So, I’ve had at least three conversations in the past week or so with clients about meal prepping. Since this is a hot topic I thought I’d write about it!
Here’s the problems:
- Knowledge of what to do and how to do it
- Actually pulling it off
- Schedule changes
- Picky eaters
- Food spoiling before it gets eaten
- Not liking to cook
People have told me about all these struggles and more during sessions. And yes, meal planning does take time, energy, and follow through to be successful. But, it will pay off in the end more than you might realize.
Here’s a few ideas to help you get started:
1. Understand why you want to meal prep
Why has this crossed your mind in the first place? Are you trying to save money, eat healthier, or lose weight? What’s your purpose in putting forth the effort?
This might seem like an unrelated piece to the puzzle. However, research has shown that if you don’t have a strong purpose behind your goal then you’re a whole lot less likely to follow through. So, why are you wanting to meal prep?
2. Talk to your family (if applicable) about what meals they like
Getting the others in your household involved will help them to feel a sense of ownership on the choices (great for kids and husbands)! This conversation also allows you to discuss the schedule for the upcoming week to see if there will be any conflicts around meal times. Everyone is involved and everyone has a say. This helps picky eaters too!
3. Make a plan
I do encourage you to plan on Thursday or Friday so that you will be able to have Saturday or Sunday to do the shopping and prepping. Adjust this to meet your needs. Perhaps, you’re off work on Mondays so that’s the day you want to do your shopping and prepping. Whatever works! The important thing is to have a plan.
You might have heard the quote, “If you fail to plan then you plan to fail” (source unknown). So make a plan and work your plan.
If you need help with ideas you can try a meal planning service like one of the following:
Forks Meal Planner – a plant based meal plan
emeals – a variety of meal plans available
Or visit my Pinterest recipe page for recipes I use in my planning
4. Shop and Prep
Do your grocery shopping! And if there’s anything you need to prep – meaning chop, cook, put together… – before the busy week then do that before the craziness begins. Be prepared.
This is also a time when you could possibly even double some recipes to put in the freezer for the future.
If you’re concerned about prepping or cooking food and then it going bad before you eat it read this article about the shelf life of food.
5. Follow through with the plan
So, you’ve done all this work. Now, make the plan work for you. Follow through. Don’t give in to the, “I’m too tired to cook,” or the kids (or husbands for that matter) begging for drive-thru food. Just do it!
Eating at home is so much more healthy than eating out. Even at expensive restaurants. You never know exactly what ingredients they use and what they use to cook with. If you are mindful of eating organic and non-GMO then good luck with finding a restaurant that is also mindful of that. Eating at home on a regular basis sets you up for better health. Your future self will thank you!
What tips do you have for meal planning? How have you made it work for you? Comment below so we can share ideas!