MEAL PREP 101
Most of us reading this right now have some sort of job (and being a mom counts as a job) and struggle with the concept of lunch; WHAT to eat, finding the TIME to eat, proximity of food, peer pressure, etc. Preparing meals ahead of time (aka Meal Prepping) for the week can alleviate these stressors and provide so much more. Your health AND wallet will thank you.
Meal Prep 101
- Purchase quality containers
- Plan your meals
- Prepare your meals
Purchase quality containers. If you like shopping, then this will definitely spark some excitement for the meal prep process! Containers can either be glass or plastic, but make sure that the plastic containers are BPA free and won’t fall apart in the microwave. Buying multiple containers of the same size can reduce the headache of mismatched/lost lids and can save space in cabinets. Containers are available online and in a variety of stores: Amazon, Costco, Target, TJ Maxx, etc. As silly as it may sound, find containers that inspire you, that way you will be more likely to USE them
Plan your meals. “Planning” may seem like a daunting task, so let’s simplify it. Each meal should include a combination of protein, carbohydrates (starch) and vegetables. Basic combinations can include: chicken/sweet potatoes/green beans…tofu/rice/broccoli…eggs/potatoes/spinach….fish/quinoa/carrots. You can also mix multiple vegetables together to create a salad base, and then toss in a carbohydrate source and protein. A favorite of mine includes: kale, carrots, red cabbage, quinoa and chickpeas tossed in a dressing (olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic salt, white wine vinegar). You can always google ideas, follow social media accounts and ask around to find great ideas!
Fish (tuna, salmon)
Whole grain pasta
Prepare your meals. Set a calendar reminder and stick to it! The time depends on your plan, but allow for about 2 hours. Set your containers out and prepare enough food for x days needed. If you make extra, save it for a dinner! Have fun in the kitchen and experiment. In the beginning, it may seem overwhelming (especially with all of the dirty dishes!), but over time the process will become easier and you will become more efficient (meal prep master status). In the meantime, time savers include: Rotisserie chicken, canned beans, microwaveable vegetables, etc. Meal prepping doesn’t just include lunch. You can also prepare meat, cut up vegetables, etc for easy to make/eat dinners during the week. This is just the beginning my friends.