You have the best of intentions prepping your food ahead of time to keep it healthy - but you're SO tired of grilled chicken, broccoli, and brown rice - you're burning out! Eating the same meal every day can cause stalls in progress, boredom, and being left unsatisfied after a meal, and possible binging! Here's some minimal effort tips on switching up your meals for the week!
1. Switch up your proteins:
You’re bound to be bored of the same chicken by the third day in a row of eating it... when you normally prep your protein for the week, replace some of it with another protein like salmon, steak, or turkey. Minimal effort needed and it changes the entire meal.
2. Use the Mix and Match method:
You can eat the same food items throughout the week but keep it interesting by mixing and matching everything differently. When you do your meal prep, buy/cook:
-2 complex carbs (brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat pasta)
-2-3 different veggies.
Have those prepped and divide them separately (protein in one container, veggies in another, etc) and when you need to make a meal just assemble according to what you want to eat. Choose 1 protein, 1 complex carb, and as many veggies as you want and add seasonings/flavors as desired! Rather than sorting through new recipes to make for the week that you might not be in the mood for in 4 days, this system allows you to adjust based on what you’re feeling in the mood for.
Try cooking your base ingredients in a versatile way so that you can use them differently throughout the week. If you use your grilled chicken for a salad one day and for a hot burrito bowl the next day, your brain will not register that you just ate basically the same thing.
3. Play with flavors:
By far one of the best ways to switch up the taste of what you’re eating without really changing the base ingredients is by adding different seasonings/ spices. If you claim that you DON'T have a pantry overly stocked with spices you never use, you're lying! This will trick your taste buds into thinking you’re eating entirely new and exciting dishes. Here are some tips on basic flavor combinations to flavor up your dishes:
Mexican: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, lime
Italian: oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary, garlic,
Asian: ginger, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil/seeds, curry powders
Mediterranean: parsley, thyme, dill, garlic, lemon.
4. Plan new recipes:
Keep a list of meals you like to make on hand, but also try new things. It is good to have a list of "back pocket recipes" to fall back on when things get crazy. But every month, pick one or two new recipes to try so you avoid boredom. If you like it, maybe start to incorporate it into your rotation of meals.