The Importance of Meal Prep.
Figures reveal that the UK is now in fact the second most obese country in Europe. The UK’s growth in obesity suggests that by 2030 74% of men in the UK will be overweight and 64% of women in the UK will be overweight. We really need to address this issue.
As a baby we have scheduled feeding times and are supplied with the correct nutrition to help us to be healthy. The importance of this is stressed upon new mums so their child can develop and grow.
As a child we would also tend to have our food prepped for us, or at least our food planned out for us for the day. Breakfast before school to fuel us for our morning lessons. A snack at break time to see us through to lunch. Then a packed lunch or school dinners to keep our energy levels up for the afternoon until home time. Then of course that all important evening meal to finish the day.
Why is it then as we enter our adult years that the importance of regular structured meals seems to slip? Perhaps it is because of work load and family pressures. Or perhaps we simply aren’t putting our health as a priority. Throughout every stage of our lives we ask so much of our bodies. Constantly healing, growing and developing mentally and physically. Naturally as we enter the world of full time work, coupled with family life and social events our days and weeks become crammed full of activities. On top of this we have to deal with the stresses of life. So is this not even more reason to fuel our bodies effectively and acknowledge exactly how much we ask from our bodies?
Without pre preparing our meals it is so easy to skip meals or just grab whatever we can on the run. This tends to lead to unhealthy options like petrol garage sandwiches and crisps, fast food or just coffee to give us that quick hit of energy. Going for long periods without foods can often lead to us to wanting a quick sugar hit as our energy levels have dropped too low. This is when the chocolate and sweets come in, raising our blood sugars quickly so we feel energised, but as a result we will have a quick drop leading to increased sugar cravings and so the cycle continues. Sugar is said to be eight times more addictive than cocaine.
Pre preparing our meals for the day and carrying them with us will mentally make you commit yourself to eating. Eating regular balanced meals and snacks has huge positive impacts on us both mentally and physically.
Increasingly studies are reporting the ill effects bad food has on our mental health both short and long term. Research shows that those who eat a balanced diet consisting of complex carbohydrates, good fats, protein, vitamins and a good amount of water can more effectively manage mental illnesses such as depression, schizophrenia, ADHA and Alzheimer’s disease. Bouts of these illnesses can in fact help to be prevented by sticking to a consistent healthy diet.
Physically the benefits of a healthy diet are numerous. Outwardly we will look more vibrant, with glowing skin, a tighter waistline and generally a more aesthetically pleasing shape. Internally our organs, bones, joints and blood flow are kept healthy. A poor diet will over time add inches and pounds to our frame which in return puts added pressure onto our hearts and joints. Also our arteries can be blocked which inhibits blood flow around our body, in serious cases this can cause heart attacks. As a rule a healthy diet helps our body to work to the best of its ability, fighting off disease and illness and results in us feeling more energised, enthusiastic, positive and generally better within ourselves in every way.
The food we prepare for ourselves can be as interesting as our imagination allows. Despite what some believe it is actually inexpensive to prepare your own healthy food. Think how much you would spend on a sandwich and snacks at the petrol station or at a coffee shop. Add this up over a week and it’s surprising how much this comes to and all this on foods that supply us with little nutritional content.
Being organised is the key to success in the meal prep stakes. Ensuring you have the ingredients you need in advance so that prep is easy. Why not plan yourselves and your families meals for the week and leave the meal schedule on your fridge? Personally I tend to cook meals in bulk and tub up a few days worth at a time. Another great tip is to use the leftovers from dinner as lunch for the following day.
If you are stuck for ideas then why not check out my recipe ebook? There are 125 pages worth of simple and nutritious meal and snack ideas. You can purchase and download it right here on my website, you will find it by clicking on the products tab.
The healthy treats section has proved very popular with Mums who have young children as they can give their children ‘treats’ but without the sugar content of shop bought items. There’s such a great choice of meals and smoothies in the book. As I mentioned previously eating healthily shouldn’t be boring or difficult.
I know personally without being prepared and organised with my food that my nutrition goes out of the window a little. I feel so much better within myself when I eat consistently well. I love food and I love feeling the positive benefits of it to.
My typical day when I’m not on Competition Prep diet would generally consist of the following meals and snacks:
Coffee Chia Smoothie from my ebook
Piece of fruit and handful of nuts
Salmon fillet with mixed salad or veg and sweet potato
Choc coconut oatmeal biscuit from my ebook (sometimes 2 or 3!) they’re good!
Chicken Shish Kebabs from my ebook served with mixed veg or salad and brown rice
Vegan protein shake with gluten free oats and unsweetened almond milk
I have long work and training days and need my food with me from early morning until late at night. My Prepped and Packed meal management bag works perfectly for me. My meals go in my Prepped bag with my cool packs. The bag is sectioned out to keep the food containers upright and organised, so no annoying spillages which is great. Being fully insulated, my food is kept nicely chilled throughout the day. What I also love about these bags is that they have a very subtle design and don’t look like ‘cool bags’.
Please do check them out at www.preppedandpacked.com
Use code KELLYS for a discount off your purchases on the website.
Remove those excuses and stress. We really can’t put a price on our health or on the health of our loved ones.
Get cooking guys and enjoy!
Much love and health,