Meal Prep can be a little intimidating but it is SO worth it when you have food ready everyday. I know for me if I don’t have food ready and I am tired I will just run out and grab something. There is nothing wrong with #treatyoself but I don’t want to have to do that everyday. Every week I help my boyfriend meal prep while I meal prep for myself. He eats more of a paleo style and I eat more plant based. I will go into detail about how to start a meal prep day.
The first thing to do with meal prepping is to plan your meals. I categorize the list by: vegetables/fruit, Other, meat/meat substitute, freezer items, and dairy (if you eat dairy) or if you plan on getting a dairy alternative. I start with looking at recipe books and Pinterest. This often gets me into a creative zone and I come up with my own meals but I wouldn’t experiment on meal prep days, you’re already in the kitchen for awhile and you don’t want to have to throw everything away because you accidentally made it taste bad (me lol). My biggest tip is to listen to a podcast or a book while you shop, it makes it a nice and relaxing time. Also there is this app called Any list and it is a game changer! It puts everything in its own category and you can tap items to hide them and then for your next grocery trip, you can tap them to reappear so you don’t have to write it again (I am not the greatest explainer haha). You can also share this app with your family and they can add to it at anytime. It saves you from hearing “Aw I wanted donuts, not kale”. Always look in your fridge and pantry to cross off anything you have. This saves you from having double of everything and you won’t have to throw things out that went bad. My last thing to do before I leave for the store is clean out the fridge. You don’t have to deep clean it but make sure you throw away rotten food to make room for your new fresh food. When you make your food accessible you will be more eager to eat it. The same goes for your pantry. I have most of my things in jars, it helps keep everything together and I can take the jars to the store to fill up. I will do an entire blog post on how to best organize your pantry.
Now when it comes to cooking in bulk don’t go crazy. Save the cool recipes for the weekend with your family or friends. What works for me is picking 1 breakfast, 2 lunches, 2-3 dinners but I am cooking for a few people. My boyfriend is only cooking for himself so we pick 1 breakfast and 3 meals that he can rotate between lunch and dinner. I get bored easily so I like to add a little more. Once we live together I will make food that he can just add meat to or he can be left to feed himself :p.
When you are picking out your week stick to a protein, carb and vegetable. You can always add a dressing to add flavor. My boyfriend could eat turkey, rice and veggies all day but thats a big nope from me. I have to have FLAVOR. There are simple ways to do that, spices and herbs! I could do an entire different post about spices but I will keep it short. If you can invest in spices then you will change your life. We go to our local co-op and get clean spices and fill up our spice jars. Most of the spices you get from the store are fillers, that’s why they are so cheap. Now if you don’t want to invest in spices you can make sure to ALWAYS have fresh garlic on hand. instead of just plain rice you could cook onion, add parsley, salt and pepper.
Go to my Pinterest where I have saved tons of plant based foods and paleo style foods to get meal prep ideas. Remember to have fun with it and make sure to have a few hours in the kitchen. Also don’t be set on making everything from scratch, if you can find something frozen that has clean ingredients freaking go for it!