HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Blogs, online guides and social media frenzies. Advice on meal prepping continues to sweep the nation. WDAM takes you outside of the online culture and behind the scenes of the Birdhouse Cafe. It’s a nutrient powerhouse with a simple goal, “Love, nourish, inspire,” motivated by Chef Katie Dixon.
“My love for cooking started at a very young age," Katie Dixon said. "My love for cooking nutrient dense foods it my teens actually. I was wanting to play college sports and so I wanted to start fueling my body with the best ingredients.”
From that time, Chef Katie Dixon has transformed into an expert chef with a well balanced proficiency list. Not only is she a certified personal trainer, She was a finalist on Masterchef season 7 and Food Network Star season 14. Dixon opened Birdhouse Cafe in Hattiesburg back in 2017, which offers a diverse assortment of power foods offering a full service meal prep program.
“I’ve got some examples of that today," Dixon said. "But, I also want to tell you even if we don’t provide you with meals here at the Birdhouse, how you actually can meal prep in your home and the things that meal prepping will actually bring into your life.”
There are many benefits to meal prepping, Dixon outlines a few.
“You will have more time," Dixon said. "It’s actually going to save you money and you are going to be controlling your portions.”
And you don't have constantly eat the same bland foods.
“For instance, one big thing that I like to tell clients is you can really spice things up in the kitchen with your spices," Dixon said. "These spices add a little bit of heat. Red pepper flakes actually raises the metabolism. So, these are great to throw in for a little extra spice. Use international flair, use some curries, make a Chinese dish. Here we have a Korean barbecue dish with green beans and an egg on the side. Here we actually have a stir fry. It’s a friend cauliflower rice, so if you are carb sensitive it’s a good alternative. So, we actually use cauliflower to make a fried rice, lots of vegetables and the protein coming from the chicken.”
Map out your meals adjusting your portions to a healthier standard.
“A great breakfast option is a chia pudding parfait and here I make fresh juices," Dixon said. "So, you can make your juices ahead of time. All of these things you can prep on a Saturday or Sunday. Go to the grocery store, buy the ingredients you need, you’re prepping out your meals for the week, saving money, saving time and having foods that really fuel your body.”
Restaurant bills throughout the weeks can add up, Dixon said this is a way to be cost efficient.
“Most people think that when you are eating healthy it’s going to cost more money," Dixon said. "But, if you are meal prepping you are buying the ingredients you need, you are cooking them together and you will use them during the week. An average meal here, if you prepped them and made them, you are looking at slicing half the price off of going in a restaurant and actually ordering a meal. These are examples here of really good portions of a lunch or a dinner.”
Keep it colorful.
“You’ve got your healthy fats, you’ve got your vegetables, your carbohydrates and your protein," Dixon said. "You want a good balance. You want balance in your diet and balance in life. If you have questions about portion sizes for your body you can always consult your health care provider. But, these are great examples of what a healthy plate of food looks like.”
With the holidays around the corner Dixon said this is the best time to meal prep. So you have 80 percent of your healthy meals planned throughout the week and you won't be as likely to splurge as much during the hectic holiday parties.
Low carb, keto, plant based, meal prepping is your creation for your body.
“So, if any of you have asked the question, ‘How do I meal prep,’ I hope today has been a little encouraging to you," Dixon said. "You can do it. Just get in the kitchen and have fun. You’re going to save time, you’re going to be able to do things during the week you weren’t able to do. The stress of your meals of the day when you are trying to eat healthy over the holidays, it’s going to be easier. You’re actually going to save money. Who doesn’t want to save money! Because you are going to be controlling what you put in the grocery cart. You’re going to have a balanced meal and feel your best. I promise you, if you have any questions about meal prepping or you are too busy during the holidays to do so, come see us at the Birdhouse Cafe. Our team is willing to help.”
Check out Chef Katie Dixon’s tips on meal prepping on her blog. Click here to get started.