I’ve been one to hop on the bandwagon of several different “healthy” routines, diets, meal plans, etc. So why am I still not at my GOAL?? Because I always fall off and go right back to where I was before. I am not perfect but I do have goals to be fit and exercise more, eat cleaner, and live an all-around healthIER lifestyle for both me and my entire family.
Out of everything that I have tried, one thing has seemed to stick:
Mama, I know what you might be thinking right now – “well it sounds good but I just don’t have the time, I already do so much”, or “it’s just easier to go out”, or “meal prep is stressful”.
Trust me, I’ve been there and said that, BUT what I can tell you is I found my rhythm that works for me and you will too!! Seriously, I spend about 1-2 hours a week with my meal prep and it makes the rest of week a piece of cake!!!
I wanted to share with you some tips to quick and easy meal prep – this is what I do, but feel free to pick and choose what works for you and your family!
1) Purge Your Refrigerator & Pantry: First and foremost, it’s a new month, it’s a new year even, so I recommend before anything, you should definitely purge your refrigerator and your pantry. Get rid of all of the JUNK that you don’t want your family or yourself to eat; whether it’s sugary, salty, carbs, processed, artificial, or leftover Halloween candy from 4 months ago (don’t feel bad, we all have it), just get it out of your house!
2) Get the Right Tools: I think the only way to actually succeed at something is if you set yourself up for success, if you are serious about living healthier and meal prep to save you time, money, and a few LBS, invest a little money to get set up with the right tools in your house.
- I always use eatCleaner Fruit & Vegetable Wash, it’s a staple in my home and makes my meal prep hour a BREEZE!!! It’s gluten-free, and eco-friendly. It’s made from all natural ingredients so there is no soapy residue or taste on your produce. In addition to cleaning 99% of bacteria, pesticides, and wax off of your fresh produce, it extends the life by 5x longer. NO JOKE, I’ve tried it and have saved so much money from throwing away fruits & veggies.
- Refrigerator & Pantry Containers keep everything clean, organized, and make it super easy for “grab-and-go”. Here’s what I have.
- Pantry Bins
- Refrigerator Bins
- Lunch Containers I got these great portion containers for my husband because I pack his lunches (well I try to) everyday – these are great for meal prep, all the same size, portioned out, and if you meal prep like me, you can pack 5 lunches at once, which saves you time, and makes it easy for him in the morning
3) Shop & Wash: I usually get a lot of fresh produce from the market, especially when I am eating cleaner, but when I get home, I throw everything in strainers and WASH it at once. This is a little process – on average, takes me about 30-45 minutes, but it’s WORTH IT. I use Eat Cleaner, and load everything up, spray it, leave it for about 2 minutes, and then rinse everything and let it dry. This way, every fresh item in my fridge is already clean and you don’t have to worry about that during the week when you want a healthy snack, or whipping up a salad for lunch (like I did today), or cooking dinner.
4) Organize the Fridge: After you wash everything and dry it, put it back in the fridge – this is where your bins come into play! There’s some produce that can be left uncovered, like your firm flesh items (cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, bell peppers, etc.). Cover things like berries and grapes in air tight containers, and put a little napkin or paper towel on the top to help absorb some moisture – this will definitely help everything LAST LONGER. Now you have ALL of your fruits and veggies ready to go whenever you want them. Leaving things uncovered may even entice your family to grab that over something more unhealthy because it’s all ready to go. I love to get cherry tomatoes, Persian cucumber, sweet mini peppers, celery, and baby carrots for snacking!
5) Prep (SOME) Food Ahead of Time, at once: When I am meal prepping, I usually prep things ahead of time, that take time, all at once so that it’s ready to eat or use for various dishes.
Some ideas include:
- Boil a dozen eggs for about 20-30 minutes and leave them in your fridge all week. Hardboiled eggs make a healthy meal, snack, or addition to a salad.
- Make a couple cups of quinoa and keep in a tupperware. Quinoa is a nice side dish by itself, can be a meal when you add another protein of choice and veggies and sauté it all up in a pan, or even makes a super delicious salad, combining it with greens and other fresh veggies.
- Cut up some chicken breast and either bake it or grill it all at once. This will allow you to make lunches ahead of time or even give you a healthy option when you haven’t thought about dinner and don’t want to go out. This way, you will always have something healthy you can eat.
- Chop up your herbs all at once and freeze them in ice cube trays so that you always have some on hand.
- I make my own yogurt, so that’s another thing I do ahead of time and then always have greek yogurt available. (I am working on the recipe for this soon).
- Prepare some freezer crock pot meals (there are a ton of recipes on Pinterest) OR have a crock pot swap with your friends, so that you’ll always have a homemade meal readily available, and who doesn’t love the good ole’ fashioned crock pot.
So again, these are just a few basic tips to meal prep that I do and keeps me sane! It may be some time at the beginning of the week, but it’s well worth it!!
Mommy Meal Prep will save you time, money, and keep your family from eating fast food in a pinch. Good luck Mama!
I’d love to answer any questions you might have or provide more guidance! Just comment below!