Meal Prep: Saving Time and Your Sanity

Set your week for success on your healthy eating goals by planning and preparing your meals and snacks for the week ahead, and save time in the process.

Meal prep is one of the best ways to stay on track with healthy eating and can save lots of time. The last thing that most people want to do after a long day of work is cook an extensive meal. By spending a couple hours over the weekend on meal prep, you can feel prepared for the week ahead and have lots of healthy food ready to go. If you have children, meal prep is even more important.

What you make every week can change depending on what you feel like and what you have on hand. It does not need to be all of the food that you eat or cook for the week. If some weeks, all you have time for is chopping up some vegetables ahead of time, that is fine. Anything is better than nothing.

TYPES OF FOOD TO PREPARE EACH WEEK:

  • Breakfast
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
  • Proteins
  • Snacks

EXAMPLE OF ITEMS TO PREPARE

  • Breakfast
  • Oatmeal bars
  • Egg sandwiches
  • Smoothies- put all of the ingredients in a bag and freeze until ready to blend
  • Egg muffins

VEGETABLES

  • Chopped veggies for salad
  • A pan of roasted vegetables
  • Vegetables for dipping such as carrots, celery or bell pepper

WHOLE GRAINS

  • Brown rice
  • Quinoa
  • Whole-wheat muffins

PROTEINS

  • Crockpot chicken, pork or steak
  • Beans
  • Baked tofu
  • Grilled meat of choice

SNACKS

  • Energy balls
  • Healthy trail mix
  • Homemade hummus
  • Washed fresh fruit

Saving-Time-and-Your-Sanity_INARTICLE

TIPS TO COMPLETE TO MEAL PREP

  1. Make sure you have all of your ingredients ahead of time.
  2. Start early- If you can get it done before your family wakes up, you will still have your whole day ahead of you to spend with them.
  3. Make a list- know what you are making ahead of time
  4. Use up what you have on hand and shop sales
  5. Cook everything at once- If you are using the oven to bake muffins, also bake your chicken and vegetables at the same time to save energy.
  6. Clean up right away- It is so easy to just leave everything to be cleaned later but your best bet it to wash all of your dishes right away and put everything away for the week ahead.
  7. Store food properly- If you know that you aren’t going to eat the waffles that you made until Thursday, freeze them so that when you do eat them, they are still fresh.

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