Meal Prep and Meal Planning for the Win [The Wagon – Part 4]

Welcome back to The Wagon Series. Today’s blog is on step four of meal planning and meal prepping that makes it easy, fast, and helps you stay on track and accomplish your health goals. Check out part 1, 2, and 3 here.

Now that I am a few days into the back on the wagon challenge, I am ready to really start preparing to be successful through being prepared.

One of the reasons I was eating out so much was because when I got busy, I made excuses that I was too tired to make my own food. I also blamed not having enough food, or knowing what to make as reasons not to eat at home.

Two ways to combat that and make sure you’re getting the best nutrition on this journey is to meal plan and meal prep. These will help you not only make sure you have the foods you need to be healthy available, but also that they are easy and fast to make or just grab and go when you need them.

Meal Planning

This one might seem simple, but for me it has not always been that simple. I started my health/wellness/fitness journey by just going to the store and wandering around grabbing what every spoke to me that day. Well let me tell you, that’s the fastest way to end up with 3X the grocery bill and a fridge full of potatoes and garlic at the end of the week with nothing else to pair them with.

You don’t have to plan out 7 days of elaborate dinners to be meal planning. Simply picking a few big meals to make that can be made into left over meals is a good place to start. Then pick a few “throw together meals” that are easy to make on the fly. Think a chicken breast, steamed veggie and rice. Or a green salad topped with tuna or beans.

Then write out a grocery list of the foods you need for the recipes and throw together meals. For two people, I can usually get away with four recipes a week and the rest being throw together meals. I also count oatmeal, smoothies, and all salads as throw together meals. You can find plenty of blank grocery lists online to print that you can fill out by department. Another great option to use is a pad of paper that you can take with you, or even just a list in your phone.

Meal Prepping

One of the biggest time savers I have found is making large batches of the carbohydrates and proteins at the beginning of the week, or right after you shop. Finding just an hour or so will really save you time. For example if you have beans, rice, and potatoes on the menu then use one whole hour to cook it all at once in the oven, in the slow cooker, or even the pressure (rice cooker) cooker.

The same goes with proteins like meat and beans. I have gotten in the habit of baking them all off or cooking on the stove with their seasonings and then packing it all up separate so they are just easy to grab and reward.

You can do the same for veggies or fruit that you need to do prep work on to eat. Put aside some time during you meal prep to chop, shave, dice, or cube and place in tupperware to grab and go later.

This saves times during the week when you might be busier and would like to save the prep work time when cooking.

What time saving tips do you have to get your meal planning and prep going for the week? Or are you someone who likes to fly creative all week?

Step 1: Set a small achievable goal – eating out only 1 time a week

Step 2: Step off the scale

Step 3: Dump the bad foods, stock up on the good ones

Step 4: Meal plan and meal prep

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