Hi hi hi!
I wanted to start a new series to hopefully help you guys along your healthy lifestyle journey. As many of you know, I recently started the keto diet. I’m not sure what you consider recent, but I started it on January 1st. I have been documenting my experience mainly through food diaries, but they just became so repetitive, I didn’t see the need to continually post the same thing over and over again.
So instead, I wanted to share little tips here and there that have been helping me stick through the first 21 days of the diet. You know what they say, it takes 21 days to develop a habit; I’m past that now and I have no want to go back. Today, I wanted to share the importance of food prepping. No matter what diet you are on, food prepping is a great way to give yourself the extra edge.
Throughout my short 25 years on this planet, I have been on a lot of diets and have done a lot of different exercise plans. I have also tried weight loss pills, drinks, syrups, etc. and nothing ever seemed to work. It wasn’t till about 2016/2017 did I discover fitness YouTubers. These were folks who took their health very seriously, but also loved to have extreme cheat days, and by extreme cheat days, I’m talking about devouring 10,000 calories.
I learned from watching a lot of their fitness videos that when it comes to weight loss you need to put in the effort both inside the gym and kitchen. You can workout all you want, but if you are constantly eating junk foods like pasta, pizzas, ice cream, candies, etc. you are basically taking away everything that you did in the gym. If you want to read more about your body and how it utilizes energy via the food you eat, here are a few resources:
So where does food prep come into all this? What you put into your body will be used as energy/fuel and should be a compliment to what you do in the gym. You can’t expect to see any results if you continue to feed your body trash. To prevent yourself from falling into temptation or from deviating from your diet, having options at your finger tips is important.
I work a full time office job. So that means there are a lot temptations everywhere. From snacks in the kitchen, to lunch meetings, amazing restaurant options, etc. it’s tough to really stick to any diet. I knew to prevent myself from falling into temptation, I needed to have options available at my finger tips. So, food prepping it was.
The secret to food prepping is to get it as much done in one day as possible. When it extends to two days, then for me, that’s a little extreme. I focus on prepping sides and main dishes, snacks are a little easier so if I can’t get to them then I don’t freak out about it.
Prepping sides is my favorite because you literally just place them on a baking sheet, add a little olive oil or avocado oil, put it in the oven at 350 degrees and let them roast. Roasted veggies are great because they add a lot of bulk and extra nutrients/macros to what can be a very bland and empty meal. Some of my favorite veggies include: carrots, brussel sprouts, cauliflower, and broccoli.
In regards to storing my sides, I like to keep them in traditional Zipbloc containers. You can purchase a variety pack like the one below and it really comes in handy. I usually prep a 16oz bag of carrots, 16oz bag of brussels sprouts and sometimes I will also prep frozen cauliflower or broccoli. This amount of veggies will last me about a week to a week and a half. It just depends if I use them for breakfast or dinner.
This is a huge area that I tend to fail in. At the end of the day, I’m tired and the last thing I want to do is figure out what I’m going to eat for dinner and the thought of making it?! Forget about it! I would pick up dinners often on my way home because of how convenient it is. During my first week of keto, I discovered the glorious-ness which is casseroles. You just toss everything in the pan, bake it, and you have a ton of food. I’m sure if you have a slow cooker/crock-pot, you would be able to easily do something similar, just be sure to use a crock-pot diaper (plastic lining) to make clean up easier.
Tip: If you are planning to make a chicken based casserole, prep your chicken by cutting it into bite-size pieces, weighing it out, and placing it in individual zipbloc bags. You can also do the same with ground meat.
Casseroles tend to take me about 20 minutes (or less) to prep. The thing that takes me the longest is searing the chicken. Once the casserole is cooled enough, I give myself a serving (because I usually plan on having it for dinner) and then the remaining goes into a large container which I just scoop out servings as needed.
Snacks:If I do decide to prep snacks, it usually almonds and hard boiled eggs. I weigh out my almonds and put them in little zipbloc baggies and I peel the hard boiled eggs and keep them in their own container.
Putting it all together:
As I’m cooking breakfast in the mornings I prepare my lunch. I get a small zipbloc container put in some roasted veggies and my casserole. Sometimes I will add in a little more cheese or Cholula to add a little something. Then I gather any of the snacks that I may want throughout the day including string cheese, almonds, and a hard boiled egg.
Food prepping may seem like a chore, but it’s something that is really important to your end results. What you put into your body will ultimately decide if you succeed or fail when it comes to your goal.
Let me know if you have a tip that you would like to share! I am always interested in learning more!