Yeah, that’s right. You wanna be a boss? You wanna wake up every morning and kick the absolute sh*t out of your day? You wanna not have to think about what to choke down for the 4th day in a row (probably some terrible protein bar you’ve convinced yourself tastes good)? How about this scenario – you’re walking out of the office, feelin’ yourself at the end of a kick ass day and all you have to think about is which horrible network TV show you’re gonna choose to watch tonight because DINNER IS ALREADY WAITING FOR YOU.
I’m going to make a very bold statement here by saying that spending a couple hours a week meal prepping is going to change your life. It’ll save you a lot of time and money, yes, but there is also no other method that I recommend more to staying on track with your health or weight loss goals. If you have your fridge stocked with the right foods, all the time, you. can’t. fail.
And even better? When I’m not spending time in the kitchen (we all know I HATE spending time in the kitchen), I’m trying a new restaurant with my roommate, going on a hike, taking thousands of Snaps of my dogs, hitting the gym, spending time with friends, getting sucked into a deep, dark Netflix spiral, or having a cocktail on a patio somewhere in Atlanta. And dammit, that is what life is all about. Not roasting a chicken.
Get your plan of attack ready. I like to plan 2-3 proteins, 2 starchy carbs or grains, 3 vegetables, 1-2 healthy fats (see below for ideas) and any dressings or sauces I may want to have on hand (always Herby Yogurt Ranch Dip or Avocado Ranch Dip). So, write down recipes you want to make, take inventory on what you already have, and make your grocery list. And really look at what you already have – if you’ve got lots of potatoes, squash and parboiled rice in your pantry, you may not have to worry about grabbing any more starchy carbs. Look at that, I’m saving you money, too.
Get to the grocery store. And seriously think about when the best time to go is. If it takes you twice as long on a Saturday morning because you have kids or because the store is packed – don’t go then. Be strategic about it, grab your list and GO.
Multi-task. Lay out your groceries, take a deep breath and put together a game plan. Turn on the oven, get pots going on the stove, start chopping veggies and pull out your slow cooker. You can absolutely cook almost everything at once and once you get really good at this, you can get everything done in an hour – I promise.
Variety is the spice of life. F that. Yes, it’s important to mix it up so you don’t get bored! But if you LOVE buffalo chicken and roasted brussels sprouts and could literally eat it every week…do it. It’s easy, you don’t have to think about it and it’s going to save you so much time. Repeat your staples, and mix in a few different recipes each week.
Don’t get all gourmet on me. It’s unnecessary. I love to just throw a giant bag of mixed vegetables in the microwave (um, make sure the bag is microwave safe first plz) and pull from it throughout the week. I’ll add a little butter for a side dish, mix it with ground turkey and cheddar for a quick lunch or scramble it in with my eggs one morning for breakfast. Think of this as food prep more than meal prep – you just want to have your fridge stocked with prepared foods so throwing together a meal is a no brainer.
Also – if you don’t have an arsenal of good glass containers to keep all this food in, I love Glasslock. This is a necessity!
Need some ideas?
My favorite proteins: Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken, Slow Cooker Pork Chops with Kraut and Bacon, and Pesto Chicken Salad, Slow Cooker Thai Chicken
My favorite healthy fats: The Best Damn Guacamole and Spinach Herb Pesto
My favorite high fiber recipes: Fall Kale Salad, Hearty Italian Vegetable Soup, Spicy Vegetable Chili, Sweet and Spicy Brussels Sprouts