How many times have you been overwhelmed with what to cook and what to eat that you end up ordering take out or binge on a bag of chips until you come up with a better solution?
Let me introduce you to meal prepping – it’s not just for fitness competitors or for people who are really strict about their eating (although if you fall into one of these categories you likely already do this), but it’s also for the single businesswoman/man who lives alone and wants to cook but always has too many left overs or the busy mom who is juggling a million tasks that when dinner roles around it’s easier to order from a drive-thru.
My husband and I fall into all of the above categories. I’m not only a fitness competitor and strict about my diet, but we’re both super busy and have unpredictable schedules. After we first got married, Nick would call me around 5:30 every night asking what we were doing for dinner, but when I would get home around 7:00 he would be passed out with a bag of Doritos over his face. I knew there had to be a better option to fuel our bodies and manage our schedules.
Meal prep can be as healthy or traditional as you want it to be – that’s the beauty of it – you can mold it to your tastes and your schedule! It takes a little getting used to as you figure out how many proportions of meats/carbs/veggies you’ll need to last the week and what foods last for longer than a few days in the fridge/freezer without spoiling, but it’s totally worth it in the end.
To give you an idea of how this works for us, on either Saturday or Sunday, we discuss what we liked from the week before, what our fitness goals are for the week ahead and make a shopping list/menu that we will eat for the week. This usually consists of 3 meats, 2 carbs, and 2 veggies. We’ll type up our list, print it out, and tackle the grocery store together. We’re usually in and out within 30 minutes and spend the next 3 hours cooking together everything we’ll consume for the entire week. The rest of the week we reheat and eat, reheat and eat. Breakfast is always made fresh (unless we do a quiche or protein pancakes) and if we want something else for dinner we might make that – but usually we don’t stray because we have more than enough food. 3 hours – that’s it… do you know how much time I have back during my mornings and nights that no longer revolves around food? Also, not to mention, how much happier our wallets are?
My advice is to try it – even for a week or two to see if this works for your schedule. If you make a chili and you live alone – freeze the rest! If you want to keep your food even fresher cook Saturdays and Wednesdays!
On our menu this week? Balsamic crockpot chicken, Spinach protein pancakes with homemade strawberry jam, cajun chicken, quinoa/brown rice blend, sweet potato fries, mixed green salad, asparagus, hard boiled eggs, supreme ground beef with mushrooms/onions/green peppers! What are you eating this week?