I am SO excited to see such a great response from ya’ll about me starting to share more on here about Meal Planning & Food Prepping tips n’ tricks! I figured today’s post would be the perfect way to follow last week’s How to Start Meal Planning post.
How Do You START Food Prepping?
I started food prepping back in college and it’s only grown with me as my lifestyle has changed into a full-time working career. I’m just like most everyone else and DO NOT want to spend half my week day prepping breakfast/lunch for the next day or dinner that night. And I most certainly do not have the money to spend going out to eat for lunch every day and that’s not always healthy either. So I make sure every weekend to take a little time to prep at least some snacks for my week, a few things for dinner and my necessities for my lunch.
1. Start by prepping the ONE thing you wish you had every day.
This is my NUMBER ONE tip for everyone who always asks me how to start food prepping! — Are you one of those people who are starving mid-morning but have nothing to eat so you go out to lunch and eat till you’re stuffed? Only to come back to the office to feel sleepy and tired the rest of the afternoon. Well stop that silly. Prep a mid-morning snack on Sunday to take with you to work each day. Such as make up some homemade granola bars, baked egg cups, homemade trail mix, etc. Or if you wish you had an afternoon snack, vice versa. Pack something to hold you over until dinner; homemade granola bars, crackers and cheese, an apple with almond butter, etc.
2. Prep what will take you the longest during the weeknights to make.
For instance, if I’m having a stir-fry with brown rice, I don’t want to wait for the brown rice to cook before I start cooking my stir-fry. Let’s face it, I just don’t have that kind of time after work and my stomach is growling. So I make sure to prep a batch of brown rice on Sunday and will often make it a larger batch to have with other meals throughout the week. For the most part, grains take awhile so I always prep those and if I’m planning to make a dish that has a lot of vegetables I chop those ahead of time too.
3. Start with EASY items to prep.
Perhaps my favorite thing to prep (and you’ve probably seen it a million times) is a crock-pot chicken. I buy an organic chicken on Sunday then stick it in the crockpot with some chicken broth, EVOO and seasonings and let it cook on high all afternoon. That makes plenty of cooked chicken for my lunches throughout the week and I could even do a pulled chicken dish with the leftovers. Baked egg cups is another easy dish to prep that takes little time or effort. Simple spray a muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray and crack an egg in the muffin cup. Season with black pepper and sea salt and bake on 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. If you want to add a little more protein line the edges with turkey bacon before baking!
If you start with easy dishes you’ll find you enjoy food prepping and will eventually add more and more things to your list to prep ahead of time!
4. Make a big meal for Sunday night so you have leftovers for the week.
Another easy way to start food prepping is to simply make a large meal for your Sunday night dinner. If you double the recipe (even if you’re feeding a family) you’ll have leftovers that you can have for lunch the next day or dinner in a few days! No added hassle and you’ve made plenty of food for multiple days!
Okay so with my tips on meal planning & now food prepping I challenge you this weekend to take 25 minutes to yourself, the grocery ads and your recipes and create a mini meal plan and food prep list. It doesn’t have to be for the whole week even if that’s overwhelming for you. Just aim to prep enough food and plan your meals for 3 days and see how much time and money you save yourself! Now you can actually go on a walk in the evening to clear your head and go to bed earlier to get that beauty rest needed to tackle the next day! Plus you’ll notice a difference in how your body will feel during the day by fueling it with REAL food. Especially when you eat every 3-4 hours. You’ll keep your engines running all day long with little to no afternoon crash.
Any further questions about food prepping or meal planning, as always, feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out to me on twitter @brittsblurbs! XOXO