3 Ways to Start Meal Prepping
Updated: Dec 23, 2021
When I say meal prep, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Let me guess… .ain't nobody got time to meal prep! I can barely make one meal, never mind thinking ahead to multiple meals! I don't want to spend my weekends in the kitchen!
Am I close here? Well, if you think of any of these things, then this blog is for you! When I first started to "meal prep," that is exactly what I thought too. I would spend hours planning what meals to make, grocery shop and then make 3 or 4 full meals every weekend. I did this for three weeks in a row, and I hated it! I was super tired come Monday morning, and I didn't have any fun all weekend! It sucked!
I loved the idea of being organized enough to be able to pull out a meal, and all I had to do was throw it in the oven, but it wasn't realistic for me. Just when I was going to abandon the idea of meal prepping completely, I thought to myself does it have to be all or nothing? Or is there a middle ground here? Turns out there is!
I decided to calm my "meal prep" way the fuck down and only do three things.
Plan my meals for the week. I got my kids and husband involved in this, and it is super fun! I get out my meal prep book (Google meal prep organizer, and you can find one that works for you), and I ask them what they want for dinner. Everyone gets to choose a meal! And all of the decisions are not on me. As a working mom, that's all I do all day long, make decisions and sometimes even the smallest decision like what's for dinner is too much at the end of the day. This way, they all get a say, and the inevitable dinner groan is avoided. Also, I get to rest my noggin! It's a win-win.
I make a grocery list ahead of time. I add everything I need to make my meals, snacks for the kiddos and anything I am running low on. When I'm shopping, I am more focused on the things that I need, and I avoid the additional snacks calling me hither. Making a grocery list also reduces food waste and saves you money as you are purchasing the things you need, everything gets used, nothing is spoiled.
Cut up my fruit and veggies when I get home from shopping. I make this part of the routine. I put away everything but my fruit and veggies, then chop it all up when my space is clear. It takes about 20 min extra but let me tell you; it's worth it.
Chopping veggies ahead of time ends up saving me so much time in the long run. Whenever I want a snack, I'm more inclined to reach for the veggies that are already cut up, throw some hummus on the plate...voila!
Getting the kids' lunches ready is super simple, with the fruit all cut up. I just throw it in the bento box and fini!
Also making meals is sooo much easier. Just throw the veggies in with your protein and carbs, and bam, dinner is served.
If you want to try meal planning, but it seems very overwhelming, take it slow. Start by chopping up the whole pepper, even if you use only half for your spaghetti sauce. That way, you can reach for the already chopped pepper instead of a granola bar when you are feeling peckish.
It truly doesn't have to be all or nothing; there is a middle ground. You just have to find what works for you and your lifestyle.