Updated: Sep 29
If you’re new to meal prepping, deciding what to make can be one of the most overwhelming parts. It can also be the reason so many people give up feeling frustrated and turn to convenience food. And that is why this week I am sharing some simple meal prep tips for healthy eating success!
It all starts with a plan:
First, have a good look in your refrigerator, freezer, cupboards and pantry and take stock of what you already have.
See anything that absolutely needs to be used in the next week before it goes bad? Great! You’ve got an idea of what you’ll be using in your meals. It’s easier to create some structure to your weekly meal plan when you have a few items in mind to base some of your meals around.
Next, it’s time to get planning. If you’re totally stumped for recipe ideas and inspiration, go online and find some ideas that get you excited about what to cook (and eat!). Pinterest boards for example are great for this and you can easily pin anything that looks interesting for now and later. Create boards for go-to meals, break them down by breakfast, lunch and dinner and your meal planning just got that much easier.
Going forward, it is especially helpful to keep your kitchen full of healthy staples that can be used in a variety of meals. This includes meats, fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables, whole grains such as rice, quinoa and pasta, proteins such as beans, legumes, lentils and protein powders, flours, nuts, herbs, spices and seasonings, baking ingredients and dairy products.
You’ll need to re-purchase some of these regularly and others you can purchase in bulk when they're on special to load up and have on hand.
Now, what to make?
A simple tip to help you narrow down your meal options: theme nights!
The idea is really simple: pick a certain day of the week and a theme to go with it. This can be anything from a type of food to a meal that includes a specific ingredient. For example, Tuesday could be pizza or pasta night or Thursday could be fish night, for example.
Once you’ve nailed down your theme night(s), you can get creative with the types of meals you make that week. You can make good use of the ingredients you already have in your home - no special trips to the store required.
This works really well if you have kids in the home as they’ll love the idea of something to look forward to, especially when it includes some of their favorite meals! All you have to do is make sure the options you're choosing are healthy. Monday pasta night? Try a cauliflower mac recipe. Taco Tuesday? Use a whole grain wrap or go with a burrito bowl. Another added bonus of theme nights? It makes it easy to get others involved in meal planning and prep. Ask for suggestions, have them help look for fun new recipes and divvy up the ingredient list.
If you live on your own, having theme nights can take some of the stress out of weekly meal planning by keeping it simple, especially if you have particular meals or ingredients that you’d love to include in your rotation on a regular basis. And if you get bored of certain themes or struggle to find new inspiration a particular week, you can always swap things out and switch it up for a bit to keep things fresh. The goal is to make it simple, satisfying and sustainable!
Are you a busy man or woman who's ready to feel strong, live healthy, and get fit? Discover how to take small steps to get healthy & fit without cutting out the foods you love or spending countless hours on cardio. Come join me inside my online Facebook Community - The Healthy Habits Club. It's where busy folks go for tips, tools and support they need to eat healthy, move daily, and feel good for life!