Meal Prep Is Essential To Your Good Health
Meal prep. It is the cool, healthy thing to do.
But why, meal prep?
Well, historically, most people ate a majority of their meals at home. We ate breakfast at 8am, lunch at noon, dinner at 6pm, usually at a kitchen table, with our family. Women packed lunches for their husbands and children. A lot of the food we ate was home made. There weren’t many food options outside of the home.
Long story short, things have drastically changed. These days, many of us eat more than 50% or more of our meals prepared outside the home. Food is everywhere. If you don’t see it, not to worry, make a call and you can have just about anything you desire delivered within the hour.
Awesome, right? Takeout, delivery, cafe, restaurant food…it is delicious. But just as our availability of prepared food, and the convenience of acquiring it, has increased, so have our waistlines. The CDC reports a 2015-2016 obesity rate of 39.8%. That’s not overweight, it’s obesity. Want to know the rate of overweight + obesity in our country? This is the most recent statistic I could find.
2013-2014 overweight + obesity rate in America: 70.2% (NIH)
Which is what brings me back to the importance of meal prep. We could sit here and discuss many, many factors that have contributed to this increase in size of our country, but I’m just going to focus on one here.
We’re eating too many calories.
In addition to that, the majority of many diets in our country consist of poor quality food.
We’ve got to revert back to the age of home cooked meals. Ok, it is practically impossible for many of us to eat many of our meals at home, but we can prepare them at home and take them with us.
We need to pay better attention to what we’re consuming, and I know, it’s a lot of work. In this culture of “more is better”, restaurant food portions are out of control. Many meals we eat, even that sandwich or acai bowl, can contain half to a full day’s worth of calories! Even when you think you are doing good by ordering off a menu that states ingredients and calories, both the ingredients and calories may differ in the meal you receive.
I’m not saying you have to stop eating out and say goodbye to treats, I’m just saying that most of your meals and snacks should be home prepared.
So, why meal prep?
1. You can control your portions and calories.
Once you find out the calories you should be eating each day, you can start to get the hang of what your portion sizes should look like for meals and snacks. This way you don’t have to worry about overeating meals that are too large for you.
2. You know the exact ingredients in your meals/snacks.
Working in restaurants, I’ve seen how fish is doused in extra oil before being brought to the table, or an employee give wrong information about ingredients. When you make your own meals, you know what is in your food. It’s empowering.
3. You are a bit more invested and connected to what you eat.
This is probably my favorite reason because I truly believe in the nourishing quality of being personally connected to your meals. Knowing where the ingredients came from, participating in the preparation, learning about the different ingredients…there is a lot of connection, through all of your senses, that happens here.
I know that for many, the issue is time. Just as with everything that is most important to you, you make time for what is most important.
If you need any help with any part of meal prep, from planning, to the actual preparing, please reach out! I offer services that cover everything from planning, to shopping, to preparation of meals in your home, if needed. If you are just in need of ideas, the internet is full of information regarding menus, planning, and ideas for specific diets.
Happy meal prepping!