When you hear the term meal prep, what thoughts start to come into your mind?
- I don’t have time for that.
- I hate cooking.
- I’ve tried that in the past and it didn’t work.
- I don’t like eating the same thing every day.
- It’s too much work.
- I’m not good at cooking or meal prep.
- I don’t know how to meal prep.
I, too, have had many of these thoughts and they held me back from getting back into a good routine with meal prepping. They are probably holding you back as well which is holding you back from looking and feeling your best.
As we started the new year, I began asking myself some questions. Two of those questions were…
- What’s working right now?
- What’s not working?
To be honest, one of the things that wasn’t working was what I was eating and the low level of stress around food. I’m not just talking about all the holiday treats. In general, what I was doing or really not doing in terms of meal planning and prepping was not working.
My meal planning and preparation has been more “off” than “on” for the last several years. I really got off track when we were in the process of selling our house in 2017, moved to temporary housing, and then moved into our current home. I got out of the habit and routine of meal prepping, and I started to rely on more convenience foods and the hot bar at our local co-op.
Once we moved, I told myself I could always run home quick for lunch and I no longer had a 30-minute commute so I didn’t really have to know what was for dinner. Let’s just say that didn’t really serve me either.
Then, quarantine hit and we were home all the time. No need to meal plan and prep then, right? Wrong.
Even with being home all the time when meal time came I wasn’t always in the mood to chop vegetables and cook a meal. Once again this led to more convenience foods, fewer vegetables, and more snacking than my body would prefer.
As we transitioned from 2020 to 2021, I made a decision that I needed to create and find my rhythm with meal planning and prepping again. It is something that I can control and by doing so I will decrease my stress, give myself a sense of peace, and move closer to my goals. I realized one of the things I was doing consistently when I looked and felt my best was meal planning and preparation. Isn’t that interesting?
If you want to lose weight, improve your health, and feel better, meal planning and preparation needs to be something you do.
I know that it’s going to take me a little while to establish a routine that works for me and feels good. I also know that I need a plan for when I’m unable to follow my routine. All of that will come. Right now I am focused on PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION!!!
The first thing I did was get some new glass containers to put the food I prepared into. CLICK HERE for the ones I got. I love them! I use these glass containers for leftovers. It really does help to have the proper tools to set yourself up for success.
My next step is to choose a consistent time when I can look at healthy meal prep recipes, plan our meals, and create a grocery list. I know that it needs to be the same time every week and I’m still figuring out when that will be. I’ll likely try a few different options to see which one will work best.
I’ll need to do that same thing for grocery shopping, and the actual meal prep. All three of these actions will become weekly appointments in my calendar. Some of you may think this is too rigid. It’s the opposite…it will bring me more peace and calm because I will know exactly when I’m going to do it. And if there is a week I need to move it, then I will.
Honestly, this is how you become consistent and successful with anything. Those of you that workout consistently know this!
I want to encourage and nudge you to do at least a little meal planning and preparation. When you do, at mealtime you either already have food prepared or you have a plan to quickly and easily get food on the table.
How To Get Started With Meal Preparation And Planning
- Plan out your dinners for the week and actually write them down.
- After you grocery shop, wash and cut up vegetables & fruit so they are ready to eat.
- Cook a bunch of protein all at once. You could start by grilling chicken breast or making shredded chicken via your Instant Pot.
- Roast a lot of vegetables all at once. You can do any combination of broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, squash, etc.
- Make a soup or stew and then freeze a couple of servings to have at a later time.
10 Best Healthy Meal Prep Recipes To Get Started
Southwestern Quinoa Salad by Fed and Fit
Roast Chicken Soup w/Roasted Vegetables by Against All Grain
Waldorf Chicken Salad by The Real Food Dieticians
Sheet Pan Mini Meatloaf by The Real Food Dieticians
Feta Spinach Grilled Turkey Burgers by The Real Food Dieticians
Fall Breakfast Hash by The Transformation Life
Rutabaga Sausage & Kale Breakfast Sausage by Vibrant Life Army Wife
Meal Prep Meatballs by The Real Food Dieticians
Gluten Free Rainbow Meatloaf by Grassfed Girl
Carrot Pumpkin Spice Muffins by Balanced Bites
I hope you enjoy these recipes!
In Health & Happiness,