In case y’all can’t tell, I am totally a Type A personality. I like
to plan… and usually my weekly and monthly food menu is set well in
advance. But when I got pregnant for the second time, morning
sickness again turned into all-day-sickness, and I still had to meet
the demands of the Boss… so, I punted on the planning for a while and
just rolled with the take-out punches. But this week (finally!) I was
able to do some food prep. I can’t tell you how good it feels to be
able to put some of my normal meals back into my diet and not depend
on a to-go menu or pb&j, but that “time off” was a great reminder of
how much of a struggle it can be to find the time and energy to stay
on top of my nutrition. I know a lot of people out there feel the
same way, so I wanted to share some tips I have learned about making
food prep easier. Here goes:
I set aside one hour a day, 3 days a week. I get it … we are all busy,
but setting aside the time for this first step is often the hardest
part. Put it on the calendar! Since I rarely have large chunks of
time to myself these days, I break it up: I have a meal plan hour, a
grocery shop hour, and then a cooking hour (or two), all on different
days of the week. That way I can minimize the amount of time where I
would get otherwise distracted or have to answer the phone with raw
Utilize the Crock Pot or InstantPot for easy protein prep. A couple
of chicken breast in the InstaPot for 25 minutes means I have cooked,
pulled chicken that I can easily add to any meal later on in the week.
Find your Go-To meals. Just because I like to cook doesn’t mean I
always feel creative. I have a list of my favorite meals that I
rotate through every couple of weeks, and I basically have the
ingredients memorized, which makes for an easy trip to the grocery
store even if I’m already out. I also like to maximize meals that
taste better as leftovers. Paleo Shepherd’s Pie, Spaghetti Squash
Casseroles, Chili, and Gumbo are great examples.
Still, try something new once in a while. I make it a point to try at
least one new recipe a month. There are so many good ones out there,
and one of them might become your next go-to meal!
Have fun with it! Don’t worry if things don’t turn out perfectly the
first time you try them – like any skill, you’ll get better with
cooking the more you do it and the less you view it as a chore.
Completing each step in a recipe is a small win in itself, and I’ve
found that a little music or a podcast in the kitchen goes a long way
in making the whole thing more enjoyable.
So, whether you’re prepping for a day’s worth of meals, or a week’s
worth, I think you’ll find that getting ahead is not only very
satisfying, but also reduces the stress of figuring out “what’s for
lunch/dinner” and keeps your nutrition on point on those days you’re
in a crunch.
1 Minute Kettlebell Swings (35/53)
1 Minute Reverse Lunges
1 Minute Calorie Bike
1 Minute Rest