Planning is the key to dietary success – it is about having the foods on hand you need to eat well so you do not get caught out, hungry and in a situation where you are picking up high fat, high calorie food on the run. In busy lives the weeks also tend to run away from us and what starts as an intention to eat well often results in things falling off the rails by weeks end. So if you are keen to take control of your nutrition this week, here are the key foods to prep each week so you do not find yourself caught out, no matter how busy you are.
Making a batch of vegetable rich soup each week is the easiest way to build your nutrition platform. Not only does soup keep for a relatively long period of time but it can be used as a quick and easy meal; an addition to a quick grill for dinner or an easy way to get your daily serves of vegetables each day. It is also very cheap to make, it freezes well and studies have shown that consuming a broth style soup prior to a meal can result in you consuming up to 100 fewer calories in total.
Whether you make an egg based mini frittata style muffin, or a bran and oat fruit based muffin, having a quick and easy, nutritious ready-made breakfast that you can grab on the go can be the difference between starting the day right and not. While many of us have the best of intentions when it comes to our diet, time can get away from us and before you know it you are grabbing a coffee and banana bread on the way to work. On the other hand, having a protein and / or fibre rich breakfast option ready that you can literally grab on the run sets you up for a day of nutritious eating.
A multipurpose meal
It might be a pasta bake; casserole; mince dish or pie but having a meal that can be used as several lunches or a dinner over one or two nights that is either prepared at the beginning of the week or prepared and then frozen for emergencies will help you to avoid resorting to fast food or take away meals when your energy and time is lacking. Home prepared meals are generally lower in calories and contain significantly more lean protein and vegetables than meals we pick up on the run.
A protein snack
Whether you make some mini protein balls or bites, mini bags of nuts or stock up with some nut bars or cheese and cracker snack packs, knowing what snacks you have in advance, and also ensuring they contain some protein will ensure you keep away from the vending machine or fundraising chocolates box each day.
One of the most significant predictors of fresh food consumption is how easy it is to consume. While you may not be likely to grab a tomato or cucumber and start munching, committing some time to packaging your fresh food so it is easy to consume will go a long way in increasing your consumption overall. It may be chopping your carrots in advance, seeking out precut vegetables, or getting super organised and actually making a few extra salads each week in advance, but vegetable preparation is a key aspect of dietary success.
Click here for 5 reasons why you should watch what you eat at work.