Ah, meal prep. The elusive ritual that your top chef, Type A, friend looks forward to every Sunday during which they spend the entire day in the kitchen and fork over way too much cash at Whole Foods. You don’t have the time for that in between Sunday Runday, brunch, and your obligatory weekend Netflix marathon.
Guess what? I’m here to prove you wrong.
Each Sunday, I spend about $50 on groceries and 2 hours, give or take, in the kitchen. Granted, I love cooking and am happy to spend the time prepping, but I’m also busy. So in order to get everything done in these 2 hours, I’ve got some tips for you.
- Carbohydrates: Roast some sweet potatoes, fluff up some quinoa, or boil a pot of brown rice–whatever you’re feeling, prepare to use it as the base for your dinners
- Protein: Whether you’re a carnivore, vegetarian, or vegan, there are lots of options here. I usually choose to bake some chicken and tofu, so I can mix and match throughout the week.
- Breakfast: This one is a major lifesaver for me. I’m a huge oatmeal fan, so lately I’ve been loving overnight oats. Other good ideas would be frittata muffins or chia pudding. A lot of people love to portion out smoothie ingredients, but this option is too loud for me at 4:15 in the morning.
- Snacks: I need a lot of variety in my snack rotation or I’ll mindlessly munch all day. Some favorites are mini peppers and hummus, fruit, and protein muffins.
- Sides: Make sure you have some roasted vegetables or salad greens on hand to throw all your other ingredients on top of when you’re rushed later in the week.
- Timing: This is where it can get tricky. When you start prepping, think about what is going to take the longest. I usually start with my carb, so I get a pot of water boiling and then move onto prepping the protein. Once your carb and protein are cooking, move onto chopping whatever vegetables you want to roast. Finally, cut up any fruit and lettuce.
This might seem like way more effort than you want to put forth, but you’ll be so much happier when you’re feeling bogged down by weekly stresses a few days later. Plus, when you prep it all together, that’s only one day of clean up instead of every single day. That right there makes it totally worth it to me.
If you enjoyed this post, make sure you check back soon! I’m going to be sharing some of my go to meal prep recipes. Plus, eating healthy on a budget in college and then as an AmeriCorps has left me with some tips that I’m eager to pass onto you all!