My relationship with food is evolving and I’ve learned to be okay with exactly where I’m at while knowing that I’ll continue to get better. When I have a meal plan (bonus if everything is prepped in advance), I have no problem following it.
However, if I just “wing it” then ordering pizza becomes a very tempting option. So, for the most part, I don’t and that’s largely due to the tips below. At the same time, I also won’t crucify myself if I decide to have a cookie.
Sometimes you want the apple, other times you want the muffin. Life is all about balance, amiright?
10 meal prepping tips to ensure you eat well all week
Plan. We buy all organic, non-GMO food and that can get pricey if you’re not careful. I look at the flyers to get a sense of what is on sale and then use those ingredients to create our meals plan for the week.
Display your plan. We have a whiteboard on the back of a door near the kitchen where I write our meal plan for the week and track any groceries I still need to pick up. I also snap a picture on my phone so I can bring it with me as a reminder to, you know, follow it. You can check out a photo of Buster with our whiteboard on Instagram and follow our hashtag #authoropwrites so you never miss the bonus photos!
Organize your recipes. James accuses me of spending half my waking life on Pinterest and I admit that I’m addicted. I sort my recipes into categories that work for me, which will be personal to everyone, so I can reach for inspiration as required.
Get creative. I am one of those people who can eat the same thing every day and not get sick of it. If it’s healthy and tasty, I’m down to eat it repeatedly. However, I know some people (like James) don’t feel that way. I create new recipes all the time, but if you’re not feeling especially inspired, you can at least try out a new recipe someone else created once a week. Here are some of my favourite cookbooks:
- Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck
- The How Not to Die Cookbook: 100+ Recipes to Help Prevent and Reverse Diseases
- The Everything Healthy Meal Prep Cookbook
Don’t forget snacks. It’s not enough to plan a healthy breakfast, lunch and dinner for most people because most of us like snacks. I always have a crash stash (think nuts, seeds, homemade protein bars and balls, and jerky) available so that I don’t reach for less nutritious choices.
Make a grocery list. One of the worst kitchen feelings is being in the middle of making something and realizing that you’re missing an ingredient. After I have my meal plan, I go through each meal and write down the items I need to get to ensure the “missing ingredient” annoyance doesn’t derail my plans.
Batch cook. The only thing I hate more than dishes is…I can’t think of anything. If you cook in batches, not only will you only have to do dishes once, but you’ll also come home to pre-prepared meals that you simply reheat and enjoy. This prevents after work grazing and poor decisions because you’re hangry (I get it – you’re eating that chocolate bar to protect the innocent, but still).
Freezer-friendly. I highly recommend making freezer-friendly recipes and storing them in freezer-safe containers when you’re batch cooking so you can do your future self a favour and have dinner ready next week, too. Another option is to cook your protein, i.e. chunks of chicken, which you can add to fresh vegetables when you need them.
Make it fun. If you have likeminded friends, invite them over for a cooking day. You can batch cook while you dance in the kitchen (I know that isn’t just me).
Swap. Have you heard of cookie swaps? If you aren’t able to make a cooking day work with your friends, you can always cook up separate meals and swap them so everyone gets some variety at their tables.
Share your meal planning and prepping tips in the comments below!
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