icy-poles from the supermarket.
- Snacks like protein balls, slices, muffins and dips etc are all good ones to make extras of and freeze or refrigerate to keep you stocked up on healthy snacks for the week.
- There are so many things you can pre-prepare when it comes to the meals of the Challenge. Most of the meals can be made in 20-30 minutes including prep time but if you really are pushed for time then this is when your Chef’s hat needs to be put on.
- Make time on the weekend before the Challenge week is starting and read through all the recipes you’ve decided to make. Get a feel for what veggies you’ll be using and peel them, cut them into smaller pieces as per the recipes’ requirements and then put them all in some air-tight containers in the freeze. If you do this for each week of the Challenge then you’ll save so much time being able to just grab the ingredients you need and they’re already prepped for you.
- Most of the salads in the Challenge consist of some type of protein – seafood, chicken, beef, lamb etc, plus veggies and maybe some grains. So look through the salad recipes you’ve chosen and portion out the meats you’ll need for each one, marinate them ahead of time and leave in the fridge until ready to cook (or if not eating for a few days, freeze in the marinades and then defrost and cook when needed).
- You can do the same for grains like quinoa and couscous – prepare enough to cover two – three meals and then if assembling a salad you can just use what you’ve already got in the fridge.
- For your main meals like Dinner, have your meats separated in the right portion size for the number of people you’re serving and then you just have to cook it and assemble with the sides that go with each dish.
- Patties, fritters, burgers are another type of meal that’s great to pre-prepare or freeze. Make up the mixture, roll into the required size and then refrigerate or freeze to then cook. With things like fritters you can cook them and then cool and refrigerate or freeze as these are usually made from a batter so too hard to “roll”.
Don’t let not enough time and things being different from your usual routine become excuses for you. If you start new routines like pre-preparing recipes or scheduling in meal prep time each day, they’ll become new habits that the healthy version of you will thank you for.
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