Meal Prep For Beginners (Like Me)

Happy Monday everyone! I hope everyone enjoyed their football Sunday, I know mine was bittersweet. If you’re anything like me, Sundays tend to be my prep days for the week- from food to laundry. This week I wanted to share how I meal prep since I have not always been the best at it. I’ll be giving some tips and recipes in this specific post, but make sure you follow me on Instagram so that you see how some of the dishes I mention come out!

My trouble with meal prepping has always rooted from me getting bored with what I cooked, which would lead me to buying food out a lot more often and not making the best choices when I did order. I’m still fairly new to keeping myself on the straight and narrow, but I’ve been meal prepping for almost two months now and I think it’s been an amazing change to my routine. Ideally meal prepping will help me not only save money in the long run, but will also help me make better choices when it comes to what I put in my body. 

With a little background given, let’s get into it! 

Yesterday I woke up late…I mean very late, so by the time I started my day off it was time for football. I started my day by making a snack for the game, the obvious choice being guacamole if you’ve been following me. I always love making guacamole because it’s quick, simple, and I utilize all fresh ingredients when I have them.

For this recipe, I use 2 ripe avocados, 1 1/4 tsp of lemon or lime juice, and 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, but regular salt works just as well. Sometimes I go out to my garden box out front and grab a pepper or two and some herbs. I’ll also dice up a tomato if I have one on hand. In yesterday’s I was able to put some of my shishito peppers that I’ve been meaning to harvest which gave it a good crunch factor! 

A tip I have about snacking is to just try to keep fresh items on hand that you know you can eat in many ways. I love having avocados since I can make something from them, but I’m also one of those people that can eat them straight out of the skin. I do the same thing with carrots since I can add them to a salad, eat them alone or even with peanut butter. The more ways you can eat a food item, the better the snack in my opinion. Other good snack options are nuts and granola, which I usually have in my desk at work. 

When it comes to meal prepping I spend an hour just planning the week and a grocery list at the same time. This would be a tip of mine, so that you ensure you buy or have everything that recipe needs that you’ll be using. Oh and when you do go to the store, don’t go hungry! That is a common mistake I used to make and boy did I come home with a lot more junk than I ever needed. 

I mentioned that a lot of my issues around meal prep came from not loving what I was eating, but another issue was that I rarely ate breakfast before and now that I have time to I struggle. I needed to find a way around that and that’s why I try baking muffins or making smoothies in the morning! This week I opted for muffins so that I could grab one and go. I made chocolate chip and banana cinnamon so that I wouldn’t get bored and I made enough for Dan too (you’re welcome). I am aware this is not the healthiest option, but it has helped me at least start eating in the morning…I’ll get to healthier options soon enough. 

As for my lunches and dinners, I always have some difficulty since Dan travels for work so I never want to make too much. In weeks where he travels, like this week, I tend to go for slow cooker meals so that any leftovers are my lunch. When I don’t do this, I lean towards sandwiches and salads for lunch and Dan usually helps cook dinner which tends to be fish or chicken. Dan and I rarely eat red meat out of preference. A tip for meal prepping slow cooker meals are to try and find recipes with your protein and vegetables all in one. I particularly enjoy Skinnytaste as not only does she offer great recipes, but she also provides sampled meal prep guides if you don’t want to do it yourself! 

This week, I will be making Skinnytaste’s Salsa Chicken  and Taco Cauliflower Rice, as well as making a salmon dish of my own for dinner and any leftovers will be lunch. These recipes are ones both Dan and I have tried and loved so they are always in the rotation of meals. It usually takes at least two different meals for me each week to not get bored, which is why slow cooker meals are the best! It’s like not even cooking for one of the meals, it’s just a dump and go method which is completely my speed. 

My last tip would be to start small. When I started this routine, I only started with breakfast then I moved to lunches and dinners. New routines are not always easy to follow so give yourself some time and pace to your lifestyle. Dan rarely eats leftovers so meal prepping dinner is always the hardest for me since it’s the one meal he’s usually home for. Adjust your routine to your life so it starts becoming habitual and not a chore. I’m not the perfect meal prepping person just yet, but I know with time I’ll only get better and I’ll see the results I want; financially and health-wise. 

Crossing my fingers that this has helped some of you, as I know it’s not always the easiest thing to do, but hopefully you’ve enjoyed a peek into my life and I how I’ve started. If you have some tips for me, leave them down in the comments! As always, thank you for stopping by and make sure you check out the blog on Wednesday for a new post! 

xx Alicia