Meal Prepping – Let’s talk about it.
I didn’t understand how grouping all of your cooking time into one day made life better, but I’ve meal prepped for the past few months now and I am CONVINCED.
If you’re not familiar with meal prep, the basic concept is cooking/preparing all of the components of your meals for the upcoming 5-7 days in bulk at one time.
- Identify the meals you want to make (tip: focus on 1-2 protein sources and create meals from there)
- Grocery list/shopping – ideally this will prevent midweek stops at the grocery on the way home!
- Cook, the fun part
… and then later, you grab it to heat up and eat!
Sounds like a lot of planning, I know, but there are HUGE benefits and the time saved throughout the week far outweighs the time you’ll spend planning for prep.
I found that I like meal prepping for a few big reasons
- It sets you up for success.
- While I like to think I’ll be up for cooking and have all the time in the world on a Wednesday night to do so, that just isn’t the case. Meal prepping ensures that I don’t throw in the towel and grab takeout on the way home.
- It’s budget friendly
- Prepping in bulk is a big money saver. We’ve started prepping with a friend or two so we’re able to make more variety but hold onto the cost savings of buying protein or veggies in higher volumes. What used to be a pack of chicken breasts I grabbed on the way home, a pizza the next day and a pack of ground turkey the next has become a 6 lb pack of chicken that feeds us for a week.
- It’s fun!
- The past two meal prep Sunday’s have been a blast in our house. We switched to taking on meal prep in the morning with a delicious cup of coffee and our favorite tunes on the speaker. It can feel like a chore but with a little mindset shift and a solid playlist, it doesn’t have to! If you have kids, meal prep day is an awesome day to give them a task to help with. It can even become a date night with a glass of wine in hand while cook up some yummy stuff!
- Macro counters – You’ll have a chance to add meals for the week into your tracking app to plan effectively!
- If you are tracking your macros, like I do, meal prep is the #1 tool in keeping tracking from being a burden during the work week. As I prep, I add meals into my tracking app (I use myfitnesspal) so that I can easily grab them when I plan out my day of eating. The prep also allows you to break the food you’re making up into the portions you’ll need! With enough tupperware, you can even break out, for example, your protein into a common portion for you to eliminate the need for your scale later in the week.
The most important part, of course, is finding meals that you’re excited to eat over and over again or finding a protein source that provides variety in finished meals. I have found some macro masters that have created DELICIOUS recipes perfect for prepping and gathered them all up here for you!