Everyone strives to eat healthily, but the stress of the week can result in making not the healthiest of decisions for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But there is a solution that is trending for all of the right reasons, meal prepping. This term is thrown around a lot on social media, but essentially it means creating all the meals for the week during some of that leisure time on the weekends. It may seem like another chore for the weekend, but it will pay off for making your weeks go much smoother. And, consequently, you can spend a bit more energy on making healthier meal decisions. This may be something you have always wanted to start, but unsure of where to start and it can even seem daunting. Nevertheless, this post is to guide you and propel you to the superb lifestyle of meal preparation.
Where Do I Begin?
The most important questions to ask yourself before you begin, why are you deciding to meal prep? Consider any dietary or nutritional desires, or just overall wanting to save time during the weekdays. From here, you can go ahead and purchase one of the most important materials – Tupperware. Or if you are unsure if you want to do this, go ahead and rummage through the cabinet and use those!
One of the best types of containers to buy is anything that has compartments, but no specifics are required.
Here are a few suggestions:
The next step is finding the best time of the week to allocate to meal preparations and potentially grocery shopping. Whether you have weekends off, or any other days during the week find the time when you can consistently put in a few hours to prepare the meals for the rest days you have commitments. One of the best ways to do this is simply to use a calendar, planner, or an electronic version of these. When allocating time, take into consideration the types of meals you want to prepare and how long they may take. And lastly, take into consideration how many people you want to prepare meals for each one; preparing meals for one or two people may take a much shorter time than if you were to prepare meals for four to five people, and so on.
How Do I Decide ‘What’ to Eat?
While finding the time is a key to this, it is also important to be attentive to the budget you have for groceries. Look at the amount you can spend on groceries say per month, or per week. This will allow for consistency and potentially even save you money. Then, as mentioned prior, take into consideration any dietary preferences such as no dairy, minimum carbohydrates, vegan, etc. Along with if there is a desire to have overall healthier meals.
The next step will be to decide how many times you want to grocery shop in a month time span. If you are just beginning, it may be easier to do the shopping once a week until you learn more about how much food you are going to be eating per week. As well, produce items, or food that has a shorter shelf-life may be something you will want to buy once a week.
(A GREAT way to get your weekly produce can be through obtaining it locally through, Hungry Harvest. This company hand delivers local produce to your door every week and can be customized to your liking! Not only can this be a way to save you time and money each week, but also can be what inspires the meals each and every day.)
Then, planning and organizing will again, be the best tool for executing this all properly. Create a Google Document to dedicate for your meal preparations, and add a table including every day of the week along with every meal (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Decide the meals you want to prepare for each of these days, and having similar meals or even replicas some days during the week can cut down on time required to allocate on the weekends. Create your grocery lists with the store of choice and then you are ready to begin!
Utilize the Internet
The resources for recipes and guidance are practically unlimited and more are being added daily. Utilize Google, and Youtube to find exactly what you are desiring to achieve each and every week. Find the best recipes within the budget or simply use it as your route of inspiration. Here are some great websites and Youtube channels for meal preparations:
“The Lean Green Bean”
“Meal Prep on Fleek”
“Fit Couple Cooks” (YouTube)
“Cheap Lazy Vegan” (YouTube)