Let’s be real. Life can be CRAZY busy. Whether you are working full time or running around after your kids and living that mom life, sometimes the last thing you want to do is carve out time to prep a whole week’s worth of food for yourself. As hard as it is to make that effort, I want to encourage you with this, the benefits you will receive from prepping your food ahead of time makes the process absolutely worth it.
Beginners Guide to Meal Prep
Step One: Take a look at your schedule for the week. Do you have any planned events, lunches or dinner outings that you will NOT need to prep for? If so, take this into consideration prior to your prep.
Step Two: Based on the schedule for the week, write out the days and meals that you need to cover. I usually recommend prepping for 5-7 days at a time.
Step Three: Create your meal plan. Will you have the same breakfast, lunch or dinner? Will you switch up your snacks? Details. Details. Details. Write it all out.
Step Four: Make a specific shopping list. I recommend listing everything you need by category (i.e. veggies, snacks, drinks, etc)
Step Five: Based on your shopping list, list out the grocery stores that carry the items you need. One of the worst (OK, worst MAY be a bit dramatic…) things is when you go all the way to a store and realize that the one product you wanted was not available.
Step Six: Purchase re-usable meal prep containers, a food scale and/or measuring cups and spoons. I recommend buying them online or in bulk!
Step Seven: SHOPPING TRIP! I always advise buying ALL of your food at once. Whether that means making multiple stops at various grocery stores or purchasing everything at one large store.
Step Eight: Based on your weekly menu, begin to prep your food. I personally love doing it by meal. First begin with prepping breakfast, lunch, dinner and then take care of your snacks and drinks.
Step Nine: Label everything! You can label by day, meal, time, etc. Whatever works best for you.
Step Ten: If you have any leftovers, keep them! Life happens. You may get a bit hungrier, you may want to extend the prep for a few extra days, you never know! I love freezing my meats and carbs if I have any left over.
Benefits of Meal Prep
All in all, there is no wrong or right way to begin your meal prep journey. Through trial and error, you will find what works best for you, and what doesn’t. As you get into the swing of consistent planning, you will develop a strong routine that will become the norm. This time investment will contribute to your overall physical and mental health. Happy prepping!!