We asked Peak Performance’s own Exercise Physiologists about how they have created routine in their lives. From working out, to meal prepping to staying hydrated, read on for their best tips!
- Create a menu for the week by working around your schedule.
Which meals are going to be eaten at work/school? Are there any events where you may be home too late to cook? Any mornings where breakfast will be on-the-go? I try to pick one recipe for breakfast, maybe two for snacks, and three or four to cycle through for lunch and dinner. This helps create variety in my menu so I’m not bored of salads by Tuesday at dinnertime.
- Make a shopping list (and stick to it).
Once you have a menu of meals to prepare, it’s time to hit the grocery store. Do your food shopping from a specific list based on the recipe you are cooking and stick to that list – this will help avoid ice cream from ‘magically jumping’ in your cart. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, the average American ends up wasting 25% of the food and beverages they purchase. By making that shopping list specific, you purchase just what you need to cook for the week based on your meal plan.
- Prepare your meals ahead of time to save time.
Ever hear of ‘Meal Prep Sunday’? Give yourself an hour or two over the weekend to cook in bulk so you have food prepared for a few days. Start by prepping all of the ingredients together, i.e. if two recipes call for chopped onion, chop it all at once; this will save time instead of going back to chop another 1/2 cup of something. When it’s time to get cooking, look at the recipes and stagger how they are going to be cooked in order to multitask. See what’s going to take the longest in the oven and get that going while work on another dish.
- Pack snacks (just in case).
I am a big fan of the second breakfast and always make sure I have something for the ‘witching hours’ between lunch and dinner. When packing your lunch box, add a healthy snack just in case that late morning or afternoon hunger strikes. If you have meals prepared, you will be less likely to reach for treats in the break room at work or head straight for the kitchen when you get home.
By Louise Mills-Strasser, MS