When we did our little poll of content you guys wanted to see here on the blog in 2020, meal prep was a hot topic! Everything from how I do it as a busy mom, to where I find recipe ideas, you asked all the things! I’ve really tried to make healthier eating a priority in my life over the last couple of years. But it takes some trial and error and figuring out what works best for you. So I thought today it would be helpful to share a little video of what I do, as well as 4 tips that helped me get the hang of it, simplify it, and make it work for me, that I hope will help you too!
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Now that you’ve checked out the video, you kind of got an inside scoop as to how I do things. So let’s talk about a few tips that help you get into the habit of meal prepping and simplify it to work for you!
:: CONSIDER YOUR SEASON OF LIFE
With Instagram being so huge in our lives right now, it is SO easy to sit back and compare. You can look through your friends accounts and pick apart alllll the things they are doing that you are not. Healthy choices and meal prep is often one of those things. You may look at your newlywed friend that has her whole week planned out, labeled, and ready to go and think if she can do it why can’t I?
But then I want you to to think, are we in the same season of life? Does her day to do look like mine? Nobody out there is going to have the same life and responsibilities as you. Do what works for YOU and YOUR season. Trying to over do it and take on more than you can handle is going to stress you out more than help you out.
:: START WITH LITTLE CHANGES
I don’t know about you, but when I start something new, I tend to want to jump allll in and make this huge drastic change. But a lot of the time when I do that, it ends up resulting in failure or me giving up. It is really easy to feel that way with meal prep. You’ll check an Instagram account or Pinterest post and think you have to prep a month worth of all the things on day 1. And oh yeah they need to be extra healthy things you’ve never made before too. Don’t do that to yourself!!
Start simple with just doing meal prep for part of your day. Maybe mornings are extra hectic for you. Choose to meal prep breakfast to give yourself more time for something else. When I first started out, all I did was prep chicken. I would take one big bag of frozen chicken and cook the entire thing at once. One week I would do it as all Grilled BBQ Chicken. We would have enough for a family dinner, and then I would use the rest throughout the week for meals for me. Then I added in instant rice. Or switched up the chicken to Lemon Chicken.
It does not have to be big and elaborate. Your main focus is on starting a good habit you can stick with, and building from there. And one of the things I have loved about this the most is I have started to notice that now my kids go to the fridge to snack on the healthy options I prep too. They are always watching you and want to make the same healthy choices you do when they see how it makes you feel.
:: USE YOUR RESOURCES
As much as the online world can be a thorn in your side when it comes to comparison and overwhelm, it can also be an amazing resource! There are so many accounts out there specifically working to help you succeed in your health + fitness journey. One of those that I found and is 100% the reason I was able to stick to meal prep is Clean Simple Eats.
To come out and say a product or brand has changed your life might sound a little dramatic, but for me that is what Clean Simple Eats is. Their meal plans gave me the boost to really move forward with a healthier routine for both myself and my family. They take yummy recipes we all know and love, (pizza, tacos, burgers, MILKSHAKES), simplify them, and put a healthy spin on them. I drink their Almond Joy Protein Shake every single day for breakfast and have for over a year because it is that good.
They also take all the guess work out of the prep. Each meal plan comes with a grocery list already done for you for your week, completely taking the extra work out for you. Helping you SIMPLIFY! If you go out to eat, they have a break down of healthy choices you can make on the go too! We LOVE them!! If you want to try them, you can click on this link, and it will get you $15 off any of the meal plans!
:: DON’T FORGET THE SNACKS + TREATS
Let’s rewind to before I started this healthy journey. Like a lot of moms out there, I was spending a lot of time at home, by myself, with the babies. When you are busy taking care of tiny humans, you tend to put yourself on the back burner. My go to “meal” was chocolate milk and a pop tart. And I’m talking for any meal, not just breakfast. It was quick, easy, convenient, and bonus, I could eat it on the go! Win win right? Wrong!
I felt like garbage all. the. time. I was cranky, impatient, tired, and just not being the mom or person I knew I could be. It was time for a change and to take some me time.
This is the main reason, out of all the things, I choose to prep snacks/treats. Having the healthy option already made and waiting for me in the pantry or fridge has been a game changer. If it is there, I am going to grab that instead of going for the unhealthy option. So taking the time to prep it has been huge for me.
This can be as simple as having fruits already cut up and ready to eat. Or having my fridge stocked with my favorite protein bars (20% off with code KAILEE) or a batch of protein balls (my FAVORITE are from Clean Simple Eats) already made so I can just grab one when I have a sweet tooth, instead of something not as healthy. We are all human and we are going to go for what is quick and convenient. So put those healthy options right in front of your face.
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I hope these little tips + blurbs of advice are helpful! Meal prep can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be! Start simple and do what works for you!! And if you have any awesome tips that have made things go more smoothly for you, I wanna hear them!
photos + video : aubrey taiese
** BBQ CHICKEN SAUCE RECIPE FROM VIDEO **
We love to grill up a huge batch of this chicken at the beginning of the week for dinner, and then use the leftovers for lunches and to snack on throughout the week. I love to eat it on its own or pair it with just rice or potatoes, but it would be great on a salad too!
1/4 cup salad oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tablespoons ketchup
1 Tablespoon Vinegar
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic or 1/8 tsp garlic salt
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