Let me paint you a picture that featured way too frequently in my pre personal training and pre meal prepping past…
It’s the end of the working week and you’re out for work drinks. Lots of work drinks. Because it’s the weekend and you’ve earned it and it’s time to unwind.
Before you know it the bars aren’t serving proper food anymore and you know there’s nothing at home and at this point I ask you:
“How great are the decisions you make when you’re tired, starving and running on empty so far as your limited daily discipline quota?”
This is the time I’d insist on a mission to the nearest 24 hour convenience store where reliably I’d be able to rip into a packet of delicious Red Rock Deli chips. An hour or 2 later a falafel kebab would be the only option I’d consider.
On an especially huge night “hot chips, extra crispy” were the ONLY solution.
There’s 100% zero chance I’d ever go home and prepare a balanced meal on a night like that.
Even if you’re not a drinker or if like me, you no longer have huge nights out the question is likely still relevant… After a long day negotiating clients or kids or traffic or any number of other potentially exhausting encounters, at that point when you walk through the door tired, starving and running off mere fumes of the discipline you started the day with: “Just how great are your food decisions at that point?”
In todays show I’m sharing:
How To Make Meal Prep More Fun.
If you feel like I mention food prep A LOT you’re likely right. Food prep is a necessary evil to get and stay fit and healthy long term. Irrespective of what eating plan you follow if there’s a plan then it’ll necessitate some prepping some of the time because otherwise life will too often jump in the way and meal by off-plan meal nudge out all the results you were so diligently working towards.
So given it’s necessary, what if it could become a necessary fun?
It can. Here are 3 ways to make meal prep more fun.
One: Temptation Bundling with Podcasts and Audiobooks.
This is best for you if you struggle to justify extensive kitchen time. It’s one of the only effective ways to multi-task. It’s called temptation bundling (credit to Katy Milkman) because it involves combining a temptation with something less exciting.
So for example I listen to my fav podcasts during meal prep. Luckily there are an abundance of free and AMAZING podcasts to listen to!
[side note] Do you have someone at the top of your Vegan wish list and Why? Joe Rogan is at the top of mine. He has one of the worlds most downloaded shows and an extremely diverse range of guests and listeners. Joe appears to be open minded, compassionate and intelligent and he brings up vegans on the show so much that I believe that’s his big heart telling him something and that one day he’ll listen to it.
To up the FUN anti: Aim to implement something from each podcast you listen to. How’s that fun you might be asking? Well results are fun right? And progress? Alternatively how about starting a podcast club? Like a book club where each month you get together to discuss certain shows and even better
perhaps you also share your meal prep wins / recommendations.
Two: Culinary World Tour.
This is best for you if you enjoy kitchen time. So perhaps you like getting creative in the kitchen. Maybe cooking for those closest to you is one of the ways you show love. Perhaps you enjoy a sense of pride and accomplishment as a result of your culinary expertise?
And yet, meal prep has previously been boring and tedious?
If this is you then how about picking an area of the world or a style of cuisine to visit each week or each month?
To up the FUN anti: As a reward at the end of each week / month OR as inspiration prior to each week / month check out a restaurant that specialize in the style of food you’re currently prepping.
Three: Utilizing The Complex Equivalent.
Similar to my fav mind game to play with myself (The Reframe), The Complex Equivalent is when you equate something to mean something else.
Examples are the clearest way to demonstrate this.
=> Meal prepping means I waste less time, energy and money on food during the working week.
=> Meal prepping means I’m one week closer to achieving my body composition / fitness / strength goal.
=> Meal prepping means I’m setting a healthy example for my children to model.
=> Meal prepping means I get to start the week feeling calm and in control of my food.
=> Meal prepping means I get to escape feeling guilty, lazy and weak when I succumb to crap-o-la food after an exhausting day.
The fab thing about a complex equivalent is that it does not have to be strictly true / factual. It’s purpose is simply to help you take the desired action which will in time lead to the desired result.
To up the FUN anti: Find a youtube channel to follow with delicious vegan meal prep. I highly recommend @avantgardevegan (Gaz Oakley) and I’ll link to his video on High Protein Vegan Meal Prep in the show notes. Here’s a taste of Gaz’s food prep deliciousness:
Porridge with cacao, mixed nuts, hemp and chia seeds + plant based milk and fruit added each day.
Quinoa and chickpeas flavoured with lemon herbs and served with peri peri tofu, spinach, red cabbage and cherry tomatoes.
Bean packed chili with baked sweet potato, broccoli, edamame and cashew cream cheese.
Here are a few tips I found made it easier to stick to my meal prep early on:
- Carve out one block at a set time each week and make a start with what is achievable.Maybe that’s 3-4 days of food. It’s still a brilliant start.
- Use others as a guide / inspiration however swap out the foods you’re not a fan of for those you do love. You’ll be surprised at how versatile non baking recipes are. For example: If you’re not a fan of tofu substitute tempeh, falafel or a plant based burger. If you’ve done your dash with kale or broccoli all good! Try rocket or asparagus or the ever versatile yet under rated zucchini instead.
- Take short cuts where necessary and upgrade if / when you’re ready to. For example: I used to buy dairy free pesto and hummus. Now I make them both. However I still buy my plant based burgers, falafel, coconut yoghurt and almond milk.
- Get creative with different ways to use the star of the meal. Gas cooks a fab bean packed chili which he serves over sweet potato with veg. It’d also rock in a collard wrap / cos leaf taco’s / kale crisp nacho’s / or over cauli-rice with avocado.
- Wherever possible make your meal look visually appealing. Pick a variety of colours / textures and ‘plate’ your meal into it’s tupperware with care. You’ll be much more inclined to choose the meal that still looks inviting a few days after it was prepped than some unrecognisable sludge lurking at the back of the fridge.
To get actionable today are YOU awesome at vegan meal prep or do you know anyone who rocks at vegan meal prep?
I’d love to hear from you. In fact, I’d love to interview you on Healthification. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I’m starting interviews on the podcast and I think this is a really valuable topic. Especially from the angle of prepping for families.
If you’re keen or even if you just have some advice to share via email or comments please let me know via the show notes below or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
That’s it for this week in Healthification. Huge thanks to YOU for sharing this week with me.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan. It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, NON-genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated VEGAN-chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked ‘How To Make Meal Prep More Fun‘ you’ll also like: Low Carb Vegan Meal Plan (My 7 Day Plant Strong Fuel Log For A Fit Healthy Plant Based Body)
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