I've found that meal prep is really the key to making eating real food super sustainable. I know many of you don't exactly love the idea of spending an entire day in the kitchen – and I totally get it, because either do I!
The number one question I get from my readers (pretty much daily) is how I meal prep, so it's my hope that sharing my Five Tips For Easy Meal Prep will make your life so much easier! I've been living this lifestyle for over 4 years now, and I honestly LOVE it! I can promise you that eating real food can actually be really simple, and I'm here to show you how!
There's no right or wrong way to meal prep, it's truly about finding what works best for you!
My Five Tips For Easy Meal Prep:
1. Always Make a Double Batch
Seriously, ALWAYS! When I first changed my diet, I used to spend one day a week doing a massive meal prep, which worked well for me at the time, but not so much anymore.
Life is always changing, so never feel like you have to stick to something that's no longer working for you anymore.
Now, instead of spending hours at a time in the kitchen, I simply make at least a double batch of EVERYTHING whenever I'm cooking. I make full meals maybe 2-3 times per week, and have found that making extra and having the leftovers over the following day(s) is incredibly helpful to make things easy.
If I'm roasting veggies, I'll make extra. If I'm making any of my homemade sauces, I'll make at least a double (usually triple) batch. If I'm chopping veggies for a salad, I'll chop extra to store in the fridge. If I'm roasting a couple yams/potatoes for dinner, I'll bake 6-8 at a time instead. If I'm making a batch of my chili, I'll make a double batch. If I'm making burgers, I'll make 4-5 lbs at once…etc. It doesn't take much extra effort to make more of what you're already cooking, and you'll want to hug yourself when all you have to do is pull out leftovers from the fridge over the next few days!
2. Keep It Super Simple (KISS)
I often see a tendency for people to overcomplicate things that are actually really simple. I know I once did this when I first changed my diet, as I really had no idea what I was doing. Eating real food is actually incredibly easy once you find your flow, and one of my tricks is to keep whatever I cook up super simple in flavor.
I designed my Meal Creation Sheets to use really basic whole foods that you can easily make into completely different meals. Just by cooking up some basic protein and veggies and adding the spices and/or sauces that I listed in my Meal Creation Sheets, you're guaranteed to never get bored with your food!
3. Sauces Are Everything
I could say it a million times over – sauces are the KEY to why I love eating this way! Sauces are what turn ordinary food into exciting and flavorful dishes, with hardly any extra effort.
As I mentioned above, my husband and I eat very basic protein and veggies – think lots of burgers, grilled chicken and salmon and roasted or sautéed veggies, seasoned with only salt, pepper, and maybe some garlic powder. We keep things new by switching up the sauces that we use – and my Chipotle Aioli is definitely a favorite!
If you haven't already, be sure to check out my video on how to make delicious homemade sauces in just 30 seconds! Seriously, sauces are the game changer!
4. Plan Ahead
Once a week I set aside just few minutes to look over my calendar and plan out my meals for the following week. I find that when I know what I want to prep ahead of time and what I'm going to plan to have for dinner each night, my weeks flow SO MUCH EASIER! Taking just a few minutes to do a little planning at the start of each week pays off big time!
5. Freeze It
Having meals prepped and ready in the freezer can be a lifesaver when times get crazy, or if you're recovering from an illness, etc. My freezer is my BFF, and I always have it stocked with at least a couple different casseroles (I prefer to freeze them in individual portions), soups and bone broth. This is exactly why I created an entire guide for freezing meals (along with my favorite freezer-friendly recipes), as well as freezing ingredients!