Meal prepping can be a valuable tool to help ensure you have healthy meals ready to eat all week long. Not only does it help with your health goals but it can also help you save time and money. The best part is that you can prep as much or as little as you’d like.
Step One: Look at your calendar
The first step in meal prepping is looking at your calendar. There’s nothing worse than planning and buying for a full week’s worth of meals, only to find you have prior obligations. Take note of things like after work plans, work schedules, kid’s schedules and your workout routine. Consider how much time you need to prep dinner (be realistic). If you know certain days of the week are difficult for you, don’t plan a complicated meal that day.
Step Two: Choose your Recipes
The second step in meal prepping is choosing your recipes. We always recommend starting with your pantry or refrigerator to see if there are any foods you need to use up first. Pinterest is a great resource for recipes – it also allows you to save your recipes to a “board” rather than needing to print them out every time. Keep tabs on bloggers you’ve gotten recipes from in the past – they are frequently adding to their content.
Step Three: Plan your week
Fill in the days of the week with appropriate recipes. Take a look at the recipe and see if there is anything missing. Do you need a side such as a protein, starch or vegetable to complete the meal? Generally we recommend 2 servings of fish, 1 serving of red meat and one meatless meal. The rest of the days can be comprised with other lean sources of protein such as chicken, turkey, pork tenderloin, etc.
Step Four: Compile a grocery list
Once you have your recipes, it’s time to make a grocery list. This step will help save you time and money at the grocery store. Be sure to double check recipes to confirm you have all ingredients needed. It can also help if you organize the items in the general layout of the store ie. all vegetables together, meat together, dairy together, etc. Don’t forget this list when you go shopping!
Step Five: Prep your Ingredients
Once the grocery shopping is complete, it’s time to prep your ingredients. This step can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. You can choose to chop all of your vegetables ahead of time, or you can cook entire meals ahead of time. The goal is to make meal prep as easy as possible for yourself.
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