For this blog post series, I want to teach you how to master meal prepping.
I’ll be sharing with you everything I learned (and personally do) so you can implement this into your routine smoothly and in a painless way. Since there is so much to share, I’ll be breaking down my tips into 2 posts. Part 1 will be more about the pre-cooking phase.
You might have heard me say multiple times that the key to a successful healthy eating week, is being prepared. And that includes the following:
- Grocery shopping for the week
- Meal prep your main meals
- Avoid having temptation in the house
I am someone that really gets bored of doing the same thing every time. Because of this, I like to rotate my supermarkets. This helps keep the excitement and adventure factor in my weekly grocery shopping trips. And it also allows me to get different types of foods every week. For example, my local Target has some great tea options, nut butters, and gluten-free wraps. When it comes to Trader Joe’s on the other hand, I can explore with different seasonal fruits and veggies. They also have a great selection of frozen veggies that I tend to stock up on for when I need to make quick meals. Costco is for buying my bulk items, like the fruits for my morning smoothies, greens for my salads, and my fish.
So if you are like me, add a little variety to your routine and make it interesting. By switching up your markets, you avoid falling into a funk when planning your meals. You also get to try different foods and find inspiration in different places. I’m all for keeping it fun, fresh, and exciting.
Now, let’s go over a few different ways that you can approach meal prepping.
In the past, I tried doing things “the right/logical way”. This meant the following:
- Planning your menu for the week
- Making a list of everything that goes into the recipes that you need to buy
- Buying all items that go
Although that seems like the most logical way of doing things, to be honest it ended up giving me more anxiety. Why? Because I would put all this pressure on myself to develop the perfect menu every week. Like I mentioned above, I hate doing the same thing every time. So I easily get bored with eating the same thing every week. Which meant that my Saturday mornings would consist of me stressing over what recipes to make. And I could only go do my groceries and cook after figuring this part out. I would browse for hours all of my cookbooks to try to find something new and my entire weekend would be over before it even begun.
The reason why I am sharing this with you, is because this method (although the most logical one) was simply not working for me. I like to create as I go. And this process was making me dread weekends and meal prepping. So instead, I found what worked for me. And this meant letting go of the most logical way of doing things. Instead, I let my creative juices take over. This is what my pre meal prepping process looks like.
First, I go to the supermarket. I let the veggies and foods in general kind of do the talking for me. It is actually a beautiful and mindful experience when you can just let go and let yourself be guided. Whatever catches my eye, is fresh, and seasonal is what I get to cook with. What I love about doing this part first, is that you get to take advantage of what you find, instead of stressing over what you can’t find. Because let’s be real here. Who hasn’t tried following a recipe step-by-step, only to not find the right ingredients in your local store? Also, typically what will be on sale while still looking amazing, will be your seasonal produce. So let the veggies guide you. And yes, I am completely having a Star Wars moment, but instead of The Force, it’s The Veggies. Perhaps The Veggies and The Force are even one! Mind = Blown.
If you don’t feel comfortable yet with this, don’t worry or stress over it. It is perfectly fine to start by first finding your recipes and then hitting the supermarket. You will eventually get the confidence to embrace the freedom and let what catches your eye at the store guide you. And a little side note, I do mean that the fruits and veggies and other fresh food will guide you and not the chips and salsa aisle. 😉
In Part 2, we will go over how to be efficient when it comes to cooking your meals.