It’s that time of the year… With lots of students heading off to uni for the first time (or still in Uni) living either on or off campus with food bills, schedules, washing and experiencing life living alone for the first time.
Tesco’s was flooded yesterday with students looking at labels, buying FULL trolley’s worth of food which they obviously don’t need. It can be easy to not have a plan and just swing it but this can soon add up and we all know those pennies are precious
Plan Plan Plan
At first, Meal Prep can seem like a huge, complicated mess and if you’ve ever looked at #mealprepsunday it can make you feel a bit intimidated when you see tables of meals but DON’T panic!! It doesn’t have to be scary and once you get into a routine it saves lots of time and money!
Frist things First: Make a plan…I personally don’t like to eat the same thing day in day out, so you can select 2/3 protein sources per/week so example (eggs, tuna, turkey) then batch cook lots of different carb sources like (sweet potato, rice, pasta) and then finally micros (but buy frozen veg SO much cheaper)
Make A List
Sounds so simple but how many of us have ever, gone to the shop without a list and come back with half the shop and forgetting the only thing we actually went for? GUILTY!! But honestly, this simple tool can be so effective at
1. getting what you actually need
2. Preventing those impulse buy’s
But protein is expensive??
Hit the reductions… Cheap meat, bargains fresh-cut fish, even fancy foodie treats it’s all there waiting for you, come 5pm or even earlier on a Sunday you can pick up some amazing deals in supermarkets EVEN the FINEST RANGES!! Simply alter your meals to incorporate this into your plan for the week either through batch cooking or simply freeze.
That brings US to WHERE TO SHOP?
If you’re not fussy on brands then hit discounted supermarkets like Aldi and Lidl it’s surprising how many pennies you can save, they even have specials of branded goods such as @sweetfreedom (at present). They also do some great alternatives to branded goods such as the example below
What about BULK buying?
Well firstly: Do YOU have the freezer capacity? If so then buying your meat in bulk can be very cost-effective, whether that’s a local butcher or an online supplier such as @musclefooduk. Not into meat well, there is a great fresh fish hamper and hit the local fishmongers.
So WE have Shopped Now For The Meal PREP
Keep it SIMPLE
Don’t over complicate it… I’ve done this so many times thinking it has to look Instagramable and be something out of a cookbook but honestly keep it simple. The best meal nutrition plan is one you can stick to!!
I like to think Meals in 5 or fewer ingredients
Switch it up: Routinely is good and it creates healthy habits but doesn’t be afraid to switch it up by changing a carbohydrate source switch rice of quinoa or a wrap.
Spice it up
Add herbs, spices, seasonings even sauces to make that meal come alive with flavor: Word of caution LOOK AT THE LABEL! Some sauces can be very energy dense so simple swaps can really save you macros for actual food and who doesn’t love more food right?
Think: reduced salt seasoning, @thegymchef (very tasty), Low sodium soy sauce, Salsa
Lastly, Don’t sweat it
Sometimes life happens you get that surprise invite to go out with friends or there is an unplanned emergency chocolate bar, don’t let it throw you it’s OK to indulge in an ice-cold beverage or a meal out to celebrate with others don’t let your fitness goals stand in the way of memories. You can always get back on it tomorrow, don’t fall into that mindset that things have to be perfect 24/7 because they don’t