I love to cook. I’m admittedly not the greatest at it quite yet, but I love it nonetheless. Both of my parents are fantastic cooks, and some of my favourite memories as a kid are of helping them in the kitchen. When I need a good recipe, I ask my mom for advice. But I’m also incredibly busy. I don’t spend a ton of time at home, and that means a lot of money gets spent on eating out (and definitely not the healthiest choices). We don’t have any extra little mouths to feed, and Darius and I work opposite schedules. Plus, after working all day I am not the type of person that wants to go home and cook a well balanced meal (can I get an amen?).
But since I’ve started regularly exercising, I’ve noticed that I need to eat a bit differently. I’m a chocolate and ice cream lover, but that’s not exactly what you would call “balanced”. I’ve learned a lot recently about how the brain behaves when you eat too much sugar – check out an awesome TED Talk here. So rather than putting the pressure on myself to cook every night, I’ve started meal prepping. Never did I think I would be this organized – but it has changed our life.
On Saturdays or Sundays, I spend about 4 hours cooking for the week. Proteins, veggies, shepherd’s pie (yum!), and mashed potatoes galore. Healthy carbs, proteins to fuel our workouts, and some good old comfort food. It saves me so much time during the week, and I get to eat home cooked meals all the time instead of eating pre-packaged frozen meals or fast food. I feel better, I exercise better, and I feel so accomplished by the time I’m done cooking. It helps my diet to stay balanced, which keeps my brain guessing and my dopamine levels high when it comes to eating healthy foods. And it gives me a reason to find new things to cook.
As I’ve said before, I know there is no magic formula that works for everyone. But this is just something that has really worked for me. Eating well is one of those amazing #selfcare routines that is difficult to get started. But honestly, meal prepping has done wonders for my husband and I. And I still eat ice cream and chocolate in moderation, because I’m fueling my body with the nutrients it was designed to need with other healthy choices. I am a lover of home cooked meals – so if that means I have to cook 20 chicken breasts in one day every week, then so be it.