When I was planning this blog I asked people what their struggle with food was. There was no surprise that the number 1 response was time. We live in a society where we feel we have no time, we are constantly on the go with all sorts of priorities such as kids, jobs, pets, and a number activities. The best solution I have found is what I like to call “Meal Prep Mondays”! If you’re lucky enough there are great meal services that will prep and/or cook your meals for you which is a great option for the busy family but unfortunately we all can’t afford such a luxury. Yes I am crazy, I LOVE COOKING! But for those of you who don’t (I heard a lot about that too), I spend 1 afternoon cooking all my meals for the week and never cook again until the following Monday. I have only chosen Monday as that’s my day off and as a bonus the grocery stores are never busy! Currently I am meal prepping for 2 and of course he eats more than I do but the time it saves us through the week is awesome.
Now before I jump into how I got about Monday Meal Prep I will tell you, you DO have time. We all have 24 hours in a day which can be looked at as 8 hour sessions. On average per day we sleep for 8 hours, work for 8 hours and the last 8 hours we spend with our families, pets, or our activities, but do we really need 8 hours for that?? Now how much time are you spending watching TV or on social media? Did you know the average person spends over an hour and a half on social media EVERY DAY!! BAM!! Time!!
While I watch TV on my weekend I plan our meals for the week. These are 2 examples from last week and this week. If I’m looking for new recipes to try I go on my Pintrest account, type in healthy meals into the search engine and voila! 100’s of healthy easy meal ideas at your finger tips. I then create my grocery list for what I need to purchase if I don’t have the ingredients at home and I’m ready for my Monday morning grocery shopping. This maybe takes me 20 minutes to plan and organize. I wont lie to you though it does take me up to 4 hours to make our food. That includes weighing, measuring, chopping, cooking and into the Tupperware to store in either the fridge or freezer. I do do all of this myself because like I said I love cooking and I have it down to a science but if you have a spouse or children let them help and make it a fun family activity! I do understand that if you do have a family dinner time is probably a time where you don’t want to take turns at the microwave heating up your individual meals but why not have your other meals including snacks prepped and ready so you just have to make one meal throughout the week.
Meal prepping really can be easy as long as you are organized. The first time I did this it took me 6 hours to cook my ex-boyfriend and I’s food for the week which like I said it now takes me at most 4 depending on what I’m making. Here’s a list of some pointers I’ve learned through the years:
*take the time to decide what you are eating for every meal each day
*if you’re looking to save money on groceries check your local flyers that come out usually Wednesday or Thursday for any specials they may have and plan your meals around those
*as soon as you get home from the grocery store weigh and measure to your proper portion sizes. This is different for everyone as its based on your weight, goals, activity levels, even your career, as a person who works all day at their desk has different needs than someone with a more physical job. I can touch on portion size in a later post for anyone who may be interested.
*cut and chop your fruit and/or veggies you purchased as you will tend to grab these over unhealthy alternatives when you are feeling snacky through the day
* when I’m cooking all my food on meal prep day I will use all my kitchen gadgets to help multi task such as rice cooker, grills, stove, oven, crockpot. It will help cut time and you can make almost every meal all at once
* placing your meals into Tupperware containers make it easy to grab in the morning to take to work or school or wherever your heading for the day. This will also help you from going through the drive-thru when you are hungry
This is truly the easiest thing I have come across for helping my stay on track with my healthy eating and limited cooking time through my work week. Plus not having to think every day, “what should I make for dinner tonight?” or “what should I make for our lunches tomorrow?” is a bonus! Hopefully any of these tips will be helpful so give the meal prep a try and let me know how it goes!!