In my Food and Mood 10-Minute Meal Prep, the approach involves simple daily planning and preparing for specific situations that often take you off track. The biggest mistake I see people make when trying to adopt a healthy lifestyle or stick with a diet is failing to prepare. This might sound like an obvious step in the process, but it’s often skipped because life gets busy or you think it will take hours and involve too much work. Here’s a 10-minute prep process that is a game-changer to staying consistent and feeling good.

Get Clear on Your Intention

The first step in my Food and Mood 10-Minute Prep is clarifying your intention. Winging it and going into your day without a plan for your health and wellness is a recipe for failure. Spend 3 minutes in the morning (or the night before) and answer these questions:

  • How do I want to feel today?
  • What needs to happen for me to feel that way?
  • What is the most important thing on this list?

Make sure to write it down! A research study by Dr. Gail Matthews found that you become 42% more likely to achieve your goals simply by writing them down daily.

Meal Prep Around Traps & Triggers

Now we have to do the prep! Most people think meal prepping involves cooking in the kitchen for hours on Sunday. In my Food and Mood 10-Minute Prep, we focus meal prep for that day on traps and triggers- where it matters most! Look at your schedule and identify the potential traps and triggers, the situations or specific times of that day when you might be stressed or tempted not to stick with your goal. For example, most days I am on a ball field from 5-8 p.m. I don’t want to hit the drive-through or make unhealthy choices, so I will pack a healthy snack that’s ready to go when I head out the door. Another situation that’s often a trap for people is the mid-day snack attack. Your prep that day may be cutting veggies and having them on the counter so you have them as an easy option in the afternoon. Not having a dinner option is another one. Use your 10-minute prep to throw chicken breasts in the crockpot or cook a couple of pounds of ground turkey. 

The key is building in 5-10 minutes in your morning and prepping what you need to avoid the traps and triggers for that given day. Do it while you have your coffee or are getting the kids ready. Make this a non-negotiable! 

Grocery List for Easy to Grab Healthy Options

Another important strategy to make sure your fridge and freezer is stocked with healthy options that are easy to grab and go. Here’s a list to get you started:

  • Chicken breast (grab an extra for the freezer)
  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • Eggs and/or carton of egg whites
  • Frozen vegetables like broccoli, green beans, and cauliflower rice
  • Canned vegetables
  • Fruit- bananas, apples, and berries
  • Nuts- almonds, cashews, and walnuts
  • Low-fat greek yogurt
  • Pork loin
  • Flank steak
  • Albacore tuna packets

Need recipe ideas to prep chicken? Check out this baked chicken recipe.

Amy Fox of Food and Mood Lab
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