A working mother-of-three who complained of being ‘constantly tired and lethargic’ has revealed how meal prepping ‘changed her life’ and led her to her best body yet.
Interior designer April, 31, from Melbourne, said she turned to meal prepping several years ago when her daughters were smaller and she found she was ‘under-eating’ during the days while running around after small children.
‘I was so caught up with them that eating became last on my list of priorities,’ April told FEMAIL.
‘Meal prepping provided me with ready-made meals to have on the go, and it’s been life-changing.’
A mother-of-three who complained of being ‘constantly tired and lethargic’ has revealed how meal prepping ‘changed her life’ and led her to her best body yet (pictured now)
The busy working mum of three (pictured with her daughters) said meal prepping has been ‘life changing’ for her health
What are April’s tips for meal preppers?
1. Always go in with a plan. A clear idea of what you’re prepping makes things easier and saves time.
2. Have a designated day for meal planning and writing the grocery list.
3. Categorise your grocery list and have different columns for fresh food, canned items and spices.
4. Have a designated grocery day and don’t veer from this as much as possible.
5. Keep a ‘weekly running sheet’ of the foods you’re craving and try and integrate clean versions into your meal prep.
6. Before you start, clear out your fridge.
7. Consider your lifestyle when you’re meal prepping. If you’re on the road a lot, for instance, soups might not be a good idea.
So how did the 31-year-old start out?
Despite being a busy working mum-of-three, April said the first thing she did was ‘carefully look’ at her eating habits.
‘I realised I wasn’t eating well or healthily and needed to up my game after the birth of my third daughter,’ she told Daily Mail Australia.
‘And so, I began by taking a variety of fruits to work, which I then chopped up and turned into a small fruit salad.’
Once she had this under her belt, April said she next began to incorporate homemade trail mix with a variety of chopped-up nuts and fruit into the mix.
‘Slowly and steadily, I improved my eating habits,’ she said.
‘But as the girls got older, it got harder and harder – they were all under the age of three and were completely dependent on me.
‘It wasn’t long before I would fall back into my old habits and forget to eat during the day because I was so rushed off my feet.’
April said this soon led to a ‘downward spiral’, as she would often find herself reaching for sugary snacks and caffeine.
Interior designer April , 31, from Melbourne, said she turned to meal prepping several years ago when her daughters were smaller and she found she was ‘under-eating’ during the days while running around after small children (pictured before and now)
‘I realised I wasn’t eating well or healthily and needed to up my game after the birth of my third daughter,’ April said (pictured now with her meal prep)
When her youngest daughter turned two, the mum-of-three decided to get strict with herself.
‘I’d seen other women on Instagram prepping their food for the week on Instagram and it was a light bulb moment, as I knew it would help me significantly,’ she said.
Setting aside a time when she could dedicate it to her own cooking, April said she took inspiration from others’ recipes, before devising a few of her own.
‘Meal prepping has been a game changer for me,’ she said.
‘Not only have I toned up, but I now have clean, balanced meals and snacks on hand and ready to go. I no longer need to stop and think about what to eat.’
And so, after looking carefully at her eating habits, the mum-of-three got strict with herself and began setting aside some time to prep various foods (pictured: a meal prep session)
‘I’d seen other women on Instagram prepping their food for the week on Instagram and it was a light bulb moment, as I knew it would help me significantly,’ April (pictured) said
Speaking about her tips for others who want to give meal prepping a go, April said it’s all about being organised.
‘Have a designated day for meal planning and writing out the grocery list,’ she said.
‘Mine is Thursday. I sit down and write out all the things I will be making for the week and what I need to buy for breakfasts, lunches and dinners each night.
What are April’s top five pantry staples?
2. Corn cakes
3. Mixed nuts
4. Fresh fruit and vegetables
5. Lean protein like chicken or eggs
‘Then, I categorise the grocery list – so all the cold items are in one column, all the fruit and veg are in one column and canned items and spices are in another.’
April said this makes for a ‘quicker and easier’ shop and ensures you are less stressed when you hit the supermarket.
The mum also makes sure she always visits the supermarket on a Friday, and keeps a ‘weekly running sheet’ of the foods she’s craving so she can integrate ‘clean versions’ into her meal prep.
‘For example, if I’m craving sweets and lollies, I try to make something like a batch of bliss balls using nuts and dates,’ she said.
Lastly, the 31-year-old said she always cleans out the fridge before she starts her meal prepping, and keeps things simple and practical with what she makes.
‘Consider your lifestyle when planning your meals,’ she said.
‘For example, I spend a lot of time on the road – so soups don’t really work. You need the choices that are perfectly suited to you.’
Speaking about her tips for meal prep (pictured), April said it’s a good idea to get organised, write lists and categorise your lists into various sections for the supermarket
It’s not only April who has got involved in the meal prepping, but her entire family too.
‘Sundays have become “Meal Prep Days” in our house,’ she said.
‘We all know the routine. The girls will spend time with dad in the house while I prep, and occasionally pop over to pick things out of the containers to taste test.’
As they have become older, April said her children have become even more interested in the preparation of their food:
‘I distribute some tasks to them, like when I’ve washed, cleaned and cut the food, they distribute it into their little containers,’ she said.
In total, she and the kids spend around two hours doing all of their prep on a Sunday afternoon.
‘We never dress salads or vegetables before serving,’ April said.
‘Usually, I’ll pack a lemon wedge and squeeze some on before eating. Alternatively, take a small container with dressing to drizzle on just before you eat.
‘I would also recommend you never prep more than four days of food at one time.’
To follow April on Instagram and find out more about her meal prepping, please click here.