Almost a couple of months ago now, I made the decision to start getting better about my health and nutrition. As much as I love all the additional options now available to me in downtown Detroit for lunch, they are not the healthiest. Also, let’s be honest, lunch out everyday would break the bank. So, for this mom on the go to maintain her busy schedule, she needed to get on board with meal prepping.
Was it an overwhelming, intimidating, and downright scary thought at first? Sure. But, I don’t make decisions that I don’t take on 100%. Luckily, my husband was also on board with helping, which made the task seem less scary.
Step 1: Lists
Make lists before you head to the grocery store. I used to utilize notes in my phone but lately I’ve been a fan of the old-fashioned handwritten list. I sit in my kitchen, Pinterest open, planning which meals will work best for the week. I usually pick the meals that require the least amount of ingredients. This also allows me to scan the pantry and fridge to ensure I have all the staple items necessary for the week.
Step 2: Healthy Treats
There are ways to trick your mind into eating sweet things and fulfilling your sweet tooth without splurging on actual sweets. One of my favorites is sweet potato fries. I grab a few good-sized sweet potatoes, slice them, brush them with oil, then sprinkle them with cinnamon. After baking them until they are golden brown, even putting them under the broiler for a minute or two at the end to crisp them up, I have myself a sweet treat!
Step 3: Plan for the Unplanned
My husband and I hate, I repeat hate, throwing away food. I learned in the first week of meal prepping that you cannot plan for every minute of every day. What happens when you go out to a business lunch meeting? What happens when you have a family birthday dinner? There will likely always be something to throw a wrench in your prepping so save your sanity and freeze some extras. Grab some extra chicken one week to grill and freeze it. You may use it that week, you may not. But, it’s there and doesn’t go to waste.
Step 4: Spice It Up
Or just add some vegetables. I was trying my best to get more protein in my diet. The most difficult time was in the morning. I would grab some hard-boiled eggs and that usually did the trick. But, I quickly got sick of the same thing. Enter Pinterest again. I found an awesome egg souffle recipe that only required half a dozen eggs, some vegetables, and a muffin tin. It was a perfect grab and go breakfast snack for this meal prepping momma.
Step 5: Have Fun
Don’t make it another chore. If you are a mom too, you have plenty of those. Keep the recipes simple. Don’t over think it or over complicate it. Utilize spices you already have at home. Throw some of your favorite music on or cook during your favorite show. If your daring, include your kids in the meal prepping. Who knows, maybe you have a Junior Master Chef at home!