You may (or may not) have heard of meal prepping. It’s all the rave in the health & fitness world. I even wrote a whole blog post on how to because, well, I also thought that was the way to go, but the truth is…I hated it! Yep – it stressed me out, and I already had enough going on with new babies – a human and a business.
I did it anyway, until I started doing something new that completely changed everything for me! It has even changed my entire mindset around food and has made it so much easier for me to stick to my vision of a healthy (and, okay, hot too) bod! Plus, it’s easy and less time consuming!
What is this magical thing I do?
Batch prepping food! Woot!
What is it exactly? It’s simply preparing a variety of foods for the week to have available to grab and heat up.
Why does this differ from meal prep? Because you get to decide what to eat whenever vs having a set plan AND you can mix and match. Think of it as going into your closet and mixing up different outfits vs having just a select few put together that you must stick to!
Well, if to save time (and stress) you’re doing the fast food thing, or dining out, you’re 1. wasting a ton of money (instead you can use that money to invest in things to better yourself, which is my favorite thing to do, for trips, hobbies, etc.) 2. putting some not so good stuff into your beautiful body, which leads to feeling like poop – low energy, bloated, etc and weight gain.
Also, you can easily do this in 1-2 hrs in 1 day. Holy sh*t! You totally feel me on how awesome this is, right??!! Let’s take that a bit further so you love this even more…If you are currently cooking every night, besides majorly stressing out daily about what you’re gonna make (I see this All. The. Time. especially with moms), it’s taking about 30-60 minutes every night. That adds up to about 4- 7 hours per week. I don’t know about you, but I rather use that time to hang with family, friends, do something I love to do, or chill the heck out!
Let’s recap the benefits.
– Helps you with your health, weight loss, fitness goals.
– Saves time.
– Alleviates stress. No more thinking, “Ugh, what the heck am I gonna make for dinner???”
– Saves you a ton of money.
– You get to diversify your meals!
So now let’s get to the how to!
Have a list of foods to choose from. I’m all about getting in lots of nutrients daily and my clients get a complete guide with foods to make. You’ll want whole food carbs (yes, carbs!), proteins, veggies, fruits, fats (yes, fats!).
Oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, other whole grains, whole grain/bean/quinoa pasta
I don’t eat any animal products, so mine include lentils, beans, (legit, not highly processed) veggie burgers, tempeh and tofu.
*If you eat animal products, make sure it is not from factory farms…seriously…google that sh*t.
Greens, salad mix, other raw veggies like carrots, mushrooms, cucumbers, celery, and lots of frozen veggies. I get frozen because they last longer, may have better nutritional content, and they are so easy to heat up and add to ANYTHING!
Apples, pears, frozen berries. I get frozen berries and other fruits for the same reasons as frozen veggies and because I like adding frozen fruit to my smoothies.
Raw nuts and seeds, guacamole, hummus, nut butters (make sure they only have 1 ingredient – the nut that it is made out of), tahini
Extras: marinara sauce, Mary’s Gone Crackers, spices, coconut oil, salsa, organic taco shells, dressings
*You can also batch prep things like soups and chilis.
Decide what you want to make for the week. I’m not even gonna lie – if this is new to you, you may feel flustered, but remember that once you get going, you’ll be rocking this in no time, but you have to start to become a rockstar batch prepper 😃
Get cooking. Tip – try to keep this as simple as possible. What do I mean by this? If cooking up lentils or quinoa, just cook the lentils because you can then use them in various ways throughout the week. You can also make big batches of soups and chilis. I will sometimes eat those alone or add in more veggies and put them on top of grains.
Examples for lentils – lentil tacos (here is my super simple recipe), lentil soup, lentils with marinara over pasta or raw noodles and veggies.
Examples for quinoa – heat up quinoa with a bunch of veggies, a protein, and a sauce (marinara, tahini dressing, hot sauce), heat up quinoa and top with berries, almonds, & cinnamon.
Put everything in containers. See through containers would be best. You could even stick a label on everything so you know what’s in what.
Example Meals…Before I get into this, here is something else that has really helped me – I don’t call what I eat by the typical names like breakfast, lunch and dinner. That used to mess with my head, thinking I had to eat certain foods for those “meals”, so now I just say “meals”
Oats with berries and almond butter
Ezekiel bread toasted with almond butter or avocado
Bowls filled with a grain, protein, veggies, salsa, guac, etc
Different kinds of tacos – lentil tacos, tempeh tacos, etc. with lots of veggies, salsa and guac
Veggie burgers topped with hummus
Whole grain pasta, lentils, veggies and marinara
Hummus and veggies and/or Mary’s Gone Crackers
Apple and almond butter
That’s it! I swear when I stopped over-thinking everything (not just food), my life became so much easier.
For my ladies in my Level Up Ladies – all this nutrition stuff is made even easier!!
So my last words of advice/encouragement – You got This! Stop overthinking! You can make changes! You can be healthy & happy, and you deserve to!
Feel free to also join a group I have that is basically just a bunch of us sharing our food (all plant based please) – What’s For Dinner? Does It Involve Kale for inspiration and guidance.