The number one thing I hear from people who say they want to get into shape or eat healthy is “I don’t have time!” I’m now starting to realize that’s also been my excuse. Every time I lapse, in either my exercise regimen or my diet, I find myself on that same script.
As some of you know, I serve and bartend at a local bar/restaurant which means I work nights and weekends. . . always. My biggest challenge has always been a regular schedule. I have no desire to workout before a weekend double, and no desire to cook when I have just worked 8hrs on my feet. What to do? What to do?
I never packed my lunch when I was a kid (sorry mom, if you made me sammiches and i just don’t remember) so I am making up for that now. Here is my first attempt at this “meal prep” business I hear so much about:
1) Get some good groceries!
Since I moved a few weeks ago, I am within walking distance of one of my favorite local farmers markets. Tis the season to take advantage of what your local farmers have to offer. The best tomatoes, potatoes, apples, and beans you’ll ever cook, are locally grown and sold.
Above is just a trip to Kroger. I always go in with a game plan. 1) have a list. 2) have meals in mind, this keeps me from buying random foods then still having no idea what to eat! 3) shop around the OUTSIDE edges of the store; produce, meat counter, organic and health foods. The only time I really walk down aisles is for peanut/almond butter or canned/frozen veggies and beans.
2) Plan out what you want to eat, decide you’re willing to eat that same things for a few days, and figure out how much you need. Now I knew I could handle eating the same thing as long as it was tasty if I could feel good about eating it.
The meal I decided on was 1/2 of a seasoned chicken breast with some brown rice and broccoli, accompanied by a side of orange and green bell peppers and cherry tomatoes.
My tip: shop at TJ Maxx or Homegoods for spices! (thanks for that one Dad ❤ ) This bottle of Rosemary & Basil seasoning salt was only $3.99. You can’t buy cinnamon at Wal-Mart for that price! You may not find some of your more basic spices and rubs there but you will find great deals on all the fancy oils and seasons you can get your hands on for awesome prices. As a recent college graduate without a REAL job yet, that’s saying a lot.
Finally, after 45 minutes of slicing, seasoning, baking and making a huge mess, I finally had elements ready to package up!
By the end, I had 5-6 dinners with accompanying snacks. When I had to work 5pm-1am there was nothing more satisfying than popping one into the microwave and having a homemade meal ready in less than 5 minutes. Step one of conquering my excuses, done!