It’s important to acknowledge that this is not easy. Between work, family, and other commitments it’s easy to be tempted by convenience foods. One thing to keep in mind is that it simply is not possible to get a healthy, balanced diet from ready-made foods. Unless you’ve got the money to get a personal chef (what I like to call “Oprah money”), you’ve got to make it yourself!
So where to begin? Here are some guidelines to weekly meal planning and preparation:
Your calendar is your friend. Just like a work meeting or fitness class, schedule out times for food shopping and preparation.
Pick one weekly grocery shopping day. Block one time out per week for grocery shopping, and stick to it. It’s hard to make a meal with an empty fridge!
Schedule one day to stock your refrigerator with food for the week. This is a time to pre-wash and chop your vegetables, cook a batch of beans or grains, and keep it in the fridge ready to go. I like to have a container of whole grains, a container of prepared veggies, and a container of some kind of protein at my disposal at all times. That way as I’m rushing to get ready for work in the morning I can put a little bit of each in a small container (usually with hot sauce on top) and have my lunch ready in a flash.
Even if you love to cook, there will be days that you don’t feel like dealing with this. Just remember that time invested in the kitchen is time invested in your health. Do it for your own wellbeing!