Recipes Wellness

Prepping for Success (& Our Lunch)

Like many of you, I have a morning routine that kick-starts my day. I wash my face, pick out an outfit, take my dog out, start the coffee and a plethora of other activities that prep my brain for the morning ahead. I have come to the conclusion that I thrive when I have a routine. Like everyone else, I have a routine for my weekends, my breakfast, my makeup and so on. WIthout having these very minor rituals, my life would be an abundance of chaos.

I have also realized that one of the most important routines for me revolves around food. When I eat, where I grocery shop, and especially how I prep my food at the beginning of the week. The most valued routine I have is meal prepping, in fact, I don’t think I could have a productive week without it. Meal prepping not only sets me up for a successful week but a healthy one too. Food routines are the most important because we are able to consciously plan what we are putting into our body. You wouldn’t put bad oil in a good car!

So, what is meal prepping?

For those of you not familiar with the meal prepping process, it is a routine that is typically done on one day at the beginning of the week. It allows you to make all your food on one day, so you don’t have to worry about cooking later in the week. Meal prepping varies for everyone. Tyler and I go to the store on either Saturday or Sunday and prepare our snacks and breakfast foods on Sunday night (Mon-Thurs-we like to eat out on the weekends). For dinner, we cook every night, but we make four portions so that we have lunch for the following day. Obviously, meal prepping looks different for everyone. You always will do what works best for you and your schedule!

For some, this process might sound overwhelming, especially if your significant other doesn’t cook. Don’t fret, I meal prepped on my own in college, and it was just as effective. Here are a couple of reasons why I started to meal prep, and how it can benefit you in some serious ways.

It saves you time…

Have you ever dreaded going to pick up groceries in the middle of the week? Or didn’t want to spend ten to fifteen dollars on a meal out when it’s not even that great of quality? When you meal prep, you don’t need to make numerous trips to the store, or even have to worry about prepping your snacks for the following day when you are exhausted after work. Meal prepping allows you to front load the work at the beginning of the week, and not have to worry about your meals at all. At most, I will spend two hours on Sunday meal prepping- but these two short hours allow me to just grab and go during the week! It couldn’t be easier.

It helps you resist temptation…

Now, I don’t know about you, but I struuuuggle with self-control when I am tempted with the wrong things. If it’s in front of me, I will eat it. This was the reason I started meal prepping in the first place. I needed healthy snacks and meals I could easily access when I was getting hungry, and when I don’t, you can bet I am grabbing that candy out of my desk drawer for the kiddos. The temptation I am referring to has to do snacks mostly, which luckily is the easiest part of meal prepping! At the beginning of the week, I will put together some fruit cups, sliced apples (I keep almond butter at school), bags of carrots or celery, and maybe a couple of Tupperware of side salads (I also keep ranch and vinaigrette at school for dipping and dressing the salads). Obviously, this varies from week to week depending on my energy, but it definitely helps when I want something sweet or salty and I feel the hunger coming on.

I also keep a lot of things at work to make this process easier. I luckily have an amazing coworker that has a fridge, and she allows me to store some food items. If you don’t have a mini fridge available, I would get one. Mostly because you want to be eating produce as much as you possibly can to avoid processed foods! For school I typically store…

  • Vinaigrette
  • Ranch
  • Kind Bars
  • Larabars
  • Clementines

Sometimes, the things you bring for lunch don’t always sound appealing. These items held at school always save me when I am feeling the temptation!

It saves money…

Every Sunday, my husband and I typically make a shared “note” on our iPhones before we go to the store. This helps us with sticking to the plan and not buying everything we see, especially if we are hungry. When we first moved to Dallas, we were notorious grocery store hoppers. We were going to several different grocery stores to get the best bang for our buck- we wanted the best quality for the best prices. We finally settled on Sprouts, the prices of produce were unbeatable, and they have plenty of organic options. On our note, we typically put the ingredients we need for our meals and then our basics

  • Bananas–>breakfast
  • Apples–>sliced apples for a snack
  • Blackberries–>berry bowl
  • Blueberries–>berry bowl
  • Strawberries–>berry bowl
  • Carrots–>snack bags
  • Celery—>Snack bags
  • Spinach—>for smoothies or eggs in the morning
  • Tomatoes—>side salads
  • Cucumbers—>side salads
  • Avocados —>side salads
  • Melon (any type)—>after school snack
  • Eggs—>boiled for breakfast
  • Holy Kombucha—>it’s yummy!
  • Our sides for dinners (usually whatever is in season)

We sometimes are lucky and don’t need every item, but guys, we get these things AND our ingredients for dinners for under $100. Making a plan before walking into the store seriously makes a difference!

I feel like as professionals, we are in a constant battle with time. We never have enough energy to cook or enough time to prepare for the week. You will find that once you put healthy meals and snacks as priorities, you will not only feel better about what you are putting in your body, but you will have more energy. Being healthy is eighty percent what you eat, and twenty percent what you do to stay active. Treat yo’ self to some good quality food, Y’all!

I have met a lot of people that are avid meal preppers, and they will always tell me that they don’t remember another way of living. Meal prepping is different for everyone, and I would love to hear other ways people have experimented with it! Please let me know if you have any questions/ requests for recipes. I will be posting again soon with some of my favorite fall dinner recipes. Stay tuned!

{On a side note, my writing teachers- I used Google Translate to proofread one last time, and it was incredibly helpful!! I am totally making time for it in my writing units!}

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