Are you eating real, whole food as much as you’d like?
Nothing is worse than getting home from the office on a long, busy day and discovering that there’s nothing you can throw together quickly for supper, so you resort to making something from a box. Or you’re just too tired and worn down from the day that you don’t feel like cooking at all, so you wind up ordering take-out.
I have found that the easiest way to live a healthy lifestyle and have healthy and delicious meals all week long is by meal prepping once for the whole week.
It saves me time, money, and stress, all the while allowing me to stay on track with eating healthy.
STEP 1: PLAN & SHOP
They say that failing to plan is planning to fail. The key to always having a fridge or freezer full of meals you can prepare in minutes is to plan and prep your meals ahead.
I begin meal planning by deciding which recipes and meals I will prepare for the upcoming week, usually on Saturday mornings (since we go grocery shopping on Saturday afternoon). I then create a shopping list based on the meals and recipes I have chosen, and my husband and I head to the store.
I like using the Plan to Eat app to create my meal plans. You can search for recipes based on the criteria you specify (so you can omit ingredients you may be allergic to, for example). You can also copy recipes from popular food websites right into it, or even import or enter your own recipes. Then you can easily generate a shopping list based on your selected recipes.
STEP 2: PREPARE THE FOOD
I usually do my meal prepping on Sunday afternoons, but you can do it right when you get home from the store if you wish. I start by getting out the items I plan to use for my meal prep. Then I pull up my meal plans and get to washing and prepping!
There are many ways you can pre-prep your meals. Some people throw a bunch of food in gallon-sized bags and then dump one of the meals in the crockpot in the morning or a pan when they get home from work. If this is your thing, you may want to try out Wildtree’s freezer meal workshops. You can purchase pre-made spice and oil kits, then you just buy your protein and veggies and assemble each meal in minutes.
Others assemble and fully cook a couple big meals and then eat the leftovers throughout the week. Some people take a half day and prep all their meals for the month; others do it on a weekly basis. Do whatever works best for you, as long as you do it consistently.
STEP 3: PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER TO MAKE THE RECIPES
For dinners, I typically make two favorite main dishes, which allows me to prepare and freeze in advance making it easy for during the week.
When a recipe calls for sautéed chicken or lean protein, I cook it in big batches in my crock pot, or my new favorite appliance the InstantPot pressure cooker. That way, I am only prepping chicken and/or lean meat once for all the recipes! I store the extra meat in the freezer for use later.
I also like to prepare big batches of roasted veggies that I can eat all week. To make this as easy as possible (and because I’m lazy), I buy pre-cut veggies from the store. Yes this is more expensive, but it’s well worth the extra expense to me. Chopping mountains of vegetables just isn’t my cup of tea. But you can certainly buy your veggies whole and do all the cutting yourself.
STEP 4: PUT IT ALL AWAY!
After all the food is prepped and the recipes are made, I put everything in containers and place it in the fridge (or freezer if I won’t prepare it this week). That way, I have delicious, fresh, whole foods for all meals during the week in minutes.
If planning your meals ahead and creating your shopping list overwhelms you, I can help you get a jumpstart by providing you with weekly custom recipe guides and shopping lists based on your family’s food preferences and allergies. Drop me a line for more information.