Okay today let’s talk about meal prep/planning. I know it can seem overwhelming or even soul-crushing. LOL. I choose not to see it that way. Here’s how I look at it:
- It saves time throughout the week. Meals are ready to go!
- It saves guesswork throughout the week. No wondering what everyone is going to eat.
- It saves money one by cooking from scratch but also from going out in a pinch.
- It’s fun. I put music on and maybe even add in a glass of wine. Once I commit to it, I enjoy it.
- It’s a great way to be active on the weekend. It gets you off the couch and gets you mentally prepared and ready for the coming week.
- It’s good family time. Chris grills and the kids help pack their lunches. We do it together and we all have buy in for what we are eating. It’s empowering but it’s also a way to teach/learn about nutrition and healthy habits.
So, with that said let me lay out my process. Everyone does it differently according to what works for them.
- I do one meal at a time. I am a “great” multitasker but not the best finisher. So I have to MAKE myself finish one thing at a time. That way if I do get interrupted or side tracked, something might’ve gotten done! That means doing the dishes too.
- First I bake oatmeal muffins and/or pancakes for the week/month depending on how ambitious I am feeling. Everyone but me eats them for breakfast. I also used to bake egg muffins for the week as well. But I like them fresh and once I got the habits down I was able to work back to having time/willpower to make my eggs, toast and spinach each day. Everyone but me eats their oatmeal whatever, fruit and greek yogurt for breakfast (except on the weekends when I make breakfast tacos and french toast).
- Then I season/cook the meats and veges for the week. That typically means chicken breasts and lean hamburger meat. The chicken breasts I usually use kickin’ chicken by weber and the meat is either chicago steakhouse by the same or fajita seasoning (sliders or fajita bowls). Veges get olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Pack lunches.
- Kids: Every other day, the kids get meat (With ranch or ketchup, go with what works!), cheese, vege (typically green beans/broccoli/carrots), fruit (grapes/pineapple/unsweetened applesauce) and some sort of carb (crackers typically). On the off days they get PB&J (healthiest bread they will stand/I can afford. Zach WILL eat Ezekiel bread along with sugar free/natural as possible pb&j) along with the fruit & vege.
- Adults: Meat & vege. That means either chicken and veges (Squash/broccoli/etc) or burrito bowl with veges like onions, tomatoes, jalapeños, etc). Chris gets double meat & veges and a carb (rice, bread, pita) because he is two calorie levels up.
- We get everything prepped/organized/planned for dinners. I typically cook dinner each night but when I don’t I will prep freezer meals whether they are going in the crockpot OR in the oven.
- Finish dishes, put everything
away, take picture and pat myself on the back. LOL
That’s how I do it. What are your tips, strategies, ideas, questions?
Here are some links for how other people do it as well! I am fascinated by this process because I’m weird. Maybe you’d like to read about how others do it too. I love meal prep pictures. Organization porn is my weakness.