Meal prepping is quite a trend lately! It probably rose in popularity as a result of all the nutritionists and health coaches shouting mantras like: “If you fail to plan, plan to fail.” I preach this too. After all, who wants to be stuck at lunch time with no healthy options, forced to dash to the drive thru? Or what mom wants to come home after a hard day at work, only to realize that she hasn’t been to the grocery store, and there’s nothing in the fridge for dinner? Our crazy busy lives practically demand that we do some form of weekly meal prepping, or the frantic call to Domino’s seems inevitable.
The question I get asked a lot is: “How much prep do I need to do?” The answer is totally up to your lifestyle, but to be successful at eating a clean, balanced, nutrient dense diet, it’s a pretty important tool. Prepping can simply mean making sure you have some solid staples in your pantry and fridge. Prepping might mean batch cooking soups, grilling 5 extra chicken breasts to have ready in the fridge for salads or wraps, or chopping and bagging greens for salads.
I have clients that work 8-10 hours each day outside the home and need to have lunches packed and ready to go for the week. They usually spend about 45 minutes on Sunday prepping 5 glass containers of salads or Buddha bowls, as well as a few snacks. Other clients might stay at home, but have multiple children with differing schedules, and they know that having 2-3 dinners prepped in the fridge each week is a must. Still others want to have most components for a week’s worth of dinners stocked and set on Sunday night.
Here’s what a week’s worth of prepping might look like:
- Wash lettuces and store in the crisper
- Chop veggies to use in salads and on crudite platter (to be dipped in hummus or ranch, etc.)
- Boil several servings of farro or quinoa
- Hard boil a few eggs to use as a snack or to top salads
- Shred a rotisserie chicken and store in a glass container
- Keep kitchen stocked with basics like:
- Nut butters
- Seeds and nuts
- Greens of all kinds
- Farro or quinoa
- Ranch dressing (or my homemade Goddess dressing from a previous post!)
- Plain Greek or Icelandic style yogurt
- Chicken or veggie stock
- Cheese (usually for the kids’ meals and snacks)
- Dave’s or a sourdough bread for quick toasts
- Spelt or ancient grain tortillas for wraps
- Eggs (can be used for ANY meal of the day—fast, nutrient dense, crowd pleasing)
- Grass-fed beef (I can make many different things quickly by browning some ground beef and tossing some add-ins!)
- Lunch meat
- Organic jerkey
- Almond milk (or nut milk of choice)
- Chickpeas, black beans--any beans of your choice for plant-based protein
Prepping can be as intense or as laid-back as you need it to be. Truth be told, there is something to be said for the act of slowing down a bit and making a meal; staying present….there are benefits to being in the moment that might, at times, outweigh the prepped fridge. It’s a balancing act. But life happens, right?!?
A few weeks ago, I wrote about a meal delivery service called Wildtree. Using their “Make Ahead Workshop” meal kits is just about the best way to meal prep that I can think of! (Image hitting the “EASY” button!) If you didn’t read the Wildtree blog, scroll back a few weeks and check it out.
Wildtree offers “an array of quick, safe, affordable meal solutions that are allergen-free, gluten-free, low-sugar, kosher, and organic.” They also offer vegetarian and vegan options. The Wildtree mission is simple: To help people live healthier lifestyles and offer solutions to meal time problems. After assembling a Wildtree Make Ahead Workshop Kit, you will have 10 meals (that serve 4-6 each) bagged and in your freezer to pull out when you need dinner!
I have had repeat customers tell me that Wildtree has changed their lives….busy moms who long to feed their families affordably and healthfully can finally do just that, even in the midst of a chaotic schedule.
There is a “Butcher and Produce Bundle” available for every kit, so email with questions regarding that, too. This option makes a WORLD of difference!
You can host a workshop, you can make the kits by yourself at home, and you can shop for all sorts of clean, organic Wildtree foods to add to your prepped pantry! However you choose to do it, Happy Prepping!
xx, Lori Z.