Hi friends! Welcome back to your channel Bowerspace. I hope you all are doing good. This is my first video of 2019. And, I wish every single one of you a very happy, prosperous, organized and a productive new year!

This being the beginning of a new year we are all charged up with new year resolutions. And the best way to keep up to those resolutions for the rest of the year is to make smart choices and follow smart tips. So, I have decided that my next few videos will be all about tips that can help you manage time in every walk of your day to day life – like meal planning tips which is the focus of today’s video, house cleaning tips, home organizing tips and no the least money management tips.

So, without much delay let’s start with tips on the most important aspect of our everyday life – Meal planning!

1. Create a meal plan:

Meal planning is the most important part of prepping your food. Every single person I have come across has at least one resolution that says ‘ Lose weight 15kilos’. Losing 2 kilos or 15 is fully a function of how well you eat. For a person like me, 25% of my fitness comes from exercise and my morning walks but the remaining 75% comes from what I eat.

Trust me, my weight can change tremendously in a span of 10days based on my eating habits. For me meal planning becomes the 1st step.

So, I have 2 meal plans – yes…sounds crazy but that;’s correct – one that is comprehensive and has a meal planned for the entire month and the other that I decide on a weekly basis.

The monthly plan helps me to cook meals in a way that there is

  1. variety,
  2. there is no repetition and so family does not get bored
  3. helps us avoid ordering out to a large extent.
  4. And all this indirectly mean less outside food and more home made healthy food

The weekly plan is generally the same as what I have in the monthly one but depends largely on how that week looks like – so let’s say there’s a b’day party or a doctor’s appointment or may be it’s an occasion and I decide to make something special, the meal plan would vary.

The weekly plan helps me to cook meals in a way that:

  1. I spend less time in the kitchen
  2. I give more time to focus on teaching my kids
  3. There is a variety suiting the mood and occasions around that week.

If you have a copy of my 2019 planner, I have given special importance to meal planning. The weekly layout will help you to keep track at a glance.

2. Buy necessary supplies on Fridays if possible (Download grocery checklist here)

Now this part about buying supplies on Fridays is my choice as it leaves me with enough time with family on week-ends.

But if possible try to do that during the very early hours of a day in the week-end. Do not waste too much time prepping. You’ll lose the continuity in just a couple of weeks. Dedicate 2 full hours and do some smart meal prepping. Let me share some of those smart techniques.

3. Follow a step wise prepping method: Start prepp-ing in a way that if you have to leave it half way through the process it won’t look overwhelming. Take one step at a time –

  1. Step 1 – Clean all veggies first – in case you won’t have time to prep you can store clean supplies for later use.
  2. Step 2 – Peel all the veggies – do this for all the veggies first before you start cutting or chopping any of them
  3. Step 3 – Now if you have time, cut or chop only half way though. That means just cut the florets if it’s a broccoli or cauliflower, take off the threads of a beans, cut the ends, that way. If you are of the belief that the veggies might lose nutritional value, do not cut them fully but the just the ends so that you save time.

Why am I saying step 3 as a partial cutting? That way you can leave yourself with an option of cooking a variety in that vegetable if you wish to.

  1. If you have no time to do the chopping business on the same day, do not hesitate to cut and chop before hand and store them. Many might argue that it loses nutrition, but I think it’s far better than being lazy and ordering in oily food from a restaurant.
  2. To preserve the produce for longer, you can deep freeze them.

I personally prefer to vacuum seal and preserve. It saves a ton of freshness and retains the produce for a much longer period of time.

4. Make smoothie prep an important part of your meal-plan and food-prep.

Most of us tend to avoid eating breakfast for reasons like I have to start my early, I don’t have time for making a breakfast etc. If you have a smoothie prep ready, all you need to do is blend it and carry it along. Vacuum sealing, I would like to repeat will help the fruits and produce stay fresh for longer. The one smoothie will not only help you in reducing weight but it will detoxify and replenish enough nutrients for a fresh start to the day

5. Prepare pancake batter/idli or dosa batter and refrigerate.

In case you are hungry out of the blues and probably want to eat something more fulfilling that just a fruit this can be an easy pick.

6. Prep onion paste and tomato puree separately and deep- freeze for instant use.

Dice some onion, sauté it to golden brown, grind and keep it either in a glass bottle or a zipper bag and put it in the freezer. It will really be helpful to make a large number of curries. Especially helpful when you have unannounced guests over dinner or even if you have a party. It will btw save a ton of cooking time!

7. Moving on.. I don’t probably have to tell you. Many of us do this but Knead some dough for rotis that can last for 2-3 times.

8. If you have a lentil preparation like chana or chole in your mealplan, soak and boil the chana/chole/rajma whatever before hand. Otherwise, I am telling you out of experience…last moment mein yaad ayega ki maine toh chane hi nahi bhigaye… chalo noodles bana lete hain 😛

9. Do not hesitate to buy cut veggies.

These days wherever in the world you live, there are plenty f organic options available that are fresh and pre-cut. They might be a couple of bucks expensive but trust me stopping by from work to pick them on the way back is far far far better than ordering in unhealthy food.

Well, my idea of meal prep has always been primarily for the reason of avoiding ordering food. Food ordering is the biggest problem of our generation. We have the money but no time…so we order…we not only end up spending a large part of salary eating outside food…we don’t count the number of calories let alone all the problems of cholesterol and fat that ends up in the system specially during night time! Also, there is a big compromise on discipline.

I lovvvveeee ordering in. Which mom does not want to reduce her effort. But I have slowly learnt to be wiser and more practical with my health, time and money.

As a mother who is determined to stick to new year resolutions, I have shared my inputs on meal planning. If you have some more ideas don’t hesitate to put in the comments. Let us all benefit from each other.

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Let me know how you like this video. And until I see you with my next video, stay organized, stay productive, stay happy! Bye!!