SLMsmart Switch: Make-Ahead Meals
In the first month of the SLMsmart 90-day Challenge we are already seeing the beginnings of incredible transformations taking shape. Perhaps even more important than the physical transformations underway are the mental transformations that need to take place first. The first few weeks of the Challenge require a substantial yet attainable shift in the way the Challenger thinks and acts. Many of our Challengers are already getting the hang of altering their thought processes and increasing their mental toughness in order to make healthy decisions. We can learn a lot from these individuals!
MOCHA BUTKOVICH, COLORADO
Busy schedules are notorious for wreaking havoc on a healthy lifestyle, and Mocha is no stranger to this reality. Before joining the SLMsmart 90-day Challenge, Mocha’s demanding job often kept her from cooking healthy meals at home, and instead turning to convenient less healthy options.
Since day one of the 90-day Challenge, Mocha has been making healthy decisions before the week even begins by preparing meals ahead of time—a trick that the SLMsmart App recommends. The first meal prep session cost Mocha a few hours, but now that she has the hang of it, it’s becoming a simple routine that makes a huge difference in her food selections throughout the week. Mocha said that preparing food ahead of time has made establishing healthy habits easier, though the entire process is far from easy. Food prepping can help the forgetful eater, overeater, emotional eater, and anyone else with similar challenges, become more aware of what is and isn’t going into their bodies, she said.
Meal prep takes place over the weekend and begins by taking out different sized bags—small bags for snacks and slightly larger bags for meals. Mocha fills the bags with nutritious foods recommended by the SLMsmart App and her SLMsmart coach. These bags help her manage portion sizes and are easy to grab from the fridge before she leaves for the day.
Mocha’s mother is also participating in the Challenge and is a great support in the meal prep process. She has opened Mocha’s eyes to a number of tricks that make healthy eating something to look forward to. Simply cutting a vegetable differently or making a colorful meal can make healthy food choices more inviting. Also, learning how to cook and season vegetables to your liking can make a world of difference, Mocha said, and is something she discovered when her mother taught her a new way to prepare Brussels sprouts—one of the green things she normally avoids.
“Food prep makes a real difference in your decisions because you are an active participant in your health,” Mocha said. “If I spend the time to go grocery shopping and plan a week of meals, I’m more likely to stick to it because I’ve already taken the first step. I think a lot of us don’t actively make poor choices, but when we recognize our poor choices, it’s helpful to have a healthy alternative to turn to.”