How I "discovered" meal prepping
If you've ever looked at my Instagram feed or Sunday Snap chat stories- you've seen I meal prep quite a bit. My 2018 New Years resolution was to try to meal prep 40/52 weeks. What a ride.
This whole "thing" honestly started due to pure laziness- not wanting to wash dishes/ having to deal with dinner cleanup every night, anywhere from a 50 to an 80 hour work week, and having opposite work schedules with my husband (he's 330 am to 330 pm- I'm 7am to 6/7pm we eat at totally different times)- We were spending too much time and money eating out/ ordering and throwing the things we bought away... not to mention no one's pants were zipping up anymore so we eliminated jeans out of our closets- clearly something had to change.
I found a new doctor after moving into our condo and G's job gave us new insurance so we had to find all new providers. I went in for a physical and in our discussion he mentioned cutting out all dairy and carbs to aid in weight loss. I remember sitting there thinking "oh no"... well actually more like... noooo noooo noooooooooo. Of course I knew he was right about the processed carbs... but ALL carbs AND dairy too?! Good bye milk and cheese?! Yeah right. EVERYTHING now days has those 2 ingredients. Also... I just loved my carbs and dairy I didn't WANT to eliminate it.
I put the doc's words into storage in the deep files located in the back of my brain, where advice I should probably take but don't, sits around collecting cobwebs. The jeans still weren't fitting, but I had a ton of yoga pants (59 pairs to be exact) ready to rescue my wide behind and continued on the food path we were on because it was easy and convenient.
Eventually my wallet got PISSED about all money spent eating out and I was forced to go locate "food advice" from my deep stored files and came across what the doctor suggested- turns out he wasn't quite as "off" and absurd as I thought.
I found a book at Costco (which no longer sold there so I added an Amazon link) when I was browsing one day and then took it to a babysitting gig to glance over- thinking if it sucked I would just return it. It was about the Paleo diet- elimination of dairy, processed carbs, and legumes/grains. Once the kids went to bed, I cracked open my book and was so drawn in- I highlighted and took notes in the entire thing- it was so much more than recipes. I was so hooked by the concept. I wanted to just "jump in" but knew from experience I would be setting myself up for failure without taking things slow and learning along the way. This become something I wanted to try to do and really succeed and not quit because it took too much time or effort.
Living in a family of 2, many recipes usually yield a lot more and we often got stuck with left overs. I figured if I have all this "extra"-- what if I just separated them into these ready to go boxes so they could just be grabbed and heated? Thus eliminating the guess work of what to eat, mindlessly wandering through the pantry, and/ or where to order from. I turned to Pinterest to look for ideas and tips on how to start "meal prepping". I started then small (jar salads for lunch for 3 days, then 5) and eventually it has turned into 5 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 5 dinners (each) and something I actually look forward to doing each Sunday evening... call it therapeutic if you wish.
My goal wasn’t meal prep weightless recipes or to start a crazy diet- it was simply to eliminate the junk we were constantly reaching for and replace it with “real” unprocessed food. There was no carb counting or weight measuring. I figured if we could reintroduce whole and hearty fruits, veggies, meats and use healthier ways to cook it- we would start seeing the health benefits and then I could try to follow one of those food cult groups (paleo, keto, etc)
I'm happy to report so far it’s replaced us from being lazy midweek and taking the easy way out of constantly ordering.... and honestly prepping lets me try out new recipes for when people come over. You would not imagine the amount of things that have turned into 🙅🏼♀️🙅🏼♀️🙅🏼♀️ never again - now I won’t poison my guests with recipes that look good but taste... not as good. It’s so fun to look for the recipe follow the steps and create something wonderful (bonus points if actually looks like the picture) I love all my meal prep containers in a row and everything prepacked and planned and ready to go. Breakfast lunch and dinner and no more texts from the hubs “what are we eating tonight”.
Doing this just makes me happy. If you have any recs for me I’m all ears!! It takes me about 3-5 hours every Sunday from start to finish and I use a combination of the oven, stove, George Foreman grill, instant pot, and weber grill- it all depends on the season and what I am making and honestly how much I want to clean up.
So my fellow meal preppers tell me about your tried and true recipes! I want to hear good advice and tips and recipes that don’t turn to mush after a few days. Looking for things that last I’m tired of throwing away money and time for things that don’t work out well. Overall, I have no rules I just try to keep super low “bread” carb and eliminate as much dairy as possible but I've still not completely eliminated it but cut down a ton. I follow a lot of Paleo recipes because I like their ingredients and recipes.
How did YOU get into prepping? Let me know!