MEAL PREP: The Weekday (and Waistline) Savior!
No, this doesn't require a cooking class and Yes, you CAN do it! I started meal prepping about six months ago and I must say, I love the benefits! I no longer feel like a slave to the kitchen, I don't have to calorie count for every meal and the kids can pick on their own what they desire to eat. It's a win, win! When I began, I didn't know where to start, I just knew we were starting to get back to eating fast food more than I desired. Hey, I had worked to hard on this sexy bawdy to let it go for a mediocre cheeseburger! um, no! So, my first step was buying the containers. I chose the rectangular, undivided containers as they fit more food options and the rest is history...Get your pen and paper to jot down a couple notes. This is meal prep tips for ALL stages; simply because everyone is not a 5 star chef and we want to keep our house rom burning down and our guts fro bubbling;)
1.SEE WHATS ON SALE AND PLAN IT OUT!
I am a saver and one of the main selling points for meal prep for me was to cut out wasteful spending on lack luster food. It adds extra challenge for me to be cost effective while creating my meals. It's gratifying and it pushes you to continue the meal prep! I go to my grocery store ad to see what's on sale and what can become great meal coordinates and start from there. It's also a great way to make sure you are buying specifically what you need and helps to not waste food.
2. CHOOSE YOUR COOKING DAY
I chose Monday because I'm festive and it sounded good with meal, lol. It's whatever it takes to get you motivated. oh look, another "M" ha, ha! So, back on subject, my day is "Meal Prep Monday!!" On this day, if you are truly cooking, you will spend several hours cooking but it will be so worth it during the week when you have 5-7 days of meals already prepared. You will always have something to eat AT HOME, which will stop fast food runs after a long day at work. I call that winning!
3. MAKE AT LEAST 3 OPTIONS
You need options to keep it interesting! I choose 3 different proteins every week and build from there. also, even when the protein is the same, pair it with different sides to give new tastes!
4. COOK COMFORT FOODS IN BULK AND FREEZE THEM
I know, I know, meal prep is to be super healthy. Well, I personally feel it's super healthy to add a little delicious comfort every now and again and I find it easier to portion out and not get out of hand when its already prepared. I store homemade mac n cheese, pasta bakes, dressing, etc. in the freezer in several containers as a meal add on if I'm in the mood for some extra.
5. FOR THE CHALLENGED COOKS
Get your proteins from outside already prepared and portion them out. Simple and effective. Everyone can do this and cuts the prep time in half. Example: Costco rotisserie chicken, El pollo grilled chicken or salmon from Bone heads. Place it with veggies in a container and voila! You've created a meal! With the Costco chicken, depending on your portion choice, that can produce 4 or 8 containers! and its a $5 bird! See, you can do this without breaking the bank!
Finally, be sure to pick a "dine out" day once or twice a month as well as a "freshly made" day. This will keep you on track without feeling "tied down", for those who prefer change every now and again. It gives you something to look forward to and keeps you from falling of the meal prep wagon!
I will post pics and videos of prep and would love for you to send your own! I know I'm not the only guru out here!