Meal Prep Mondays
Do you ever feel like you are running around each morning like a chicken with their head cut off trying to put together a lunch for the work day and then just end up just grabbing a granola bar from the pantry and getting fast food on break? Do you need more motivation and self control to sick to a strict meal plan each day? Well today, I want to share with you everything on how I meal plan, What I do, what I use, and how I stick to it every single week.
The first step is to choose a day that you don't work or have a few free hours and that is your meal prep day/time. So for me, I rarely work mondays, so that is my day to get my grocery shopping done and prepare all my meals. Stick with that day or time every single week. Getting into a CONSISTENT HABIT IS KEY to sticking with this. TRUST ME. You may think, well I dont have 2-3 hours at a time to meal prep. But in the long run it is so WORTH IT. I know for myself that it makes my life and my mornings much easier, faster and stress-free. All I do is just grab my containers out of the fridge and throw them into my lunch bag and I'm golden. It is also healthier, knowing that you have food prepared for you in the fridge ready to eat. I tend to eat out less for lunches and rarely ever stop to grab snacks because I know everything is all set out ready to go. I also feel like I tend to waste less food because I feel bad because I spent all this time preparing it, I have to eat it and not let it go bad in the fridge. Plus, groceries are too dang expensive these days to have it go to waste.
The second step is what are you going to be meal prepping? I feel like this is one of the hardest steps even for me that has been meal prepping for years. Sometimes its hard to find a yummy recipe that you like that you can eat every single day. And how much meal prepping do you want to do? I personally only meal prep my lunch/snacks for my work day. So my suppers are just kind of planned out separately. You're welcome to meal plan every meal and snack of the day if your heart desires. But just know that it will take lots of work. I've found lots of recipes from pinterest or recipes from the kitchen of my momma bear that I've used for my meal prep weeks. (I will be sharing a couple of my favs below.)
If I love a recipe enough and I'm not bored of it, then I will just prepare the exact same thing the next week. (cuz if its not broken, don't fix it, isn't that how the saying goes.) And if you feel like your healthy and making progress with the food you're making, then just keep making it. I will have to admit that sometimes I do get bored of my recipes, so then I go on a recipe search to find some new things to eat. And sometimes I just don't have the energy to meal prep some weeks. But I know that it will be worth it and so I still end up doing it.
Sundays are usually my day to start thinking about what I am going to meal prep and the groceries I will need, since grocery shopping is monday. It makes your grocery shopping trip way easier and faster if you've made a list of what you need. I hate when I get home and realize I've forgotten something and have to go back to the store.
The third step is do I have everything I need to meal prep what I want.? I'm talking about containers, pots, pans, crockpot, rice cooker, all that cooking stuff. I use a lot of plastic tupperware containers, ziplog bags, and glass bowls with lids for my meals and snacks. We got these cute glass bowls from our wedding, we are not sure where they're from. But I did find those donut containers from winners, there was some other colors and patterns, but I just love donuts, so I just had to grab them. They are great because they are microwavable, And the lid will seal on for less spillage. but anything glass would work because it can just be popped into the microwave. I like the little containers for dressings, sauces, or whatever else I need to add to my salads. Home Sense and even walmart have tons of different containers to choose from as well. Ziploc bags I use for my lettuce because it doesnt need to be warmed up. It just saves me time at lunch without swapping out bowls or food. Also use ziplocs for grapes, almonds, snacky things like that.
I personally LOVE LOVE the crockpot. I have made many meals in them and they are fabulous for prepping large amounts of food which is good for this whole meal prepping thing. I love how I can just throw all my food, chicken and whatever in there and I can leave it for awhile and go get other things done. Then come back to it later and finish meal prepping. I don't have a rice cooker, I just cook it on the stove with a pot, and just keep an eye on it while I wash dishes or meal prepping other things. I am currently liking this Uncle Bens Whole grain Rice, cooks really nicely and decent price from Walmart.
One of my favourite recipes is Pineapple BBQ Chicken. All you need to BBQ sauce, can of pineapple and chicken breast. Add all of that into the crockpot. Low for 8 Hours, High for 5ish. I like to cut my chicken into strips then half way through the cooking process I shred my chicken. I eat it with rice and vegetables on the side.
Another fav recipe of mine lately is, Chicken Taco Salad.
First, I cut my chicken breast in half, Sprinkle spices onto each piece. (Recently, I have been loving TEX MEX, Cajun and I always add Steak Spice onto my chicken.) You can blend all 3 together or use separately. I love using spices to add flavour, without adding extra calories and most of them are low sodium or I will buy the low sodium ones.
Cook chicken at 350 for about 40-50 mins. I've also cooked my chicken in the frying pan and the crockpot. If I do it in the crockpot, I will use salsa and taco seasoning. (While my chicken is cooking, I will also start my rice.)
Then once all my chicken is cooked and cooled down, I will chop it up into cubes or strips.
Then measure it all out and put into each container. I will usually add my rice and chicken into the same container.
After that, I will chop up all my lettuce and vegetables. And measure out and add to indivudual bags for each day. I will also put like 10-15 tortilla chips into ziploc bags for my taco salad. and pour salsa and replace sour cream for plain greek yogurt into my small containers to pour over my taco salad.
Just warning ya though, your kitchen may look like a disaster through this whole process, thats ok! And also warning ya, meal prepping takes a lot of time and effort. But I know if you want to stick to a meal plan and be consistent with it, this is the way to go! I have done this for awhile now and I have somewhat figured out what my body can handle, calories wise. If you are just beginning, It may take some time to figure out how much food to prep. I literally just guessed my way through. I've never had a trainer or dietitian or anything like that. I do research things and follow others to get ideas though. I don't have any schooling in this food stuff, I've just guessed my way through. But lets say one week you're still hungry then, now you know for next week to meal prep a bit more, or maybe your wasted some food, so meal prep a bit less. Or experienced a new recipe and didn't really like it, now you know not to make that again. Its all about living and learning. and faking it until you make it.
One last step I do is make a section in the fridge for all my prepped food, It just makes it a lot easier and faster in the morning to just grab each thing, making it less possible to forget something.
I apologize for this super long blog post, but thank you for reading it all to the end. I just really wanted to share every little detail of what I do and how I do it. If you have any questions, please don't be afraid to ask. And I would love to know your favourite healthy recipe!
And I hope you all have a fabulous monday!!