This is a guest post written by fellow dietitian Leanne Ray. She is a healthy meal prepping expert and food blogger over at LeanneRay.com. I’m so excited to have her here to share her easy meal prep ideas with you all!
We all face the issue of limited time during the week and consequently, most of us assume that healthy meal prepping is just “one more thing” to add to our already insane to-do list. But I’m here to prove to you that you can and will SAVE time if you learn to do it in an efficient and practical way.
First, a quick example. I once had a nutrition coaching client who was going to the store multiple times every week (like, every night). Each day when she got done with work, she quickly scrambled to figure out what to eat for dinner. As you can imagine, she was completely burned out on planning and cooking and basically “winged it” with whatever boxed/processed food she could find in the pantry nearly giving up on cooking altogether.
In her mind, meal planning and prepping would only add to her stress level but after we got to talking, I could see things slowly start to “click” that setting aside some time on the weekend to create a game plan for the week would actually save her time in the long run. In short: Use 1-2 hours of brainpower once (Sunday), instead of 1-2 hours of brainpower every single day of the week.
I like to think of easy meal prep as knocking out a few key components to make your weeknight cooking routine smoother and more fun. If you could throw together a fresh, healthy and delicious meal in less than 30 minutes most nights, would you cook more?
Any newbie home cook knows that the struggle is real when you try to follow a recipe only to realize you don’t have the necessary tools on hand. Luckily there are just a few basic items that will make prepping a whole lot easier, so let’s start there.
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It seriously happens to all of us. We get so bogged down with where to start or what to do first that we end up doing nothing at all. Try adopting a “just do it” mentality. Turn on your favorite tunes, pour yourself a cup of tea and just get it done. Choose three tasks that will have the biggest return on investment during the week and knock them out in one blitz. You could even set a timer if you want to be extra efficient! Examples:
Ideas: Overnight oats, mini quiche cups, chopped fruit, homemade snack bars, and smoothie packs!
If you invest a small chunk of time on Sunday to make some healthy staples, you’ll reap the benefits all week long! Trust us when we say that you’ll never be happier come 6:00 pm. What will you meal prep this week?
Leanne Ray is a Denver-based registered dietitian on a mission to make cooking and nutrition practical for even the busiest of people. She offers 1:1 virtual nutrition coaching services in addition to hosting in-person educational events and creating simple plant-powered recipes on her blog. Learn more about her nutrition membership program.