I preface this post by disclosing to you that I do not have a Ph.D. in nutrition nor do I consider myself an expert on nutrition. This post is NOT about nutrition. It is about meal prep. I have adopted this practice and carry it out every week without fail. I want to share with you my method so hopefully your life might be a little easier too. My family has continued this tradition now for more than 2 years and it has truly been a life saver.
Meal prepping is a way I keep certain amounts of protein in my diet. It is a time saver, cheap, and keeps my family from eating out during the week. Those are the main reasons that I spend a few hours in the kitchen on Sunday. Meal prepping basically makes my life livable during the week, with work, piano lessons, soccer practice, softball practice and my kiddos homework. I like to NOT stress about a clean home cooked dinner.
Basically any diet or program you follow can be pre-prepared. So I have a few things that I consider must-know’s when meal prepping.
- Keep it simple. Ridiculously simple.
- Make stuff that you like.-DUH, seems easy but this could be a tricky trap.
- Prep with your spouse, get them involved the more people on board the easier it will be to stick to what you have cooked. Have him grill, or chop, or open the wine. (sometimes we have wine on meal prep day). not necessarily recommended.
- Make it a habit and make things that are easy to repeat and reproduce.
- Set goals associated with saving money from taking your lunch vs buying it. 10$ a day = 50$ a week = 200$ a month. That my friend is a really nice pair of shoes, dinner, or your hair appointment okay! Why would that not be worth brown bagging it during the week? Plus this keeps me focused. Nothing is more motivating than money, right?
When I say keep it simple it is because anyone who has ever meal prepped, the first time, goes out and buys 6 million dollars worth of groceries. Enough so, that a small country couldn’t consume all of it in one week. They google all of these complex “healthy” recipes. Spend 18 hours in the kitchen cooking, then have to order a pizza for dinner because they are exahsted. YOU ARE SETTING YOURSELF UP FOR FAILURE. NO ONE will ever repeat that kind of routine on a weekly basis for the long haul. It is unsustainable. The less ingredients the better. I totally recommend to keep your prep to 2-3 options of protein a week and 2-3 vegtable options. That way the next week you can change out your protein and veggies and your menu doesn’t get dull.
I make things that I am excited to eat. Like, when Its time for lunch, I’m starving for what I brought. I get asked to eat out constantly and it doesn’t make me think twice when I know what I brought is the bomb, and clean, and loaded with protein and delicious and earning me some extra cash for the end of the month.
There are certain foods that I don’t meal prep for the week because they may turn watery or become un-appealing after a few days. Personally, I don’t like fish after day 2 and if I make my veggies steamed they seem to get gross quick. That is why I roast or sautée the majority of my veggies. I can eat pretty much anything that I make for the entire week with little problem though, I am not picky and I can shove anything in my face, drink some water and move on.
My husband and I turn on the jam’s and split-up our prep. Its fun and we used to dread doing it, now it is a couple hours that the kids usually leave us alone and we can have some adult conversation.
A few of my absolute favorite things to meal prep:
- Ground Turkey plain or in meatloaf form
- Brisket(high in fat) works good for low carb though
- Organic uncured sliced sausage
Obviously you can steam or sauté any veggie under the sun and it is going to be better than traditional carbs, or processed food. But I have a few specialty things that I make almost every week I love them so much, these DO NOT get old to me.
- Asparagus sautéed in olive oil or coconut oil with onions and a slice or two of chopped uncured bacon.
- Shredded brussel sprouts in coconut oil sautéed and burned a little bit
- Fried cauliflower rice…..seriously amazing.
- Veggie stir-fry including purple and white onions, asparagus, bel peppers-I like to use multi-color, a large zucchini diced, a large squash diced. Add coconut aminos or brags liquid aminos and some flavored olive oil, your life will never be the same.
- Sweet potato with coconut oil. (if you are feeling clean carby)
These veggies are a little out of the box but I do occasionally go back to some steamed carrots or roasted broccoli and cauliflower even steamed broccoli. I seriously ate steamed broccoli for 5 straight months, 2 meals a day, so I have been taking a small break from the regular steamed broccoli routine.
It takes a little bit of discipline but once you have been doing it for a few months it turns into your NORM and I cannot even remember what it was like before I started meal-prepping. I buy meal prep containers off of Amazon, super cheap and they are super durable.
I’d love to hear your feedback or questions!