Planning and prepping meals is probably one of the more important things you should be doing each week. It ranks up there with taking a shower and brushing your teeth.
As I’ve said before, “Failing to plan IS planning to fail.”
You may have good intentions, but if you don’t have a plan for food going into the week, eventually things will go haywire and you will look for the easiest way out. Which typically means stopping at a fast food joint on the way home. Or even worse..not eating at all! (Maybe that’s not worse than eating fast food, but you get the point!)
According to Josh Hillis, the two most important workouts of your week should be 1) Meal planning and shopping and 2) Preparing/cooking/portioning those meals.
He goes on to say (which I think nails it perfectly:), “Until you make the switch in your head that food preparation is the most important workout of the week, you’ll be caught in the trap of trying to get your results through workouts. And we know that workouts will NEVER get you there.”
Yes, training is SUPER important, but if your goal is fat loss, DIET IS KING.
So here is how my family typically plans our meals each week. It may not be perfect, but it works for us!
- Meal plan and shop
- I typically plan out the meals by looking back through past recipes we’ve enjoyed. We like Foodgawker. They have tons of recipes saved into our favorites. We recently put all of our faves onto a piece of paper that I then laminated. This makes deciding super painless as I just flip through and find the recipes we haven’t had for a while
- After you make your list, go shop!
- There are several ways to go about this. Depending on our weekend plans, I might prep a few of the meals in advance. We have also used the freezer crockpot meal idea and had great success. You can find TONS of good recipes that allow you to make up a bunch of freezer meals. Then all you have to do is pull them out the day before you want to eat them so they can thaw. Then the morning of, toss it into the slow cooker and by the time you get home, VOILA! Dinner is ready. Now all you have to worry about is the side:)
- We also prep egg muffins, overnight oats, oatmeal, salads, pre-chop veggies, and sometimes even prepare protein shake ingredients. This makes life so much easier!
Some other things to consider:
- Eat frozen ‘steam in the bag’ veggies if short on time.
- Invest in an instant pot. They are super convenient as you just throw the ingredients in and it cooks WAY faster than the sloooow cooker.
- Rice cookers are also a good investment. No, they aren’t just for rice. We’ve even made an entire curry dish in it. (Thanks to the wife:) It’s also a quick and easy way to steam veggies.
So..if you don’t currently plan out your meals. just start. Preparing your meals allows you to see what is actually in your food and will definitely save you some money in the long run. It also teaches your little ones the value cooking at home. It could even be a family event!
If you aren’t sure where to start, reach out and I’d be more than happy to discuss some things you could be doing that could change your life!
This pic doesn’t really fit in, but I found it humorous.