This week I have been focussing on organising my food. After having had two months off work and off the gym, to say my health and fitness has gone downhill is an understatement!

food prepI couldn’t cook whilst I was sick, but that’s really just an excuse. I didn’t HAVE to eat junk – I could have still eaten low maintenance, healthy food. But I didn’t! Eeekk.

I also couldn’t exercise whilst I was sick, but just because I couldn’t exercise, doesn’t mean I needed to ‘throw in the towel’ and use the time as a reason to eat rubbish!(For me – when I exercise, it seems easier to stick to the food component of my ‘diet’ than when I don’t).

So – all that being said – I’ve started afresh yesterday. I gave myself two weeks back at work to ‘get back into the swing of things’ and now the new regime starts!!

I’m on a very strict regime (I hate the word ‘diet’) that focuses on food elimination, specific food combinations and food allergy testing. Given the restrictions, the food can be quite boring but there are ways and means of making it a bit more interesting – I’ll be doing some experimenting there!

Now it wouldn’t be me to not find a way to organise this, would it? 🙂 Hehehe.

So here are my 5 tips to getting organised with your food.

1. Plan plan plan. I have created a spreadsheet showing exactly what I’m going to eat, at what meals, for the next 20 days or so. Some would call that anal retentive, others would call it organised! Yes – there are always emergencies and ‘things that happen’. I have a few nights where I’m going out for dinner – I’ve already looked up the menu for the restaurants and know what I can eat. I’ve got a weekend where I’ve got family coming to stay – I’ve already marked this in my diary and started thinking about what could be done for those meals.

2. Shop with ease — given that I’ve created my spreadsheet, I know exactly what I need, and in what quantities. I then draw it up on a list and head to the shops. This leaves nothing to chance and therefore requires no guesswork!

It also means that if I don’t have time to go and shop myself, I can do my shopping online! (The good thing about doing it online means you avoid the temptation of the confectionery aisle!

3. Food preparation – now unless your name is Gordon Ramsey or Jamie Oliver, you could perhaps be like me and actually really not love the idea of cooking. I LOOOVE food, and I LOOOOVE other people cooking for me, but in terms of cooking myself – well, I take it or leave it.

So I prepare as much in advance as I can. Yesterday, I bought 500g of chicken breast and 500g of steak. I cooked up the chicken breast, divided it into 5 portions and put it into zip lock bags. Voila – 5 portions of protein already made up for lunches. I also divided the steak into 5 portions, zip locked it and threw it back into the freezer. Steak dinners will be a piece of cake now.

I bought some frozen barramundi (not coated, or sauced or anything – just plain) and it’s already apportioned appropriately. So now I can add fish dinners into the mix too, without any hassle.

I then bought a big bunch of salad and simply spent about 10 minutes chopping it up on the weekend, and apportioning it into 5 separate containers. In the morning  on the way out the door – grab the chicken, the salad, a cooler bag and ice brick – DONE!

4. Containerise – a good stock of both zip lock bags and plastic (bpa free) containers is a must! The ‘trick’ to making lunches, especially, easy and quick, is to have your portions already prepared so that there’s no daily, never-ending ‘mucking around’.

5. BYO. I’ve tried so many times to ‘eat out’ at lunch whilst I’m in the office but for one reason or another, I invariably end up making bad food decisions. Sushi train, laksa, bahn mi, toasted sandwich! Eeeek!! Bringing my own food from home has without a doubt meant that I quite simply avoid the temptation of rubbish!

So – my 5 portions of cooked chicken breast are going to form the basis of lunch. As are some cans of tuna and some fresh prawns. So each day all I need to do is grab a zip lock bag of chicken (or prawns, or a tin of tuna), a container of already-prepared salad, my cooler bag and ice block – and I’m ready to go!

How easy is that?  Cheap, cheerful, healthy and ORGANISED!

I’d love to hear about any of your food preparation tips and tricks! Let me know in the comments below!