PRIORITIES, my darling.
Living a healthy lifestyle requires a certain time commitment.
Between working out, eating right, getting enough sleep and taking care of yourself in general, it can feel overwhelming, at least in the beginning. That’s not even taking work and a social life into account.
If you feel lost and don’t know where to start, this Meal Prepping Tips and Ideas post was made for you.
I’m not telling you it requires a certain amount of hours – that part is up to you to figure out and work into your schedule BUT when people say they don’t have enough “time” to be healthy, I secretly want to roll my eyes. Not in a mean way, just in a “priorities” kind of way. Which brings us to meal prepping and planning 🙂
You’re totally crazy busy. I get it.
The thing is, this commitment to your health saves time in the long run as you’ll feel efficiently fueled with nutritionally balanced, well thought-out meals and snacks which will naturally increase energy and productivity. You won’t be running around like a crazy person, rushing out the door in the morning, leaving yourself no time to pack a healthy lunch (hello macro glow bowl), let alone blend up a 5-minute green smoothie for your commute.
If you had meal prepped on Sunday afternoon, your lunch could have been ready to go, babe. You could have been drinking your Kale Coconut Green Smoothie while doing your hair and makeup, because waking up 10 minutes earlier allowed you to throw a bunch of goodness into a blender.
Meal prep may not be an option for everyone, but take a good hard look at your schedule because making an effort and carving out time is the first step to success. You can make the meal prep process fun, I promise! Even though it may force you give up a few things, like ending your Netflix weekend marathon a couple hours earlier than expected, it will be SO worth it. Plus, bikini season is coming.
Why meal prep, you ask?
- You won’t have to think about what to eat because you have options
- You’re more likely to eat healthy all week when meals are already prepared (hence, the bikini body)
- You’ll be more productive, energized and less stressed
- Your skin will be glowing because you’re nourished. Your eyes will be bright. Your hair will be shiny and luscious
- You’ll save money because you planned out your meals. Instead of buying random things at the store and not knowing what to do with them, you buy what’s on your list because you prepped
Be THAT person with a list. Who cares? That person knows what they are doing. When I see people at the store without a list, I wonder how they remember everything and don’t immediately blank once stepping foot in Whole Foods. I NEED a list or I will forget that one very important ingredient for that new recipe I want to try. That’s how my brain works because I always feel rushed in a grocery store. It’s usually frigid in there and I’m probably hungry. I need a list to keep me straight. Either a post-it note or the notes app in my phone works for me.
You have to start somewhere. I love to set aside a few hours on Saturday or Sunday to plan, shop, prep and cook what I need but do any day/time that works for your schedule. Mine usually goes something like this: make my list, go to the gym, stop at Whole Foods and Trader Joes, come home to unpack and get started.
STEP 1: Figure out what you want to eat for the week
Do you want smoothies or oatmeal for breakfast? Apples and larabars for snacks? Power salads for lunch? Glow bowls for dinner?
I have hundreds of recipes here on the blog, but maybe you have a special pinterest board with food inspiration or favorite recipes that you’ve bookmarked. Maybe you want to incorporate a couple super healthy recipes from my body balance cleanse or from a cookbook like this one.
I like to prepare enough salad to last me 2 or 3 lunches, then make another one mid-week. I alwayssss have a batch of brown rice or quinoa for glow bowls and to add in salads. Snacks are essential and chopped up veggies, apples or these no-bake balls are my go-to’s. Since I’m cooking a lot for the blog throughout the week, I’ll make a recipe or two for dinner but even preparing those few things saves a TON of time. I enjoy cooking and it’s therapeutic to me after a long day, but I know not everyone feels that way.
Figure out what will work best for you, whether that is planning out every single meal or just a few and having other things on hand.
STEP 2: See what you have on hand, then make your grocery list
Do you have ingredients for morning smoothies like frozen berries, enough greens and superfood powders? Do you have everything for homemade salad dressing and enough lemons for turmeric glow lemonade? Are you stocked up on spices, grains and beans or frozen veggies for a quick stir fry? Make sure you think about all these things so you don’t have to stop at the store everyday.
I plan out my lists depending on the store because I go to Whole Foods for some things and Trader Joe’s for other things. Then I try my best to write out what I need depending on where it is in the store, so I’m not wasting time walking back and forth from one end to the other. Then you’re in and out quickly!
STEP 3: Go Shopping
The fun part. When your lists are good to go, get your booty to the store and pick up what you need.
Don’t forget the red wine and dark chocolate 😉
Step 4: Start Prepping, Cooking & Portioning
When you get home, turn on music and start unpacking the goods. Make it fun! If I’m meal prepping on a late Sunday afternoon, I’ll have a glass of red wine or rosé which always makes it more fun, let’s be real.
Boil the water for a batch of brown rice or quinoa. Start washing your veggies and fruits. Wash and de-stem the kale for the kale detox salad you planned on for lunches. Chop up celery, bell peppers and carrots for easy snacking with hummus. Rinse and drain black beans for plant protein that you can add to any meal or salad. Cook up some lentils or shelled edamame for extra plant protein options. Make your own trail mix with soaked almonds, flaked coconut, dried cranberries and cacao nibs. Freeze those ripe bananas for purple power smoothie bowls or nice cream.
Portion things out. Organize the fridge. Freeze leftovers. The point is to prepare whatever you can beforehand, in order to make your life easier during the week.
Eventually your lifestyle begins to transform and living healthy just becomes apart of your weekly and daily routine. You learn to make time for yourself and find that you need to prep in order to have a successful week without ordering any take out!
Planning in advance will free up time to kick booty in other areas of your life.
Go get prepping! What are your favorite tips and tricks when prepping and planning? Share them in the comments below 🙂