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Motivational Monday's (1/27/20) Topic: Preparation and planning when it comes to food

Happy Monday friends!

Today we are going to talk about preparation and planning when it comes to food. Meal planning is a foundational tool when it comes to eating healthy, but what if you get "bored"? If you’re new to meal planning or a pro, then you know first hand there’s a possibility that you can get bored meal planning.

Meal planning is one of several tools I personally use as a nutritionist, athlete and with most of my clients (YOU) to keep you all on track with your health and nutrition goals. It’s a simple system, yet it can be overwhelming to start and tedious to continue. I get it! 

Let's talk about "meal components". I discovered meal components when trying to make meal planning even more simple and realistic for me to do each week, without the boredom that meal planning often can give you. It is simple, meal components are simply interchangeable food items that go with everything else you cook — basically, it’s a meal planning mix and match.

If you’re familiar with meal planning or it’s already part of your life (which for most of you this is a hard YES), then I’m sure you often rely on making full recipes or adding tons of things to one meal prep container to make a meal, right?? I have in the past, which is why I had to find a solution to switch it up for my life but also for you guys who practice some form of meal planning to stick to your healthy eating, consistently.

For example, let’s say you make a recipe that’s for enchiladas or burritos all week and by Tuesday you’re already not in the mood for it and have massive food fatigue so you skip what you made and go get fast food or dine out. You’ve not only just wasted money (most likely), but unfortunately, you’ve probably wasted your time from cooking, your energy, and have a higher chance of increasing food waste.

Some foods just don’t stay as well for a week at a time when they’re made fully — take pasta for example! You can’t really store that well without losing the texture and the flavor sometimes changing. That’s why making meal components, cooking them really simple, and storing them solo in the fridge to use later in any recipe you like, is key to making batch cooking work for you and for others in your household.

These meal components are made on your batch cooking day. A couple of examples of meal components would be:
  • cooked quinoa, rice, grains
  • roasted vegetables
  • hard-boiled eggs 
  • cooked meats (baked, roasted, grilled, boiled etc.) 
  • massaged salad greens 
  • homemade guac or hummus 
  • cooked lentils/beans 
  • sliced raw vegetables or fruits 
  • the list goes on and on! 
The key thing to remember with meal components is anything that can be added with something else to build up a meal. It’ll also help you create balanced meals with whole food carbohydrates, healthy fats, fiber (hello veggies!), and quality protein.

For example, you can switch up your meals by using really simple and prepped meal components by adding spices, “superfoods”, dressings, and condiments. Spices (as most of you know) are my favorite way to switch it up! If you find yourself steaming or roasting vegetables but falling into a rut, consider adding spices like high-quality sea salt, cinnamon, cumin, ginger, garlic, red chili flakes, and turmeric to give the veggie (which is a meal component) a nice boost.

A couple of things that I often make on a batch cooking day are cooked white rice, baked potatoes, roasted veggies, and a couple different proteins.

Let’s say on Monday for a quick lunch I add to a large bowl one of each those things (carb/protein/carb/veggie) add a dollop of guacamole (for healthy fat) and add a little kimchi and fresh herbs. Then the next day for lunch, I can use the same exact ingredients and if I’m bored, then I can switch out the dressing or the spices and herbs. And of course, implement the "rotations" hack! Meaning, switch up the proteins, carbs, and veggies that you cook every week or every other week to keep your palette interested and not to mention making sure you get a plethora of vitamins and minerals! It’s really that simple!

Keep it bulk, keep it simple, so that you can get creative later! Remember, consistent behavior, over long periods of time creates and builds the goals you are looking to attain. Make. It. Happen. Reach out to me, as always, if you have any questions/comments/concerns! I am here and ready to help!

Coach B 



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