There is something so aesthetically pleasing about seeing all of your lunches neatly organized for the week, filled with multicolored veggies, the perfect portion of protein, and perhaps a little sweet treat as well. In reality, meal prepping can be a lot of work, but I will say that it is completely worth the effort.
I have often fallen into the habit of buying my lunch during the work week. As convenient and delicious as my Sweetgreen salads may be, the anxiety that overcomes me by the end of the week because I have spent too much money on food is not worth it. I end up feeling really guilty and realize that I could have saved that money or waited to use a small portion of it for a weekend night out.
This year, I am really trying to make the effort to meal prep on Sundays. I have seen an increase in productivity, an increase in my savings, and its the perfect way to feel super prepared for the work week ahead. It’s all about setting aside the time to make it happen! Before you know it you will be creating new and yummy meals for yourself and setting up for success!
Here is what a typical meal prep day looks like for me! It is not all that extreme, but even these small steps have really helped me feel on top it things! Enjoy.
Groceries I like to have on hand:
- black beans
- pasta sauce
- Brussels sprouts
- sweet potatoes
- peanut butter
- dark chocolate
- seasonal fruit
- chicken or ground turkey
What I do to prep!
- Greens: Kale is my go to. It is great for salad, cooking into hot dishes, and I actually do enjoy kale chips. Something else I love about kale is that it lasts really well in the fridge. Maybe because its a very hearty and tough green? Anyways, I buy fresh kale, wash it REALLY well (no one like sandy kale) and then I rip it up into little pieces. I store it in the fridge in a gallon Zip-Loc bag with a paper towel to absorb any extra water.
- Chicken: My sister-in-law inspired me to make basic chicken in the crockpot on Sundays so that you have a base protein to work with for the rest of the week.
- Oatmeal: This is my go-to breakfast of choice. It is so easy and fills me up. However, I am not eating those super sugary (albeit, delicious) apples and cinnamon or maple brown sugar oatmeal packets. I make my own. I take about a half of a cup of oats, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and add in some raisins or walnuts. I make up 5 baggies of my oatmeal for the week. I bring the baggies to work, throw them in a bowl and add hot water. So easy, especially if you are like me and don’t eat before you get to your desk in the morning.
- Chickpeas: They have become a staple in my weekly meal prep. Chickpeas are so versatile, a nice source of protein, and they add a different texture to otherwise bland salads. One of my favorite ways (and the easiest) to meal prep with chickpeas it to sauté them in a pan with a bunch of veggies, add in spices (I love using turmeric), and voila! Split it up into 5 containers and you have lunches for each day of the work week!