A few months ago I wrote a post about what I typically eat in a week and how my relationship with food has changed over the last few years. You can read that post here. Today I am picking up where that post left off and digging deeper into a practice that changed how my family eats: my Sunday meal prepping. Here it goes…
What does Sunday meal prepping look like?
On a typical week, we do our meal planning, grocery Instacart order and get our groceries delivered on Fridays (quarantine has thrown the grocery delivery portion off). This works well for me because Friday is also the day I do my general weekly planning so it all comes together pretty easily. If you want more details on this process, check out my Instagram Saved Highlights.
The next step in this process is meal prep which I do on Sundays around lunchtime. I throw on some music or a good podcast and spend 2-3 hours prepping as much food as possible. Here is what that typically includes:
- washing and cutting all fruit (strawberries, grapes, melon, even apple slices)
- washing and roasting all veggies (our go-to are broccoli, sweet potatoes, and brussel sprouts)
- making breakfast items (usually a batch of muffins)
- cooking my taco meat for salads
- pre-cut or grate cheese for snacks and meals
- throw a few chicken breasts in crock-pot for easy dinners
- hard boil eggs for snacks
The final step is organizing the fridge. I remove any extra boxes, wrappers and generally tidy it so I can grab-and-go easily.
I usually try to get breakfast and lunch prep completely taken care of so I can get those out on the table as fast as possible. I also love to have healthy snacks readily available so I’m not tempted to grab a handful of Goldfish for the kids (and myself haha). This usually includes hard-boiled eggs, cheese slices, and fruit. I want to make it clear that there is nothing wrong with a good Goldfish snack and they usually happen frequently around here too. However, I’ve found that having options readily available cuts down on the number of times a processed snack happens…which is a win for us.
Regarding dinner, I like to do prep for anything that takes longer than 30 minutes. On that note though, there are definitely things that are better left to prepping the night of. Depending on what you like to eat as a family, this is where you need to experiment a little bit in the kitchen. For us, I usually make 2-3 chicken breasts in the crockpot for taco/quesadilla Tuesday night. I don’t season it with anything except a drizzle of olive oil, salt + pepper so it can be used in a lot of different ways if we have leftovers.
Another thing that has helped is trying to make a big dinner on Sundays. This is when I have more time and when the kitchen is already a mess from the prepping process. I love to experiment with new recipes during this time. I also plan to use that meal for leftovers on Wednesday night which means another meal done. Check, check! It’s little tricks like this that add up over time.
Why is meal prepping so important?
May I list the ways that meal prepping has become so important in my life? First, it is the epitome of batch-working and efficiency. The amount of time and energy I save by washing and chopping all of my strawberries in one sitting rather than pulling out the knife and cutting board for each meal is reason enough. I also make a big mess of my kitchen one time per week rather than every single day, all day. Instead of constantly cleaning up the kitchen (you feel me?), I do it once. I love that part. Finally, it takes the guesswork and extra energy out of feeding my family. Let’s be honest, I am exhausted by the end of the day and if I don’t do a little prep work then I am more likely to phone-it-in and order take-out (although there is nothing wrong with that…I just hate wasting food).
So there you have it. I hope this post was helpful! Let me know if you try meal prepping and how it works for you. As always, if you have any questions, you can reach me via email or contact me here. Stay safe and healthy, friends! XO