Why and How to Meal Prep Explained By a Registered Dietitian Print 1 LikeDislike By Melissa Rifkin Melissa Rifkin is a registered dietitian who writes about her meals and healthy prep ideas on her popular Instagram account Confessionofadietitian. Here she describes her philosophy on how to achieve wellness and why she is a big believer in meal prep. Additionally, she recommends making sure you get enough nutrients each day, including a good protein source such as collagen peptides. Learn about the benefits of supplementing with collagen peptides, plus get Melissa’s delicious peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe with a secret ingredient… you guessed it—collagen! As a registered dietitian and nutrition coach, I have helped hundreds of people lose weight and achieve their goals of good health and wellness. My philosophy on how to achieve your best healthy self focuses on both inside and out. While it’s super important to make sure you are eating nutritious food, you also need to take care of your entire body through exercise and mental self-care. By nourishing yourself and achieving a balance in all three of these areas, you will reach your optimal health and reap all the benefits.If you are just embarking on a weight loss program or just trying to finally get healthy, I know it can seem overwhelming at first. But I’m here to help! On my Instagram page Confessionofadietitian, I try to show my community what I eat and what I do on a daily basis to stay healthy and strong. I love sharing my wealth of knowledge, experience and love for healthy eating. I hope I can inspire you to make some positive changes in your life that will help you achieve good health. Here are my suggestions on what I do every day to be the healthiest version of myself. Meal Prep is KeyEating healthy can be difficult when you work long hours or are balancing a family and work life. One of my most important recommendations to all my clients is to meal prep. Thinking about and planning your meals in advance gives you control over what you are eating. And planning and preparing your meals ahead helps to minimize late night snacking or getting fast food take out because you are starving and you have nothing to eat for dinner! I plan my meals regularly, including snacks and meals, and I find that I enjoy planning and feeling organized. I also like being aware and in control of what I’m eating. Now let’s be real, meal planning requires thinking ahead and taking some time to consider what you want to eat each day. So I’m going to make it easy for you! Here’s my step to step plan for simple meal-planning victory. You’ll find that meal planning provides structure and balance to the day and takes away the hassle and stress of mealtimes. How To Meal Prep: Once a week, plan what you want to eat for the next few days, including recipes and snacks (this can be on a weekend or weekday, depending on your schedule). Choose two or three recipes or meals that you that you will be making for the week (you can make larger portions of a recipe to have leftovers for another day!). Make a shopping list with everything you need for the meals you plan to make including snacks! Always make sure you have plenty of lettuce and vegetables to easily make into a salad that you can easily make when you are rushed or too tired to cook. When you go to the market, make sure you stick to your list and don’t add unhealthy processed food snacks. The night before or morning of each day, put together food items for your day, assemble as needed. Cut and prepare as much as you can in advance and keep in containers ready to cook when you need it. Place snacks in baggies-keep some with you at work, in your car, and even gym bag so when hunger hits, you have some nutritious food on hand. Stick to your plan! You spent all that time planning and preparing for your meals-don’t ruin it by grabbing a donut during a coffee break. Instead reach for your handy snack of almonds and an apple. Repeat each day by knowing your plan and sticking to it. Congratulate yourself each day for sticking with your plan. Every day of healthy eating is a small step that helps bring you closer to your goal. Make Sure You Are Eating The Right Kinds of FoodIn planning my meals, I make sure to include a variety of healthy foods that nourish my body. I focus on eating a healthy dose of protein and as many vegetables and complex carbs that I can in each meal. Especially since I workout and run regularly, I make sure I have enough protein in my day to help fuel and replenish my body, both pre and post workout. Getting enough adequate protein is not only incredibly satiating, but it has also been shown to aid in weight loss. Benefits of Collagen Protein:Lately I’ve been adding collagen peptides to my eating plan. Collagen peptides are a great source of protein that helps to fuel my body. Adding collagen to my diet gives me the perfect amount of protein for revving my metabolism and maintaining a healthy weight. And collagen peptides have other benefits too such as improving gut health and making my hair and skin glow! I’ve been using Further Food Collagen which has no taste at all and is made from the highest-quality ingredients on the planet: grass-fed, pasture-raised non-GMO collagen peptides. My Daily Meal Plan:On my Instagram, I give ideas on what I eat every day and how to make sure you are getting the right amount of nutrients in your meals. Here is a healthy 1 day meal plan that you can make ahead of time: Breakfast Avocado toast, a banana and almonds. I often add collagen to my tea.ORShakshuka Zoodles (make ahead of time and have multiple days during the week) LunchBok choy and barbeque tofu with chickpeas.OR Salad with Greens, Tomato and Hardboiled eggs Snack Avocado with spices or a handful of almonds. DinnerSalmon on top of a bed of greens with delicata squash and cucumber. OR Paleo Turkey Chili (make ahead of time and have multiple days during the week) DessertHealthy Cookies! This Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookie recipe is delicious! Not only does it use healthy ingredients, but it also it incorporates collagen which provides protein, helps to improve my mood, clear up my skin and keep my weight in check. I love being able to indulge with a treat that tastes great and is good for me! Further Food Collagen Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies1 cup rolled oats1 cup almond flour1 egg1 tablespoon vanilla extract 1.5 teaspoons baking powderDash of salt1 teaspoon cinnamon1/4 cup peanut butter or any nut butter 2 Scoops Further Food Collagen .Mix wet ingredients, then add in dry ingredients. Using cookie scooper, place small scoops on non-stick baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 11 minutes. Enjoy! Whether you want to lose weight or just get healthier, I hope that I can inspire you to try making some changes to your life. My recommendation is to make small, attainable and practical goals (such as making time to meal prep every week!). Taking one small step at a time is better than doing nothing at all. I believe if you plan ahead and nourish your body with nutritious real food, you will start to reap the benefits. Join me as we go through this health journey together! For more ideas on what to eat or to learn more about Melissa’s meal plans, follow her at Melissarifkinnutrition.com or on Instagram @ Confessionofadietitian Further Food Collagen keeps you feeling fuller for longer – Try today!Ready to cut sugar out from your life? Take the #SugarPledge and sign up for our FREE 7-Day Sugar Detox Challenge Want to read more?Inside Melissa Joulwains’ Paleo Kitchen: 14 Essential Gadgets For Real Food Cooking4 Easy and Healthy Meal Prep Recipes to Make This WeekWhy You Should Use an Instant Pot and 3 Paleo Recipes to Get You StartedCurb Sugar Cravings With These 11 Foods *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.