How to Simplify Meal Prep
Knowing what to eat is half the battle- putting it into action is the other half! Here’s a simple framework to help you not only prioritize your nutrition amidst a busy lifestyle but a plan strategy that will also help save you time + money.
Step 1: Take inventory
First things first: take stock of what you already have by checking:
- Pantry items: breads, grains, pasta, cereal/oatmeal, beans, nuts/nut butters
- Fridge items: dairy items, eggs, deli meats, dips/spreads
- Frozen items: frozen meats, vegetables
For example, if you have plenty of frozen ground beef, rice and some frozen vegetables you can plan your meals around these staples. This also ensures you aren’t over purchasing items.
You can jot down what items you have in stock on a weekly meal planner or in the notes section of your phone.
Step #2: Map out your meals
You can plan meals to prepare based on staples you have from your list above or gather inspiration from Pinterest, cookbooks, favorite recipes etc.
- Pick a protein first: chicken, beef, fish, beans
- Add a carbohydrate to serve
- Decide which sauces, condiments/spices
- Add your choice of accompanying vegetables or /fruits
Once you have the meals you have decided to make for the week, add any needed items to your grocery list to purchase.
Step #3: Purchase & Prepare Your Items
This is the hardest part, right? If you are short on time, here are some time saving tips
- Consider scheduling a grocery pick up/delivery if you are able
- Purchase pre-chopped and prepared items to save time on prep (shredded cheese, chopped vegetables, individual serving yogurts)
- Use frozen/canned items as needed- these items are picked and stored at the peak of freshness and can be such a timesaver
- After pick up, if possible rinse and chop fruits/vegetables and place in storage containers so they are ready to use when meal preparation time comes around
- Organize meal ingredients into bins in the fridge/pantry to ensure all of your dinner ingredients are in one place when you go to prepare the meal
- When in doubt have a BOOBIE* Body shake to quickly satisfy your nutritional needs. There is nothing worse than being starving and trying to make food choices that align with your health goals! Keep BOOBIE* Body on hand to be sure you have healthy fall back option for those days you are super short on time.
Remember: This is not the season of life to be an overachiever in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid to repeat what you feel works for you and is quick + nourishing!
By Wendy Colson RN, IBCLC, RLC
Wendy Colson, a registered nurse (RN) and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), is the Founder and CEO of Boobie* Superfoods. Throughout her career, Wendy has dedicated her time to helping other women conquer motherhood with ease. She helped thousands of mothers breastfeed their babies or receive their mother’s pumped milk during hospitalization. In addition, she has successfully developed a line of innovative, solution-based supplements & products for each stage of motherhood including pregnancy, lactation, and raising a family. Wendy currently lives in sunny San Diego with her 3 daughters and husband. She spends her leisure time devouring chips and salsa and planning new ways to overcome the challenges of motherhood.