Last week I shared a post talking about prepping all of your food for the week in one afternoon (I also have a whole chapter dedicated to make-ahead meals in my popular ebook) I offered lots of tips, pictures, and gave a step by step on what my food prep day looks like. I received lots of positive feedback on this post. However, within those comments were statements like this:
That looks amazing, I wish I could do that!
Wow, you are so organized, can you come to my house and do that for me?
I would love to food prep but don’t know where to start…
I tried to prep my food and got so overwhelmed I quit!
These comments, and others like them, made me think. I want you (my reader) to read the posts I write and think to yourself “I can do this”. I do not want you to feel overwhelmed or that it’s too out of reach. BELIEVE ME if you knew me in “real life” you would say “Dang, if Tammy can do it then I can definitely do this”. Not kidding! Some of my closest friends wonder how I even tie my own shoelaces some days. But one of my favorite quotes is “It never gets easier, you only get better”. This is so true. The more I work at something the “easier” it gets. Not because the task itself got easier but because I got better. I evolved. The person I am today with food prep is not the person I was 4 years ago just starting out.
If I were to give weekly food prep guidelines to the “just starting out” Tammy this is what they would be…
Don’t try to prep it all!
First and foremost, when starting out, don’t try and make ahead your entire weekly menu plan. This will completely overwhelm you – it can still overwhelm me. Start slow. The first week prep 1 or 2 recipes ahead of time and as you get comfortable with the process you can prep more.
Don’t try new recipes
When starting out with food prep it is best to stick with recipes you already know. This way you are confident in the outcome of the recipe and the only thing you need to focus on is preparing it ahead of time. This is the way I started with my food prep. I took recipes that I made often, like taco meat and red clam sauce, and prepared them ahead of time and then stored in the refrigerator and sometimes freezer. I was able to focus on what worked, what didn’t, and most importantly it allowed me to experience the benefits of having food ready. I know taco meat and clam sauce is easy to make but I still found having these meals made ahead of time to be extremely beneficial.
Choose which recipe(s), if made ahead of time, would make the biggest difference in your week
This is huge! If you are short on time or don’t have the energy to prepare a lot of food then prioritize your meals. Which recipe, if made ahead of time, is going to make your week easier? If you are rushing around every morning and always running out of time for a healthy breakfast then maybe focus on preparing breakfast sandwiches or steel cut oats. If dinnertime brings you the most stress then put together some meal starters or prep ingredients for a couple slow cooker recipes. If you are always running to the vending machine at 3:00pm then put together some veggie packs or bags of almonds. What is going to make it easier for you to eat healthier during the week?
When I was working out of the house having lunch prepared was huge. If I didn’t I was going to the vending machines or cafeteria for sure. You can view all my mason jar salad recipes here.