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  • Writer's pictureRobin Rhine McDonald

Meal Prep Hacks

To be honest, I'm not much of a meal prep person. I really enjoy cooking, and I'm not a huge fan of leftovers. But it was draining my time and energy to go to the store multiple times a week and make a new meal each night.

I have since discovered that I can do some meal prep and cut down on the time I spend at the store and in the kitchen while still enjoying fresh healthy meals. Follow the steps below to set yourself up and experience the easy way to healthy eating.

First things first, pick your grocery shopping/prep day.

If you plan well enough, you can get away with one day, but you might need another night for cooking.

Before you head off to the store, do a fridge and freezer inventory!

Do you have some meat that could be defrosted and used? Got some produce that’s about to go bad? Maybe have some unhealthy options you want to get rid of? Make a list of what can be thrown out and what can be used today to make some tasty meals. Don’t rule out older produce. There are tons of tasty soups you could toss those guys in! Knowing what you have also set you up to create a menu that requires less ingredients. Do a schedule inventory.

What’s going on this week? When do you need to eat out? When are you eating in? Make a menu!

Decide what you’ll make today and this week to accommodate your schedule. Part of the challenge of making healthy choices is having to decide in the moment. Get that out of the way in advance!

This also helps reduce grocery trips and allows for better planning.

Choose meals that you don't mind heating up again as a leftover or that you can easily repurpose for lunch.

For example:

  • Healthy tacos for dinner > Taco salad for lunch

  • Chicken or salmon and veggies for dinner > Chicken or salmon salad for lunch

For meals you want fresh, pre-chop or cook the sides of the meal.

For example:

  • Chop up sweet potatoes and bake them

  • Have shredded lettuce, spinach, or arugula ready for salads

  • Chop up bell peppers, cucumbers, carrots, or other items you'd toss in a salad

  • Cook up some cauliflower rice to use as a side for multiple meals (you can even make a breakfast cereal with it)

  • Pre-cook meat that you can reheat easily in a pan with some of those pre-chopped veggies for a quick 10 minute dinner.

Prep & cook as much as you can on your designated day!

You don’t have to make a ton of different meals. You can cook some things, chop other things, and make it so that meals take only 10-15 minutes to cook fresh.

Stick to your plan!

A plan is only good if it’s implemented! Set those intentions and commit. You got this!!

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