Meal prepping has saved my sanity. Well some of it at least.
I no longer have to stress about getting fast food because I
know its unhealthy. I no longer stress about how much money I spend on dining
out. (Trust me – I still eat fast food and dine out – but at least now its
planned and I can workaround it instead of using it as a fall back option).
Let’s just say I have 99 problems and meal prepping isn’t
one. But it seems that every time I talk to someone about my meal prepping they
look at me like I’m crazy. I’ll get comments in return like “I could never eat
the same thing everyday!” and “Don’t you get bored when you don’t have
options?” On the other end of the spectrum some people look at me with envy and
say things like “How do you have the time to make all those meals in one day?”
and “How do you come up with different recipes?”
I’ve found that there are four big things that people will
comment on while we are talking about my meal prep and I want to share with you
why I think they are bogus excuses for most people.
It takes too much time.
I meal prep once a week, on Sunday. I usually spend 2-2.5 hours
meal prepping. But I’m not up at the stovetop that long. I’m probably only
physically in the kitchen for a hour. And that’s the time it takes me to make 12-16
meals. That’s only 12 and a half minutes per meal. Are you watching the news or
a TV show or Netflix one night a week? Use that time to double as your meal
prep. Or meal prep when you do your laundry. Or do all three at the same time
if you’re feeling crazy.
Frozen meats and veggies are the cheapest thing ever. It’s only
$1 for two good servings of frozen veggies and you could honestly probably get
3 servings out of a bag if you wanted to make it stretch. Brown rice is typically
$0.12 for a serving. You can make meal prep work on a tiny budget. And it’s
cheaper than getting a meal from a fast food restaurant every day.
You also save money in food waste when you meal plan and
prep. Because you’re planning for the week you buy just what you need. This
keeps food from sitting around going uneaten and it keeps you from spending
money on things you’re not going to eat.
Try baking your chicken instead of grilling. Try cooking
rice instead of pasta. Try steaming your veggies instead of sautéing (better
yet, buy a bag that comes ready to steam in the microwave. Takes only 5 min and
you don’t have to cut up the veggies). You can adjust the way you cook things
so that you don’t have to be standing there and checking on things every couple
of minutes. You really can utilize your kitchen to do most of the work while
you just sit and enjoy your favorite TV show.
It’s boring to eat the same thing everyday.
Even if you had to eat the same thing every day when you
meal prep (spoiler alert; you don’t) you can mix things up with seasonings,
spices and sauces. Try an Asian flavor inspired sauce mix on your rice and
veggies instead of just going with salt and pepper again. Or maybe you like
lemon pepper, spicy things, and BBQ? Try each of those flavors on a chicken
breast for a different day of the week. You can also alternate days of the week
with different meals. Make one meal for a couple days and a different one for
the rest of the week. I like to mix things up by doing a pasta salad for a few
days and then a chicken and rice dish. But I always keep things interesting
with different veggies and spices. It's definitely the easiest way to changes