The years of raising my daughters with the crazy schedules of work, school, and extracurriculars taught me the benefits of healthy meal prep on the weekend. If I failed to plan, I’d be scrambling every night trying to feed everyone and not always the healthiest meals.
I also dreaded the question that everyone seems to ask, every day, a million times… what’s for dinner?
I finally started planning on the weekend for the week. I would have my calendar handy and plan out our meals. on the nights when we were running the most from activity to activity, I would plan a crockpot meal so it would be ready when we needed it. On slower nights, I could spend more time cooking.
As the girls got older, we all started packing our lunches for the week. It’s so nice to be able to grab it and go. The mornings when we hadn’t prepacked our lunches were extra hectic. The lunches and dinners that we planned for were also more enjoyable and much healthier.
Now with online grocery ordering and empty nest, it’s made it even easier. I still map out our week and plan our meals even though it’s just the two of us. I use leftovers (because there are some) as the next day’s lunch. Online grocery ordering also helps me resist the temptations of extra snacks. Even healthy snacks can sometimes trigger you to overeat. It’s best to not even bring them in the house.
When planning meals, you want to make sure you’re getting protein, healthy fat, and fiber (lower carb vegetables and fruit). Balancing these macronutrients will help keep your blood sugar balanced. When your blood sugar is balanced, you stay full longer and feel better.
After I pick up the groceries and bring them home, I start prepping for the week. I find it’s so much quicker to do all the prep at once then a little every day.
Salad Meal Prep for Lunches
I usually buy a big carton of spring mix/spinach. I wash it and chop it. After it’s chopped, I put it back in the container and place a paper towel on top to absorb moisture. I have found the weeks that I chop the greens, I eat them more. They are ready for salads and smoothies. I also put a layer of them on our plates most nights. Sneaking in greens helps increase your vegetable count for the day. Chopping them also helps your body digest them easier. Bonus you don’t feel like you’re eating leaves as much.
I love roasting vegetables. I enjoy a crunchier vegetable than a soggy one. After chopping the salad, I will usually chop some sweet potatoes. I put them and some frozen broccoli on a sheet pan. Drizzle a little avocado oil and sea salt and cook them at 400 for around 30 minutes. I use these on my salad every day with leftover protein from the night before. (You could also pop them in the air fryer.)
I also will cook chicken thighs with a little avocado oil and Everything but the Bagel seasoning at the same time. This chicken goes great on salads.
Prep dinner the night before
Another meal prep idea is to prep the next nights meal after dinner. I love sheet pan meals because they are so easy. After dinner, I’ll get everything ready to go on the sheet pan and store in the refrigerator. The next day when I come home from work, I just have to pop it in the oven. I usually set the self-timer for the oven to preheat in time too.
The crockpot is another easy tool to use for meal prep. Dump everything in it the night before and store the crock in the refrigerator. Take it out the next morning and put it on low.
This month I will be sharing crockpot recipes on Wednesdays. Subscribe to my YouTube channel so you don’t miss them!
Theme Nights with Breakfast and Lunch on Repeat
Living in Texas, Taco Tuesday is on repeat. Taco meat is so easy to cook while the vegetables are roasting. I love having it ready to go. Just add some chopped onion, cilantro, and fresh avocado. Serve with grain free tortillas. Super easy meal.
For breakfast prep, overnight oats, smoothies, chia seed pudding, and egg muffin cups are all easy to prep for the week. The more you can prep ahead of time makes the weekday so much smoother.
Planning and prepping set you up for a healthier and less chaotic week. You’ll save time by doing it all at once instead of multitasking it throughout the week. You can check out my post about getting out of the drive-thru line HERE for more inspiration.
Does all this seem overwhelming? Don’t know if you can do it on your own and make it all taste good? If that sounds like you, you’re in luck! I have a free menu planning mini course that makes home cooking a whole lot easier! Check it out HERE!