How many times have you been rushing out of the house, already 10 minutes late for your next appointment? You’re flailing. grabbing pieces of clothing while still in motion, hoping they end up matching.
Been there? Yeah, me too.
On days like this, getting a proper, balanced meal is truly the last thing on my mind, and probably yours too. In the past, when I have had crazy insane days, eating wasn’t even a thought until I found myself shaky or light headed (a sure sign my blood sugar was low and I had gone too long without eating.)
Enter meal prepping.
Why should I meal prep?
If you’ve ever had a day like the one I described- you already know why.
If you’re an incredible person and always have enough time in your day, I can almost guarantee you, there will come a day that is incredibly busy, and if not that, you will be faced with fatigue and not always feel like making a meal when you get home from work or a long day of everything else you do.
Essentially, meal prepping helps you make better, more nutritious choices throughout the week.
If you have food that is already signed, sealed, and delivered to your refrigerator, you will be a lot less likely to make a pit stop at the fast food chain on the way home because you don’t want to cook.
easy meal prep for beginners
Easy meal prepping for beginners honestly doesn’t have to be anything too outrageous.
Sometimes people go all out and get same sized Tupperware and pre-portion every single meal into individual containers for the week. This is great, but if you’re just starting to meal prep, you might want to take it down a couple notches.
Here are a few quick tips I follow when I do my meal prepping.
Depending on your family size, choose 2-4 recipes for the week. (it’s just my husband and me right now so I usually do 2 recipes per week)
Double the recipe and make a list of all the ingredients. Shop for ingredients and pick a day to prep the meals. (If you have a large family and are doing 4 or more meals per week you could prep for half the week, and then do the other half in a second setting so it doesn’t feel like it takes an eternity.)
Throughout the week- switch between recipes for lunch and dinner. For example, on Monday have my Chicken Fiesta Soup for dinner and the Harvest Pumpkin Casserole for lunch. Then, on Tuesday, switch it up and do the casserole for lunch and the soup during the evening.
meal prep ideas for beginners
Really, most recipes are great for easy meal prep. For beginners, I suggest chicken casseroles, stir frys, soups, even prepping toppings for tacos or sides can be a good option. Almost every week I grab a Costco bag of rotating vegetables (beets, squash, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower etc) and roast them right along the same time as I’m meal prepping so that I have a good side to go with whatever I’m eating as a main entree. Some great spices for roasting veggies are
To roast the veggies:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Lay veggies on a sheet pan and lightly drizzle olive oil and spices. Massage with hands to combine.
Roast for 20-30 minutes, turning every once in awhile. You make have to take out the vegetables sooner-depending on what type they are. Keep a close eye on them as they can burn quickly.
Meal prepping is really a lot easier than you might think, especially if you're a beginner and have never tried. Try to make balanced meals, fully equipped with greens, protein, and tons of fiber. Mix it up with a soup and a crock-pot meal or a baked dish with zoodles. The possibilities are endless. If after reading this article you weren’t feeling like you could conquer the meal plan fiasco, give me a call or shoot me an email (contact info on home page.) I would love to work alongside you and help you plan meals best for you and your lifestyle.
Until later, Happy cooking!
Mikyah RDN, LD