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I really enjoy eating a variety of food so I’ve never been one of those people who cook up a bunch of the same food and eat it for every meal during the week. Blech. Also, if I think about food too much I don’t want to eat it. Strange, I know. This is how & why I meal prep.
Regular Meal Planning
Every week I sit down and write out our Weekly Menu (follow the link to see my menus).
Like I mentioned in my post about Meal Planning, you can tell when we are eating, as my husband says “on the diet”, and when we are not. I have a developed a little system to help me easily put healthy meals on the menu. For the most part we usually eat healthy and try to keep junk food out of our house but occasionally I’ll throw a good old fashioned King Ranch Chicken on the menu. What is it Shaun T says, try to eat healthy 80% of the time and let yourself indulge the other 20%.
When Do I Meal Prep?
So when do I meal prep and what does that mean? Whenever we’re getting ready for a special occasion or vacation and want to look our best we’ll follow a stricter meal plan. This summer since I’ve been doing Brazil Butt Lift we’ve done the 6-Day Supermodel Slimdown Plan. Sounds totally cheesy but it really works!
In order to make it easier for us to follow a stricter diet I’ll prep about half the meals for the week ahead of time. I’ve always heard that cooked food is only good for 3-4 days so anything more than that I don’t believe is safe to eat.
How I Meal Prep
Here are my steps for meal prepping:
I like to go down my menu and prep each meal and snack in order in case I run out of steam and need to finish later. If we are having chicken more than once I’ll cook all the chicken then portion it out. Same with snacks, if strawberries are on the menu I’ll cut and portion the strawberries out for the week. I’ll wash off and reuse my cutting boards or mixing bowls so I’m not generating a heap of dishes.
I’ll also use my 21 Day Fix containers to measure out portions. Extra Small Ziploc containers also work really well to hold small portions of things like snacks. You can use larger containers for your meals.
I like these from Amazon. You’ll need a lot of containers to hold your portions.
Why I Meal Prep
Preparing our meals and snacks ahead of time makes it easy to grab and go and keeps me from getting lazy and not eating what we are supposed to. Unfortunately, junk food just seems to be so much more convenient than healthy food so grabbing a bag of chips is much easier than cutting up fruit and adding yogurt and granola, unless you’ve prepped it ahead of time.
Also, instead of viewing the stricter diet as limiting and thinking about what I can’t have, I can look forward to what I CAN eat. Most of the 7 Day meal plans operate off reduced calories so you do get a little hungry. Being able to look at your menu and look forward to the next ready-to-eat meal or snack helps.
What meal prep tips & secrets do you swear by? Any favorite programs to get ready for special occasions?