Just here for the recipes? Scroll to the bottom!
Meal prep is not chicken, rice, and broccoli at every meal.
Meal prep is not eating the same meal five days in a row.
Meal prep is not spending your weekend in the kitchen.
Meal prep is not weighing and measuring every ounce of food.
Meal prep IS setting yourself up to make healthy choices throughout the week.
Meal prep IS a huge time saver during the chaos of the work week.
Meal prep IS a creative outlet for foodies who just don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen every day.
Meal prep keeps YOU in control of your nutrition and gives you the power to say ‘no’ to the workroom treats and the spontaneous lunch outings.
And, friends, meal prep absolutely does not have to be boring. So many people tell me that they don’t meal prep because they either don’t have the time or they’d be bored of eating the same thing over and over. I thought the same thing a while back, but it turns out I was doing it all w r o n g. Keep reading for all the meal prep tips and hacks I’ve learned since then!
*NOTE: If you have children, I h i g h l y recommend getting them involved in this process! Let them be a part of portioning snacks or washing fruit. They will enjoy it [hopefully], but they will also be more excited to make the healthier choices throughout the week if they’ve played a part in preparing the food. This is a GREAT way to actively involve them in a healthy lifestyle!
Okay, here’s how it usually goes down . . .
I do a weekly grocery haul at the end of the work week, spend about an hour prepping a few meals on Sunday morning, and then do another mini-prep halfway through the week.
I love spending a little time getting creative in the kitchen, but the time it saves me every day is the #1 reason as to why it’s become such a habitual part of my lifestyle!
Scroll to the bottom for 3 of my frequent favorite meal prep recipes!
How To Meal Prep
1. Search Pinterest for 3-5 healthy meals (and a few healthy snack options) and plan when you’ll eat them throughout the week. I usually pick 1-2 for lunches and 2-3 for dinners. I make enough to have leftovers so that I’m not cooking every evening.
2. Frozen vegetables (without any sauce or seasoning!!) are your friend! They are super easy to throw in the microwave for a few minutes and add to any meal. I’m a huge fan of the steam-in-bag broccoli, green peas, and green beans.
3. Make a grocery list of everything you’ll need, head to the grocery store, and stick to your list!
4. If you have time immediately after shopping, wash your fruits and vegetables and cut them up/prep them to be ready to eat. You’re more likely to eat the strawberries and cucumbers if they’ve already been washed and cut. If you know you’re going to sauté the bell peppers for fajitas later in the week, go ahead and chop them up so they’ll be ready to go. *If you don’t have time for this right away, this will be the first thing you do when you begin your prepping over the weekend.*
Weekend Meal Prep:
*Be prepared to devote about an hour of your weekend to this . . . but know that it will save you so much more time than that during the week!*
1. This is the time to get your lunches ready for the first part of the week and portion out any snacks. I usually make enough lunches to last through Wednesday during this prep OR I’ll go ahead and prep both lunch recipes and alternate them throughout the week.
Very rarely do I eat the same meal 5 days in a row.
If I’m only making lunches for the first part of the week, I know we’ll be taking dinner leftovers at the end of the week, or I’ll do a quick mini-prep Wednesday evening to make the second lunch recipe.
As far as snacks go, I’ll clean/cut my fruits and vegetables and portion them in snack-sized baggies to throw in my lunchbox, whip up a batch of PB & Honey Bites, and/or mix up a trail mix and portion it out for grab-and-go snacks.
2. Prep the protein! If I know it’s going to be a busy week, I’ll go ahead and cook several lean protein options to make dinners throughout the week super easy and ready to throw together quickly.
I’m always thinking ahead, so if we happen to fire up the grill over the weekend, I’ll throw some extra chicken breasts or turkey burgers on so they’ll be available for easy meals during the week.
I might cook a couple pounds of lean ground turkey taco meat on Sunday and make several different meals out of it that week . . . tacos, enchilada bake, bowls, etc. Shredded crockpot chicken breasts might be buffalo chicken with rice one night and barbecue chicken with Greek yogurt mashed potatoes another night. Keep it simple so that you can easily add variety at each meal!
Mid-Week Mini Prep
1. I use this time to re-package dinner leftovers for Thursday and Friday lunches, make another batch of PB & Honey Bites, or throw together the second lunch recipe I bought for (if needed). This is not a huge prep . . . just getting together a few fresh meals/snacks to finish out the week. Again, I rarely eat the same meal 5 days in a row . . . so I enjoy the variety that comes with the mid-week prep.
I also find that I feel less overwhelmed by the task of ‘meal prepping’ over the weekend when I know that I’ll have another chance mid-week to put a few more things together.
3 Easy Recipes
*served with white rice and steamed broccoli*
*topped with green onion and blue cheese crumbles*
Which one are you going to try first?! Leave your favorites in the comments! I’m always looking to try new things!
Here’s to a happy and healthy week!
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