If you want to eat healthy, I feel like being prepared is a huge part of being successful. With kids, work and everything else… I don’t have much time in the mornings to plan out what I am going to eat. I need to pre-plan to have healthy, yummy meals on hand. That’s where my meal prep comes in.
Back in the day, I used to dread the idea of meal prep. I pictured Tupperware’s full of ready-made meals, which grossed me out. The idea of food sitting prepared for days at a time in the fridge is something I was never a fan of. However, I have found ways to make meal prep work, so even if you hate the idea of it, hear me out.
Rethink how you meal prep by preparing elements of a meal, instead of an entire ready-made meal. It is a minor adjustment, but makes a huge difference when it comes to actually using the food. (at least for our family)
Let’s say I prep a ton of roast veggies on Sunday. I can use them for a roasted veggie salad for work. If we are in a rush for dinner I can warm some up in a skillet with seasonings and we can have veggie tacos in under 10 minutes. If the kids wants some broccoli or potatoes as a side dish, I can choose to just warm up those items for them. If we are in the mood for pasta night I can toss in some already prepped zoodles in with the regular noodles as a healthy addition.
So I don’t have full meals prepped, I just have healthy options that can be utilized in a number of different ways to make the week easier.
I start by thinking what I want to eat for the week before I go food shopping. I usually have one or two options for both breakfast and lunch. I have to eat breakfast, but sometimes I don’t have time to make anything so I am always sure to get my regular breakfast items. (English muffins, eggs, etc) and some ingredients for something quick. (usually I have the ingredients on hand to make smoothies and overnight oats)
For lunch, salads are my go-to. I like to keep the components separate and build it in the morning or event at work. I keep the cold elements separate and then warm the veggies up at work before tossing them in. It helps to make sure my salad always tastes fresh. Later in the week, I usually do something like a zoodle salad with tofu and peanut dressing. For zucchini’s, I spiralize the noodles on Sunday and they stay fresh in an airtight container all week until I am ready to use them.
For snacks, I always have bulletproof collagen protein bars and Chia bars on hand for days when I am out of the office for meetings. I also like siggi’s yogurt and Good brand cottage cheese to snack on, I enjoy both with berries and sometimes almond butter. I get home early enough to make dinners, so thankfully I can go with the flow when it comes to that, but I do like to make double batches when I am cooking if possible.
While I do often eat the same foods for months at a time, by having a handful of go-to items for the week, it is easy for me to enjoy healthy meals that keep me full and energized. Meal prep is meant to make your life easier, so whether you prefer fully prepared meals or breaking it up into elements, just try it and find what works best for you. I guarantee you will have fewer takeout orders when you have what you need for a great meal ready to go.