Five ways to become the MacGyver of meal prep

Meal prepping. What a daunting task!! I don’t know what I want to eat for breakfast let alone what I want to eat for the next week. I know that I cannot be the only one out there, and I know this for a fact.

I also know that prepping food for a five year old who on occasion eats like a teeny tiny bird and on other days you might think I had a high school line backer living in my house. You never know which one its going to be or if his favorite food of yesterday will be something he considers to be disgusting today.

Pick a day
Pick a day out of your busy life to do this for yourself.  You are the one who is wanting to get healthier, eat better, do better, and not go crazy doing it. So pick a day where you can set out some time to do some basic prepping. After that you can start adding some odds and ends to your tasks while you’re in the kitchen anyway.

Lay out a plan
My day is Sunday.  Sunday for us is usually pretty laid back. We sleep in a little bit get some breakfast, go to church and the gym and then just chill for most of the day. It’s a day for laundry and some one on one time.  Here is a typical run down of our Sunday including meal prep.

I usually wake up and enjoy a cup of coffee in the quiet before the mini me joins me. I will clean up any lingering dishes and toys from the living room floor so that I can run the Roomba (yes I have a robot vacuum … and its a lifesaver).

Once the mini me wanders down the hallway to say good morning and search for breakfast we decide what we are going to have and I get to tending to that task as I set up for a batch of hard boiled eggs. I know that during the week we will at minimum consume about 8 hardboiled eggs if not more. So I throw 10 in a pot and get that started.

At some point throughout the day I will prep up snack bags of fresh fruit and veggies. Each bag contains roughly a 1/2 cup of whatever it may be. These prepped bags go into a basket in the fridge. They go in a basket so they aren’t just dumped all over the fridge but they don’t get tucked away in a drawer because then they are too easily looked over. I buy string cheese and pull the individual packs apart and put them in a plastic cup for easy grab and go.

Be consistent
Once you lay out your plan of action and work out the kinks prepping for snacks and meals becomes second nature.  For instance for my little family a 2lb package of ground beef is at minimum two dinner nights taken care of and maybe some left overs.  For example:
Monday – burger night – burgers do not have to be huge!  Shape up your burgers and make sure to serve them with yummy sides. A typical burger night consists of burgers, a side salad or cucumber salad and either pasta or potato salad, maybe some pork and beans if we are feeling crazy.

Tuesday – Taco Tuesday! Brown up the remaining ground beef for a mouthwatering second ground beef dinner night ! Its the toppings that make all the difference anyway right?

So right there you have two dinner nights taken away from your to-do list,  easy-peasy.

Participate
Ok so now you have spent all this money on foods that are better for you than that pack of Oreo cookies, so make sure you eat it!  Keep things simple when prepping. It is so much easier to add flavors than to have something that you no longer want to eat because you can’t change it without turning it into some weird science experiment that you may end up throwing away anyway.

Be realistic
Dive in slowly. Not sure how to prep for a week? Prep for a few days and make sure that you keep the foods you are consuming in your pantry. Having the staples readily available to make most any meals is key too. Don’t go swapping out rice for quinoa for five days if you’ve never eaten it or if its a food you don’t like.  It is a quick set up for failure if you get ahead of yourself. Make sure that you have fun through the process and pay attention. You never know what you might learn about yourself.

 

 

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