With my NASM Personal Trainer exam just around the corner (hello, August 27!), I figured it was time to wrap up the “I just moved! There’s so much to do!” excuses – even though I swear, there’s still so much to do! – and get back to the grind :) That meant mapping out my monthly workout plan (more on that in second) and scheduling a good old fashioned Sunday Prep Day.
Think: Sunday Funday – just sub out the alcohol for veggies and quinoa ;)
Everybody has their own way of doing things, but here’s a look at my lil routine:
1. Get organized
I’m a bit of an office supplies addict, so I’m definitely guilty of using this step as an excuse to buy a million different shades of pens (and highlighters, and markers, and push-pins…) but you really just need the basics:
- White-out strips (trust me – you’ll change your mind a lot, especially the first few times!)
- Meal planning sheet
There’s a ton of meal planning templates – or you could always just make your own! – but whatever style you go with, I recommend choosing one that includes a grocery list panel. It makes life easier having everything in one place!
Free Meal Planner Template
I designed this meal planner template myself, if anybody wants to use it! :)
2. Plan your work day meals first
It’s important to be realistic not only about your food choices but also about your schedule. It’s easy to use a hectic work schedule as an excuse for not eating well, but when it comes to meal planning, work days are actually your best friend! A million and one things can come up during your days off, but at least on work days you know exactly where you’ll be for 8-10 hours of the day (for the most part!). Use that consistency in your favor, and plan your work day meals first. After that, pencil in any planned meals out. Then tackle your days off. Remember: Be realistic! Factor in what days you like to sleep in, what days you’re pressed for time in the morning, etc.
Meal planning is all about simplifying life – so if you’re running out to the grocery store every other day, it kinda defeats the purpose. Designate one day a week for shopping (I try to steer away from crazy busy days, like Sunday) – and don’t forget your coupons! :)
*To learn how to save a few extra pesos, check out my earlier post: How to Start Couponing and Clean Eating – At the Same Time! ♥
4. Divide and conquer
After you have all your supplies, organize your prep into three categories:
- Things I Need to Cook
- Things I Need to Chop
- Things I Need to Thaw
Then get to work! :)
5. Keep it clean
Try to keep your meals as healthy as possible, but don’t deprive yourself! Make sure you throw in plenty of variety (and a few sweet things!) along the way :) And always remember to pair a lean protein with a ‘good’ (complex) carb – it’s the best way to keep your sugar balanced. Think: grilled chicken (lean protein) + brown rice (good carb) or almonds + grapes.
To learn more about clean eating, check out: Clean Eating for Beginners :)
- Clean as you go
- Set your laptop up in the kitchen, so you can double-check recipes and listen to music (or a Netflix marathon!) as you work
- Treat your tupperware like china – give your to-go containers first priority in your cabinets. That way, you’ll be more likely to plan and pack healthy meals ahead of time! :)
When it comes to fitness goals, one of the most important things I’ve learned is: Don’t set yourself up for failure! Life happens, so instead of setting up an strict workout schedule (that will inevitably get side-tracked!) give yourself a couple daily options. For example, on work days, I write out all the 6am and 6:45pm group classes at my gym and also leave room to pencil in random workouts :)
*In case you’re wondering about the rest of the board: when I have a big goal (like passing the NASM exam!) I track my progress with lil arrows – it’s the perfect way to keep track of your progress at a glance :) To create your own, just print out an arrow, trace the shape on a fun colored paper (cut that one out too) and then divide the original (lightly, with a pencil) into sections – for example, my NASM arrow is divided into 20 page sections. Then cut up the fun colored arrow into sections to match the original and store the pieces until you’re ready to tape them on :) I use a little envelope (decorated with scrapbooking cardstock) – which is also a great place to store grocery receipts!
I hope these tips help! :) Let me know if you have any questions! I’d love to hear about your meal prep routines too!
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