Meal Planning and Prepping Like a Pro

Do you find yourself too busy during the week to create healthy meals? Do you often settle for picking up food at the nearest drive-thru? Do you want to have healthy and ready-to-eat options available for all meals?

If this sounds like you, then this post is for you! I will be sharing my top 3 favorite (and simple) tips for meal planning and prepping!

1 – Create a Calendar 
Tentatively plan out what meals you will be having each night of the week. Are there nights of the week that are busier than others? For busy nights, think about quick throw-together meals you can keep on hand. I like having Banza chickpea pasta and frozen broccoli on hand for the days I have limited time to cook. Once you have a rough idea of your meals, create a shopping list of all the food you will need for the week. Remember to check your cabinets before food shopping so you don’t buy things you already have!

2 – Pick Easy Recipes 
Try sticking with recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. This will help make the task of cooking a meal at the end of a long day seem less daunting. Slow cooker meals are always a great option too. If you don’t want to leave the slow cooker on while you are out, think about saving these meals until the weekend when you are home. Don’t get too overwhelmed with new recipes either. Aim for 1 new recipe per week or month to mix things up.

3 – Prep Components
Instead of prepping full meals, think about preparing components of the meals. Cook off tofu or chicken and use in stir-fries or salads. Cook off brown rice and use for stir-fries or soups. You can even do this the night before while you are making dinner and already in the kitchen. Once you are finished, simply portion out your components in individual containers and refrigerate or freeze. If meals are too overwhelming to prep, think about prepping your snacks instead. Portion out dried fruits and nuts, put hummus and veggies in a container, or cut up apple slices to serve with peanut butter.

Your action goal for the week is to pick and plan 2 meals or snacks. Drop a comment below for some accountability and let me know what you are planning to prep.

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Guest post written by Cedar Crest Dietetic Intern – Katie Gunter, MS
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