Between clients and workshops, I've been talking about meal prep a lot lately. It seems to be on everyone's mind, and for good reason. Having a well stocked pantry and homemade meals ready to grab and go helps make it easy to eat healthy throughout your week. But you may be wondering, should I really be doing this, is it really worth it?
Meal prep looks different to everyone. Some like to set aside a few hours each sunday to prep meals for the week. I prefer to prep things here and there, often while I'm doing something else, to save time on my weekends. So while my sheet pan dinner cooks, I'll prep a soup in the crockpot or roasted veggies or a salad to eat throughout the week. I may make some egg muffins if I have the oven on anyways, prep some overnight oats, or slice peppers and cucumbers for snacks throughout the week. Meal prep takes me no more than an hour each week, and I'm still stocked and prepped for a healthy week ahead. Find out how we can work together to make this your reality too.
Whatever meal prep looks like for you, it definitely has it's benefits.
See my Top 3 Reasons to Start Meal Prepping below:
1. Eat Healthier & Feel Better
My number one reason to meal prep is to EAT HEALTHIER. Keeping healthy ingredients on hand makes it so much easier to make healthy choices. And by having the ingredients actually prepared makes it that much easier to choose them.
My meal prep routine includes something as simple as keeping my go-to snacks on hand. Right now I'm loving siggi's plain yogurt (or whatever plain Greek yogurt is on sale), hummus and sliced bell peppers and cucumbers, and peanut butter or nut butter packets with apples or nectarines. I know by keeping healthy meals and snacks on hand that are prepped and ready to go, I'm far more likely to make a healthy choice when I get hungry. I'm also less likely to order takeout for dinner when I have ingredients prepped and ready to throw together a healthy dinner in minutes.
2. Save Money & Prevent Waste
When we go to the store without a plan, it's easy to buy everything that looks good or is on sale. But by planning ahead for the week and going shopping with a plan, it's easier to leave with just the items you need. Having just a few meals and snacks in mind can help prevent you from going overboard and spending too much. Meal prep will also save you money by encouraging you to eat out less. When you have prepped and planned meals at home you won't be tempted to stop on your way home or need to grab a muffin with your morning coffee because you have better-for-you, homemade meals ready to go.
3. Save Time
Yesterday I took 15 minutes to made a crockpot soup and I'll probably get at least 3 meals out of it this week. I took another 15 minutes to cook up some extra veggies and a big salad with my dinner last night to use in other meals this week. By using my time wisely, batch cooking, and figuring out my favorite, easy, go-to meals, it saves me an hour of cooking each night. So even on the nights I don't feel like cooking, it's easy to eat something healthy.
Over the summer, my colleague, Toby Amidor, released the best meal prep cookbook! The Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook is the perfect tool to help you try new recipes, get organized with meal prepping, and keep your food safe all week long (Toby is a food safety pro!).
The book includes 6 different weekly meal plans, including Clean Eating, Weight Loss, and Muscle Building meal plans (2 weeks each). Each meal plan has recipes, a grocery list, and a plan of action for your meal prep day. Each recipe includes tips for storing to keep your prepared meals safe to eat all week long.
I'd highly recommend this book for anyone getting started with meal prep or healthy eating. Get your copy here and be sure to try her Root Vegetable and Bean Soup recipe below - it's perfect for this time of year!