“I don’t have time!”
This is what comes up most often when my clients are shifting to eating real food (the way our bodies are designed to eat).
Finding the time to prep and cook is tough in the beginning.
I say, “in the beginning” because, like any new habit, it takes time and practice before it gets integrated into your life as something you just do. BUT with practice, a time will come when it’s not quite as hard.
The challenge is creating the habit and put healthy eating on autopilot.
I have done it for myself and helped clients who literally have no time do it as well. There are ways to make it easier for almost any schedule/cooking ability these days.
What I have discovered in my health journey, research and education are this:
The key to optimal health is eating real food.
If you want to have more energy, reduce brain fog, feel great in your body, or heal any ailment in your body, getting off of the processed foods is crucial.
Real food supports healthy gut function and your gut is tied to every process in your body, including your mood and stress level.
We know it’s important to prepare our food, so how do we do this when we “have no time to cook?”
Meal planning/prep is the best way to save you time.
It doesn’t have to be super complex and it doesn’t have to be boring either (just say no chicken breast, broccoli, and rice every day! BORING!)
Before I share the tips for how to fit meal prep into your life, let’s figure out which “time category” you fall in.
I have found that people usually fall into one of 3 categories (I’ll give my favorite solutions for each of these categories):
- “I can probably find some time but I don’t have much.” Most of us fall into this camp…..we just haven’t made meal prep a priority.
- “I can cook but I have no time to plan and prep.”
- “I have literally NO time to plan or prep anything and there is NO way to make time.” Most often we do just need to make it a priority, however, I do understand that sometimes there really is NO time. I do know that at least 1% of my clients are in this camp.
Now that you know where you stand, let’s make healthy eating easier.
If you are an “I can probably find some time but I don’t have much” person, the key is finding one day to prep your food. Again…..this doesn’t have to be hard, it’s just getting in the habit of taking an hour or two at the beginning of your week to get a few things pre-cooked so you can grab and go.
Here is a step by step plan for meal prepping and setting yourself up for success:
- Pick dinner recipes and make a shopping list. Be sure to pick recipes that fit your schedule. Pick quick recipes and maybe even plan for busy nights when you may need to have leftovers (consider making double batches of some meals and either freezing them or having it ready for leftovers for lunch. If this is the part that has you hung up, try a service like emeals.com, that sends you recipes and a shopping list weekly. It’s a paid service but fairly inexpensive (and worth it if you need to save time).
- Pick some healthy items that you love and can have ready to grab and go– add em to your list. Get your favorite veggies (starchy and non-starchy), protein, grains, and maybe your favorite sauces or dressings.
- Go shopping! You can hack this one too! If you don’t have the time to shop, there are amazing services like Amazon Fresh and Instacart, that will do your shopping for you and deliver it to your house.
- Prep parts of your meals.This is the part that will save you loads of time during the week. When I say prep, I mean things like wash and cut some veggies, cook a pot of rice, roast some sweet potatoes, cook a protein. It’s basically getting some items ready that will be easy to grab and throw together for lunch throughout the week. You may even go the extra step and pre-cut some veggies for your dinners.
- YOU ARE WINNING! No matter how crazy the week, you will feel great because you will be fueled with amazing food, without having to think about it during the week, saving you tons of time when you need it the most.
For the “I can cook but I have no time to plan and prep.” peeps:
There are SO many meal delivery services out there that will send you the ingredients, the recipes and all you have to do is cook it. My two favorite are:
- SunBasket – My FAVE! This service is my favorite because they deliver fresh, organic AND non-GMO ingredients weekly. You can choose from Family, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Vegetarian, and other amazing meal options. You can get 3 Meals free in your first order here.
- Hello Fresh – I love this option also. Great, fresh ingredients and overall healthy. They offer a Classic, Family, or Veggie option. You can get $15 off of your first order when you sign up for their list.
If you are the “I have NO TIME for this ish and there is no way to make time” camp. I hear ya. I have a couple of clients like this. I get it. Here is my suggestion……now it’s NOT the cheapest. When time TRULY isn’t a resource, and there is no one to delegate this task to, then money is the next resource to turn to.
Now I haven’t tried them all but I have tried a few and this is BY FAR my favorite “pre-made” delivery service:
- Petes Paleo – The food is DELICIOUS! It comes prepared fresh and you can freeze it. Seriously, this food is so good and it’s responsibly sourced and they use the best ingredients available. There is a Family, Vegetarian, and of course Paleo Plan.
I promise that if you start to implement the steps/services, based on the category you fall into, you will be eating real food more consistently, and be on the road to better health.
If you need more help with implementing Meal planning into your life and making it a habit, you may want to check out the upcoming Whole Health Reset: a 6-Week Group Program designed to help you “Push the Reset” button on your health.
In the Whole Health Reset, we will dive deeper into meal prep and together prep for a real food cleanse (don’t worry, there is no deprivation or weird cayenne lemonade drinks) that will help you tap into what your body truly needs to feel it’s best. At the end of the 6 weeks, I will guide you through re-introducing foods and figure out what feels best for your unique body.
I am launching the Whole Health Reset on March 19th and will be offering it at a Beta Testing price (half off of the regular price).
If you are interested in learning more about what’s included in the program, click here.
Be sure to fill in the form at the bottom of the page to possibly be one of the beta testers for this program.
I would love to hear how meal prep works for you! Feel free to shoot me an email if you have any questions or want to share.