I might be one of those people you try to avoid at parties and networking events. I’m the one always talking about meal planning, meal prep, clean eating, and how it’s all changed my life.
At first, you might even want to chat to me about it. But after a while, you start to think, “That sounds great, but why bother? I don’t eat as well as I want, but I’m doing alright. I’ll probably have to give up all my favourite foods. And it sounds like so much work.”
I know I felt this way when I started.
But I was also on a quest to be free of migraines and have more energy. So, I researched and talked to people who had successfully done it, and I finally gave it a try.
When I found was the opposite of all those things: I was able to get my migraines completely under control, I definitely had more energy, I saved more money than I spent, and it took so little time. I also discovered I loved the change it made in my life so much that I wanted to be able to share it and help other people.
Okay, I can see that you’re still a little skeptical. So, today I’m sharing the 10 biggest reasons to meal plan and prep (and the benefits they brought me).
Here we go:
10. Save your hard-earned cash for stuff you really want – like travel and home ownership.
Over the years, I definitely tried done-for-you meal plans that put my grocery costs through the roof and rarely accounted for leftovers (so I had tons of food in my fridge that didn’t to fit into my meal plan, so they just went to waste).
Just starting by cooking more of your meals at home will have a huge impact on your budget. (Seriously! Google it and you’ll find a ton of info on this massive spending gap.)
In my case, I found the amazing products of Epicure and their meals are often under $4 each (for 2 people). (Want to check that out? You can see all their meal kits here.)
As a result, I go on multiple trips a year (to places I’ve always wanted to go) and I own my home. And I didn’t have to do huge financial backflips to make it happen, either.
9. You’ll produce less waste and help the environment.
The verdict is in: Humans are having a massive impact on the planet. In fact, it’s becoming kind of an emergency. One of the biggest contributing factors to climate change is food production, transportation, and waste.
Planning what you eat means you’ll buy only what you need (because you planned for it). You’ll also usually eat all of what you make, so you’ll have way less waste. And that’s just good for everybody.
8. You’ll be in control of your health.
There’s a lot of additives in processed and preserved foods. Those additives add up in our bodies over time. Whether you develop sensitivities or more serious health conditions, there’s no better alternative than eating fresh.
No matter your opinion on additives and toxins in your food, your body does best when it has clean fuel. Whether it’s the Canada Food Guide, a macrobiotic diet prescribed for cancer treatment, or your own choice to be vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free, there’s no arguing that we can all agree food affects our health.
You can always tell when your body is in optimal condition – your hair is shiny and strong, your nails are strong, you have clear skin, and you have all the energy you need to get through the day. You might even have a little extra!
7. Use can your extra time in whatever way you want!
Figuring out what’s for dinner every night is a pretty big drain on your creative resources. Spending a little bit of time at the beginning of the week to plan, shop, and prep for your meals makes then easy no-brainers every night.
Put all that extra energy to good use and use that time for your other adventures!
6. You can see how food changes affect you.
For me, this was HUGE.
Once I committed to clean eating, I could tell almost instantly when I ate something my body reacted to. Sometimes it was positive, sometimes negative, but I could always tell.
When you’re eating clean, you can better tell which foods you’re sensitive to and make more informed choices about what to eat – especially when you’re eating out.
5. Relieve yourself of the stress of creating a meal after a hard day.
Ever come home on a Wednesday filled with meetings that should have been emails, stressed out about making a deadline, and stare down an empty fridge? Sure. We’ve all done it.
One of the biggest gifts I got from meal planning and prepping was losing the, “What’s for dinner?” every night. When I got through the door, I knew what I was making – and I knew that it was going to be quick to prepare and I would feel nourished.
4. Gain confidence in the kitchen.
One of the things I hear most often from people I share my clean eating journey with is that they “can’t cook.”
I say, that’s nonsense.
I recommend starting small with easy recipes that don’t have a lot of ingredients and mostly rely on spice to make it awesome.
Without fail, my clients and meal plan subscribers report that the first month they’re unsure and uneasy, but after that it’s smooth sailing. And they even start branching out and trying new, more complex recipes because they know they can.
3. Sharing what you’ve learned with others.
Once you’ve gained that confidence in the kitchen, you’re bound to start learning all kinds of new tricks and tips to make your prep and cooking time easier and more fun. In my experience, those are the kinds of hacks you can’t keep to yourself! You’ll find yourself sharing those with people you love and feeling great about it.
2. Enjoying your food more.
When you start cooking foods you love and seasoning them to your own taste, you just want to keep doing it!
I used to dream about my favourite meals at my favourite restaurants, but once I started making my own food, I started dreaming about meals I made. It was such a huge shift. Now, my favourite place to eat is at home.
1. You’re loving and caring for yourself.
To me, there’s no better reason than this.
You know that saying about how you can’t care for the people in your life when your cup is empty? Well, I have found this to be incredibly true. When I was suffering from health issues, I couldn’t be present with the people I love. I couldn’t be the partner or friend I wanted to be.
Now that I make filling my cup a priority for myself, I know I’m showing up in my life the way I want to.
It sounds simple, but it’s true: changing what I ate, being intentional about those choices, and committing to meal planning and prep have made major changes to the overall quality of my life.
That’s why I knew I had to create my Fired Up Meal Plan Subscription. I knew that if these simple changes could make such a huge impact on the quality of my life, I had to share them. If you want to jump on this wagon with me, you can find out more about the program here. It’s only $12 a month and I know it will change your life.
If you liked this post, then you’ll love these!
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Weekly meal plans (complete with shopping lists!)
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I’m Kandice-Lee! I am passionate about the impact food can have on your physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I help people lead bigger, bolder, and better lives through teaching meal planning, meal preparation, and clean eating.