I wrote a whole post here on meal prepping but thought I’d revive it as part of my Fitness Series. The original post was more about how to meal prep, but today I’m going to share why I do it and how much better my mental and physical health is because of it.
I find it much harder to stick to being healthy/portion control when I don’t have food prepared for the week. I like to meal prep on Sundays for the work week. Typically, it takes me about 5-6 hours from start to finish to meal prep (which saves me so much time during the work week). Sometimes I’ll do a little bit of prep in the morning and the rest in the evening, depending on my plans for the day.
- Find Recipes: I’ve gotten bored with some of my go-to recipes so lately I’ve been searching Pinterest or my cookbooks for new recipes to try.
- Grocery list: I’ll try to pick recipes that have similar ingredients or use food that is on sale that week. (This also helps reduce waste and keeps my grocery bill small!)
- Buy groceries.
- Prep food: I’ll cut vegetables while cooking grains or meat etc. My kitchen looks like a disaster through this process!
- Prepare meals: I have terrible portion control so I measure my grains and meat and try to load up on vegetables and fruit. I have the Kayla Itsines Healthy Food Guide which was very helpful at the beginning of this process.
- Dishes. (The worst part of this process is doing 3-4 loads of dishes BUT then I have hardly any dishes to do during the week).
Why I Meal Prep
- It saves me time. Yes, I spend a few hours every Sunday in the kitchen BUT my breakfasts, lunches and dinners are all made and easy to grab from the fridge for that whole week. If I sleep in (which happens more regularly than I care to admit) my breakfast AND lunch are ready to grab and go. I also save time doing dishes during the week: I wash my containers at work after lunch and then I only have a few dishes for dinner. So much easier!
- It saves me money. My monthly budget for groceries is less than two boxes of HelloFresh meals for a family of four. Meal prepping gives me a chance to see what’s on sale (therefore saving money) and prepare accordingly. Making food at home is also way cheaper than buying lunch every day – which I’m more apt to do when I don’t have something ready to go in the fridge.
- I’m healthier. I eat healthier when I have healthy meals already prepped! I’ve been trying new salad recipes lately (that I typically wouldn’t try without meal prepping): taco salad, Mediterranean salad bowl and quinoa salad is always a favourite. Also, when I’m busy at work it’s hard to justify spending time cooking and this gives me time to be healthy!
- I try new recipes. Especially if it’s a more complication recipe, I have more time on Sunday than during the week to try something new. I’m more apt to eat my “go-to’s” during the week if I haven’t meal prepped!
How I Feel When I Don’t Meal Prep
The weeks I don’t meal prep consist of buying a lot of pre-made food at lunch, spending more money than I typically budget for, overeating after work (when I’m hungry I can’t wait for dinner to be made) and overall not being as aware of what I’m eating as I should be. I’m scrambling for time to make food and find myself sticking to easy-to-make meals that may not be a balanced diet!
All in all, my week is so much easier when I spend time to meal prep. What about you? Do you meal prep? How do you like it?