Meals prepped in containers CREDIT: ZOË ALEXANDRA KING
It's safe to say that meal prepping is a health commitment to our bodies.

Most of the time when people hear the words meal prepping, they instantly think that it’s an unattainable goal, as it can be time consuming and especially difficult for people who have busy schedules. This article shares how I like to meal prep, my meal prep goals, and advice from Registered Dietitian, Kelsey Russell-Murray.

I began my meal prepping journey when I first moved away from my family as I became more responsible for my meals and taking care of my health. As a college student myself, I appreciate the discounts/ points rewards that are offered at supermarkets such as Sobey’s and Valu-mart on Tuesdays. With that said, this was my very first step in beginning my meal prep journey: having a dedicated day for grocery shopping. Knowing that I go to the supermarket either every Tuesday or every other Tuesday, I make sure to create a grocery list on the ‘Notes’ app or the ‘Numbers’ app on my iPhone. This is an easy way to keep track of what ingredients I need for specific recipes and it also helps with cutting back on costs and wastage as I am not purchasing produce that I don’t need. Along with creating a list, I also make sure to have a roster for the upcoming week or two weeks ahead. This includes a note for what I plan on making for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with the ingredients that I have purchased or plan on purchasing. Whilst these steps may seem common, it can be quite challenging to stick to the recipes that I have scheduled. However, after doing this for some time, these baby steps have become second nature to me.

It’s my goal to be able to batch cook and store food items in the fridge or freezer which will make it easier in putting together the meals that I have scheduled on my roster throughout the week. Thus far in my meal prepping journey, I have enjoyed knowing what meals I will be preparing for the upcoming week and what nutrients I am putting into my body. I have also gained a sense of satisfaction in knowing that I can prepare healthy foods to take care of my body.

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Russel-Murray from Gut Health Dietitian, has been a Registered Dietitian for almost 10 years. Russel- Murray has been specializing in gut health for three years, saying she “totally [geeks] out on gut health!” It is crucial to know the importance of what is being put into our bodies and how meal prepping can help with us acknowledging that.

“The first thing is, you have to start small and recognize where you’re at right now,” Russel-Murray said. “If you’re not doing any meal prepping, if you’re hardly cooking at home, then it’s going to be unrealistic to expect that all of sudden you are preparing three meals a day at home and doing hours-worth of meal prep every Sunday.”

She recognized that after acknowledging where you are, you can then choose one goal to master before moving on to the next step of your meal prep journey.

“A simple thing like committing to getting your groceries every week, every Sunday and then maybe the following week you choose a new recipe,” she said.

Russell-Murray shared a few tips that can help with meal prepping:

1. Keep a notes list of easy ‘go-to meals’ that you can rotate through

2. Cut corners where you can, such as using pre-cut fruits or vegetables

3. Try and designate a specific time that’s consistent

4. Batch cook whenever possible

She acknowledged that recognizing the food that we can incorporate into our diets instead of focusing on what we are choosing to eliminate, can be a healthy approach when it comes to meal prepping.

“I always recommend looking at your dietary goals to be a diet of abundance rather than restriction,” Russel-Murray said. “Often when people talk about healthy eating they are referencing what foods you should be restricting or taking away from your diet and I think that really promotes this diet culture mentality where we feel restricted and healthy eating is not fun.”

It’s safe to say that meal prepping is a health commitment to our bodies. It can be time consuming to research recipes, batch cook, and prepare meals, but in my experience, when all the work has been completed, I always feel accomplished and satisfied with my health.

This is your sign to take that first step into your meal prep journey and create new habits which will change your health lifestyle.