Meal planning and prepping is essential for staying on track with your health and fitness goals, especially when you know you are going to be busy. You can get as involved in it as you want to. There's no set rule to it. The key is finding what works for you and your family.
Here are a few tips to make meal planning and prepping easier for you.
Plan ahead. Look at your week and see what days you will be home, and what days you will be on the go. I know that we will be gone a couple evenings during the week, so those are the days I plan for crock pot meals. If you know you are going to be busy on a particular day, then you should have your meals or snacks ready to grab and go.
Make a list. And shop from the list. This will keep you from spending more money than you should, and keep those treats and goodies out of your cart. You can use a grocery guide like I provide for my StrongHer clients.
Choose whole, unprocessed foods. Shop for fresh veggies, fruits, nuts, grains, and meats that are least processed. Avoid pre-packaged meals like frozen dinners that can be loaded with tons of extra sodium, and unwanted ingredients. You can find out more about clean eating here.
Use containers. Wash, chop, and prepare most of your veggies for the week—whether they’re going to be left raw or used in a cooked dish—and store them in tupperware or glass containers. I don't always cook everything a head of time because I've found veggies don't taste as good after a couple of days in a container. I cut up and portion them out ahead of time to make things faster when it's time to cook my meals.
Use your freezer. Preparing meals ahead of time and freezing them in pans or freezer bags is a great way to save time on busy days. When you are ready to use that meal you can throw it in the oven or crock pot saving you lots of time. Also, bag up your smoothie ingredients and freeze them. That way you can throw it in the blender when it's time to drink.
Cook in bulk. I like to cook chicken breasts and ground turkey and store in containers for a couple of days. That way I have cooked protein ready for salads, wraps, flatbreads, etc. It saves me extra time to not have to cook my protein.
You can also make healthy muffins, hard boiled eggs, egg muffins, frittatas, overnight oats, spaghetti sauce, or anything in a large batch of to use through out the week, or to freeze and save for a later day.
I hope these tips can make meal planning and prepping easy and efficient for you. Spending a little extra time prepping at the beginning of the week will help you save time through out the week.
If you are looking for more ways to strengthen your body, stay motivated, and be equipped with the tools you need to make a healthy lifestyle change, join my StrongHer challenge. Click here for more info.