Meal Prep is a megaaaa trendy hashtag right now; but if you’re already in the game, you’ll know what a huge difference it can make to your health, your budget, and that First World-er syndrome born of wayyy too much choice—consumer anxiety.
But the BIGGEST payoff from investing a little extra time in the kitchen Sunday night is, somewhat paradoxically, the gift of time.
Wait—What Is Meal Prep Again?
Meal Prepping is simply preparing some, or all of your meals, ahead of time. It’s like buying a whack load of ready meals, except that you put in an hour or two once a week to do them yourself, with healthier and more cost-effective ingredients. What Meal Prep isn’t is some weird practice reserved only for pro athletes, or those who have Marie Kondo on speed dial. Meal Prepping is for everyone—and it can work for you in BIG ways, whatever your personality type or lifestyle.
How Meal Prepping Frees Up Your Week (Whoop!)
If you batch-cook, or batch prep, you’re doing the exact same preparation, only with a larger amount of ingredients. Trying to squeeze the effort of a different.recipe.per.meal is going to clutter up your daily schedule, your headspace, and your sink. It’s CRAZYTOWN. It’s also 100% guaranteed to fill your fridge with food that’ll end up being wasted. Booo.
If the fear of spending all weekend buried under Tupperware is too much (you wouldn’t), you can also partially Meal Prep: think batch-cooking pasta sauces, blitzing up dips, or baking a few baked sweet potatoes to load up with veg, swirl into oatmeal, or make into killer smoothies during the week.
Start With The Meal That Stresses You The Most
Breakfasts during the week are a pain in the ass for me. As are lunches. Or at least they would be if I didn’t get my sh*t together every Sunday night. I work out mornings, and I also homeschool my kids, plus I obviously have a business to run! So it is impossible for me to do All. The. Things. and feed all the bellies if I’m spending more time than I have to sweatin’ in the kitchen. I prep our week’s breakfasts on the weekend (including a ‘cheat’ one on Saturday night to enjoy Sunday morning), plus I make a speedy-but-wholesome hummus to swipe over toast and load up with veggies for the weekday lunches. The weekdays are then allll mine to divvy up between the things (and people) that really matter to me.
You Will Make Bad Choices If You Don’t Plan Ahead (Now Don’t Give Me That Side-Eye)
I don’t do storebought cereals (homemade granola is so easy, people!). But I get that when you’re exhausted with a sugar-low to quell, a box of Cheerios or a McMuffin Meal feels like a good barter for sanity. Until after and you kinda wish you had just planned better. If you wait until you’re hungry (which is what we all do sooo often), your stomach will override your big ol’ brain and choose the junk. Every. Freakin. Time.
Meal Prep Doesn’t Always Work First Time
At this stage, my husband and I have the meal-prep thing down to a science(ish). But it took a lot of trying stuff and rejigging things to figure out what works for our family and schedule. You need to play around with recipes to see what you’re cool with having on the reg, what keeps the best when stored, and what you find easy (or pleasant) enough to prepare frequently. But KEEP WITH IT. You will neverrr look back once you’re in your groove—and even if you slide from time to time, or take a break for vacay, the habit will be there to pick right back up where you left it.
Meal Prep Doesn’t Mean Your Meals Will Be Boring
You’re probably wondering — isn’t it weird that I’m a food blogger but I’m looking for ways to spend less time making food? Meal Prep does NOT mean making the same thing forever until you die. Food is life, and I freakin’ LOVE it, and I love experimenting with recipes (obvs, LOL), and I would never even attempt meal prepping if it interfered with my enjoyment in making food and eating it. But because I’m human — newsflash —and also a mom, the reality is that the majority of meals in our house have to be made out of necessity, and those are the ones that get the Meal Prep treatment. That means that for Morning, Delicious, I have more energy and enthusiasm for creativity on the countertops, aka making awesome recipes to share with you guys!
So; once or twice a month, I try out a new recipe for breakfast to add to the Meal Prep rota. I slow-cook enough for 3 dinners a week, too, and leave the rest of the nights open for new dishes. The structure isn’t too rigid so I can still play, but it’s enough of a safety net for when things get manic. Which they always do.
My Number One Breakfast Meal Prep Recipe
I’m a chia pudding superfan. Mostly because the stuff is so versatile: you can flavour it in a million ways, and it is the perfect partner with the most lush of breakfast bowl toppings.
This Berry Pink Chia Breakfast Pudding is loaded with fresh berries, and IMO, is like a next level smoothie. I add my protein powder to it, too, which sates the hunger for longer. Creamy, tarty sweet, and soulmates with a dollop of hazelnut butter (omg). The recipe makes enough for 3-4 servings, so enough for Monday to Thursday—double-up if you plan to share! Grab five minutes, a handful of ingredients, and let this be your initiation into Meal Prep Awesomeness. 🙌🏻
Stay tuned for my next post detailing exactly how I Meal Prep for stress-less success, PLUS all the recipes I use!Print
A super pink chia pudding loaded with fresh berries and fibre-packed chia seeds. Creamy, tarty sweet, and a perfect partner with a dollop of nut butter (omg). Grab five minutes, a handful of ingredients and LET’S DO THIS. 💗
- 1.5 cups raspberries, frozen or fresh
- 1.5 cups strawberries, frozen or fresh* (see notes at the end)
- 3 tbsp maple syrup (or honey)
- Pinch salt
- 2 cups milk of choice
- Scoop of unflavoured (or vanilla) protein powder, optional
- 1/2 cup chia seeds, black or white
- In a food processor or blender, blitz berries with maple syrup/ honey and salt until they reach a Slushie-like consistency.
- Then, pour milk in a large (around 1l) glass jar. Follow with the puréed berries. Next, the protein powder, if using. Finally, top with the chia seeds.
- Whisk well until all is thoroughly combined. Chill overnight, or at least for 5-6 hours.
- Shake or whisk again halfway, or a couple hours, through chilling time.
- Keep chilled in the fridge.
- Top with Greek or coconut yoghurt, Sweet Freedom Choc Shot, almond or hazelnut butter (my fave is this one), cacao nibs and fresh berries.
You can sub strawberries for just raspberries or vice-versa—it’s just as delish!