Meal prepping is a huge “thing” nowadays.
And I see why.
It’s perfect for the busy mom, the-on-the-go millennial and the food-conscious body builder. Prepping your meals is also a great way to start changing your relationship with food if you want to lose weight. It is much better for your health to spend time preparing your food a few days ahead. You’ll be much less likely to rush out the door and stop at the closest fast food place.
So, how can you make your meals exciting enough so when you do prep them, you’ll actually eat them?!
When I speak with potential clients who are on the fence about starting a weight loss regimen, one of the biggest fears they have is that they’ll be stuck eating boring foods! They envision a dry kale salad and some pale tofu for dinner every night.
As a woman who grew up in the deep south with a family full of grandma’s and aunts who never held back on seasoning salt and extra hot sauce, I can relate.
Going “clean-eating” may be a little scary.
But I can also say that I have personally done it.
And now that I’m a herbalist, I beautifully replace high sodium, artificial sweeteners, and chemical flavorings with savory spices.
Here are six ways to spice up your meals so you can prep with confidence. And have your taste buds knocked off – the healthy way.
- Use Himalayan pink salt. — Salt is an essential mineral for us to maintain almost every function in our bodies. We need salts to balance the fluid volume in our body. Salt is an essential nutrient to trigger nervous and muscle responses correctly. However, excess salt can cause high blood pressure. Salt enhances flavor and reduces food spoilage. Himalayan pink salt has a little more potassium, iron, and magnesium and calcium than regular table salt. Some even prefer it’s flavor because of these added elements.
- Use fresh fruits. — Regular white, refined sugars are terribly dehydrating and can slow brain function. Why not eat fresh fruits instead to substitute artificial sweeteners and regular sugar in your food prep meals? Eating the fruit first will allow you to satisfy a craving for sweets and to curb your appetite so you’ll want less. Fresh fruits provide rich flavor to meals like no other seasoning can.
- Buy from farmers markets — Fruits and veggies purchased from the farmer’s market are much riper and flavorful. Home grown tomatoes, for example, have an incredible burst of flavor that will have you craving that kale and cucumber salad.
- Use herbs to season. — My favorite way to flavor foods is to use 5 or more culinary herbs. Thyme, cardamom, ginger, garlic, rosemary, sage, oregano, and turmeric are some of my favorite herbs to use in cooking. There are so many fantastic vegan recipe books that have culturally ethnic recipes that pop with flavor just from of the spices.
- Go frozen instead of canned. — If you can’t use only fresh foods, go with frozen items instead of canned. Flash frozen foods preserve much more flavor compared to canned. There are usually added preservatives to canned foods making them a sloppy mess for your food prep.
- Prep bases. — When preparing your food for the week, layer your delicious items on top of a base. Make a high fiber base such as chickpeas or lentils, and add fresh arugula, grilled zucchini or roasted peppers that add lots of sweet and spicy flavor to the meal.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to cook up some great tasting meals that are high in nutritional value and that also taste great. You may just be surprised at how your taste buds begin to crave these natural flavors that foods and herbal spices can provide. Getting them prepped beforehand (once a week on Sunday) can take a lot of stress off of your life and have you living more holistically in no time.