Meal Planning & Meal Prep

Meal Planning & Meal Prep

If you haven’t read about my first trip to the nutritionist, you might want to do that first… before reading on…

Waiting… and waiting…

We’re currently waiting for the nutritionist to give us our meal plans.  Until then, she’s given us a few “starter” meals and meal formulas to tie us over.  Basically, we need protein/veggies/carbs at each meal — with a goal of 20 grams of protein at Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.  She’s set my macros at 40% carbs, 30% protein, and 30% fat for the time being — and we’ll adjust as necessary.

Planned versus Actual

It’s super easy to plan meals, but so much harder to stick to the plan once life happens!  I’m a freezer junky — meaning I freeze lots of things so they don’t take up room in my fridge.  Raw meat, leftovers, soups, etc… all end up frozen.  This means I waste a lot less, since we only thaw out foods we plan to use, but it also makes spontaneous meals much more difficult.  And heaven forbid I forget to thaw chicken for supper!  It means we’re in a whole bunch of trouble… or have to wait and wait and wait… for at least an hour.

Tips for Adulting

The nutritionist gave us some tips to help with this, some I knew and some I didn’t.  I’ve combined these tips, with a few of my own, into the following list:

  • Precook your main protein sources – I had never thought of this before… usually when I meal prep and cook in advance, I cook everything and put it all in the fridge.  Hubby hates this because it all tastes “leftover” and he’d prefer fresh.  By just pre-cooking the main meats, it saves a bunch of time but there are still fresh components to the meal – like sauces and side dishes.
  • Cook a lot for dinner!  This seems like a no brainer, but I’m not one who like to waste food, so I would avoid doing this for fear leftovers would go uneaten!  This can come back to bite me — when hubby wants seconds and I cooked just enough for us to have a single serving each.
  • Have snacky lunches — this helps with fewer meal preps.  If you just grab some crackers and veggies, etc… and have a snacky lunch, that’s one less “meal” that has to be formally prepared.  Boiled eggs, lunch meats, and hummus help fill the protein requirements — and can be purchase all ready to go right from the store
  • Eat things raw!  Zoodles, salads, mixed veggies, fruits, smoothies, overnight oats, chia seed pudding, etc…  This was a great tip — put as many things on your meal plan that don’t require cooking as possible.  This saves time and sanity in the kitchen!
  • Meal prep Twice a week.  This struck me as a great idea.  In the past, when I’ve attempted meal prep, I would try to cook and prep everything ONCE a week — which didn’t really work out too well.  By the end of the week the plan was completely off course, due to life events or really just the foods themselves didn’t hold up, etc… Simply planning to meal prep twice a week allows me to have more manageable chunks of the week to think about.  Like, “We just have to get through Wednesday” if we meal prep Sunday… Then I can meal prep again on Thursday and really just need to get to the weekend! Much easier than trying to juggle the whole week at once.

 

What are some ways you make your meal plans work for you?

 Do you meal prep?

What’s your favorite meal planning/prepping tip?

Leave a comment/reply and let me know ^_^

 

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