Meal Prep – the act of planning, preparing and packaging your meals in advance. In the upcoming week, meal prep will help you eat clean, control portions and plan for treats. Preparing food for the week has been a big key to healthy living for me.
With many of us aspiring to live a healthy lifestyle while still navigating a busy life, meal prep is one thing that you can do for yourself that will give you some control and help you make better decisions.
Rather than stopping by the drive thru or ordering some less that stellar take out, meal prepping lets you decide ahead of time what you will eat.
Start with a Plan
Starting with a plan is critical for success at meal prep. Planning your menu and making a list of the groceries you need will help you achieve meal prep success. Get meal ideas from your family members. Most importantly, write it down.
Keep it Simple
Find the type of meal prepping that is best for you. Don’t start by planning to prep for the whole week. So if that means for you, prepping your breakfast then just do that. Then you can add more meals as you master the art of meal prep.
How I handle food prep:
I typically have hard boiled eggs or a breakfast casserole on hand along with avocados and fruit for at least to meals per week. Other breakfasts might be smoothies or a gluten free waffle with peanut butter and honey.
Lunch – lunch meat, cut up veggies, chips and fruit are staples in our kitchen so we can make a quick wrap or sandwich. Some days we will eat leftovers.
Dinner – Cooking is my jam – it relaxes me. I plan all dinners for the week (including going out or takeout) and make sure we have the groceries. When I finish my work day, I take a break and then cook.
C A U T I O N
Pinterest!! Yes, it is beautiful and makes you feel a bit like Ina Garten or Bobby Flay. Choose your recipes wisely. Focus on recipes that have foods and other ingredients that you are familiar with or are a “deconstructed” meal that you like.
For example – TACOS. One of the easiest meals I started food prepping is a turkey “taco” bowl. So easy. Another family favorite is Sweet Potato and Turkey Hash.
5 Reasons Meal Prep Benefits Healthy Living
Let me share the reasons I am a firm believer that meal prep will benefit your healthy living journey:
- Alleviate “decision fatigue”. We make hundreds of decisions every day. By the end of the day, deciding what to cook and eat should not be a decision that you NEED to make. By having something simple prepped at home…BOOM! Decision made. Also, having this decision made will lower your stress level.
- Meal prepping teaches you portion control and makes you aware of the food you are putting in your body. Let me show you how – if a recipe shows that it makes 4 servings – then you portion out 4 servings – not 2 or 3! Seeing the food properly portioned into a container makes you more aware of how much you are consuming. All of this helps you lose or maintain your weight.
- Quality control is in your hands. You control the type and quality of the ingredients you are preparing. You can create healthy and nutritious dishes that you love.
- Save money. Just purchasing the groceries that you need for the week will create less waste and you will spend less money. This helps to alleviate additional trips to the grocery store reducing impulse purchases. And you will be eating out less.
- It helps you prioritize healthy living. When you take the time to plan, prepare and consume the meals you prepped, you are saying yes to a healthy lifestyle.
Check out these blog post for additional meal prep recipes:
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