How hard is it for you to make good food decisions when you’re already hungry? For me, nearly impossible. I get hungry (or hangry if we’re being honest), and all I can think of are unhealthy foods – imagine milkshakes, French fries, chocolate…the list goes on.
But how easy would it be to choose something healthy and nourishing to your body if it were already prepared for you and waiting in your fridge or pantry?
Well friends, I can tell you from recent personal experience what a game-changer food prepping has been for our family. We went on the offense in our meal prep game soon after our second son was born. Now as a family of four, our attention is even more focused on the kiddos and we have less bandwidth during the week to cook breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even snacks. So, we decided a change was in order.
Our approach has been multi-pronged, and it looks something like this:
- Twice weekly trips to Trader Joe’s to purchase supplies for 3-4 days’ worth of meals and snacks
- Planning out all of our meals ahead of time and writing out a shopping list, which is in a shared note that both my husband and I can access on our iPhones (we usually end up with him doing the first food run, and our boys and I doing the other later in the week)
- Then we spend Sundays and either Wednesday or Thursday nights prepping. Here’s what a recent shopping/meal list looked like.
- Oatmeal with berries and nuts
- English muffins with peanut butter and a side of fruit
- Martha Stewart’s Bean Salad
- Salads with chopped veggies and Trader Joe’s fresh dressings
- Steam broccoli and string beans
- Leftovers from the three below dinners
- Cookie and Kate’s Black Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas
- Cookie and Kate’s Lentil Soup with fresh sourdough bread
- Veganomicon’s “Mac and Cheese”
- Dried mango slices
- Trail mix
- Bananas, blackberries, blueberries
- Various cheeses and crackers
One thing that radically changed the game for us was purchasing glass food storage containers. Now I can see inside everything in our refrigerator and no longer forget what’s in there and only realize I wanted to eat it after it’s already gone bad. I also appreciate that the glass container doubles as the bowl I eat my meal out of, so there’s less clean up! We ordered a variety of sizes, but I’m really loving this Bento Box inspired design for lunches especially.
Food prepping is still a work in progress, and we’re certainly learning as we go, but I can confidently say that I’ve never eaten this healthy, consistently, in my entire life. It feels empowering to know that what I’m putting into my body is blessing me and fueling me, rather than making me feel good in the moment but ultimately leaving me feeling sluggish.
Are you ready to give food prepping a go? What else can I share about our experience that could help you on your journey?