With bWell Work Hard, Play Hard, we want you to make time for yourself without sacrificing good nutrition. Join the Plan Well, Eat Well Meal Plan Challenge and plan your daily meals in advance for 5 out of 7 days between October 4 and 29.
Let’s face it, we’re all living some sort of busy, right? Meal planning and prep saves you time, money, and hassle. It can help you keep up your personal fitness and crazy work schedule and still squeeze in some time for fun on the weekends. This month, we invite you to explore the magic of meal planning.
What is meal prep?
Simply put, meal prep is the act of preparing meals or meal components ahead of time and storing them in the fridge or freezer. Putting in the effort ahead of time makes getting meals on the table efficient and straightforward later on when you may be short of time.
At BMC, we believe a commitment to well-being should enhance your quality of life rather than adding stress. That’s why we’re making it easy to complete this challenge and help you save money, save time, reduce your stress and eat healthier. Let’s break down the benefits of meal planning and prep:
- You save money because you’re not wasting ingredients or buying your lunch.
- You save time because prepping components or whole meals ahead means less time cooking during the week.
- You reduce your stress because you no longer have to worry about what’s for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
- You eat healthier. If you know you have a delicious and nutritious meal waiting for you at home, all ready to go, you will be less likely to be tempted to stop for something on the way home.
The Challenge: Plan well, eat well, bWell
- Plan your daily meals in advance for 5 out of 7 days a week. Each week you’ll track your progress on mybmcwellness.com to earn 125 points per week. Ideally, you’ll plan your meals a week in advance, but planning just one day in advance counts, too. When you plan your meals and track your weekly activity between Oct. 4 and 29, you’ll earn 500 bWell points.
- Meeting the Meal Plan Challenge goal is a great way to set the tone for a healthier fall routine. You’ll also move 500 points closer to Hang Ten, the top level of this year’s Work Hard, Play Hard program, for a chance at winning a beachin’ prize.
Pick a prepping method
The options are endless for prepping food ahead of time, so there really is no right or wrong way to meal prep. Depending on your goals, schedule, and meal preferences, you can freeze large batches of a recipe, refrigerate a full meal or prepare ingredients to combine as needed. Find a method that works for you and pick one day per week to meal plan, shop, and cook. Here are five meal prepping techniques to try:
- Reheat meals. Cook double or triple batches of your favorite meal and simply reheat it.
- Assemble ahead meals. Assemble ingredients ahead, don’t cook, then freeze for later. Check out these recipes for assemble ahead meals.
- Ingredient prep/portioning things out. No cooking is required with this method. You simply chop and portion food out. For example, prep pre-portioned chicken and veggies and put them uncooked into baggies. Then, throw the bag into the slow cooker before work.
- Buffet style. Instead of planning out the exact meals that you will each day, you prepare a selection of your favorite foods and then mix and match combinations throughout the week.
- Batch prep. Cook a single ingredient ahead and base several meals around it. For example, you can roast a chicken for one night and use the leftovers to top a salad, fill a sandwich or add to a soup recipe on the weekend.
It’s Meal Planning Made Easy
If you’re new to meal planning, your mobile device can help. Meal planning apps allow users to choose specific meal plans and recipes, create shopping lists, and track nutritional information. Check out the top-rated apps here, or check out five free apps here.
Participate in the Plan Well, Eat Well Meal Plan Challenge and take a moment to feel good, knowing that meal planning makes it easier for you to eat well with less stress. And give yourself an extra pat on the back for saving money while you’re at it.
Happy planning and prepping!