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Before weight loss surgery, I rarely ventured into the cooking realm. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a family, I cooked. It was mostly heat-up or mix-up processed solutions. Nothing to be proud of. Cooking just didn’t interest me. I wanted to get in and out of the kitchen as fast as I could. I was able to keep the weight off doing this through my early twenties; and while my kids were young. As I approached 30, my body was changing and the pounds were packing on.
At 35 years old, I decided to have vertical sleeve gastrectomy. There was so much to learn with all the changes coming. Through my lessons (which started 6 months prior to surgery), learning to cook with ingredients from the outside isles of the grocery store was going to be imperative. No more rushed, processed cooking. Meal Planning was also encouraged.
Wait, what?!? I’m just exploring cooking with REAL food and recipes (which I wasn’t really excited about), and now I have to dedicate a WHOLE day in the kitchen for meal planning and prep??? Ok. Listen. I’m not the betty crocker mom, but I can always -ish my way through it! I’m all about finding our -ish in life…you know…our own way for success!
I studied tons of Pinterest methods. I watched tons of youtube stories. I took notes. I thought about my life and my personality. If I just tried to be like everyone I studied, I’d eventually fail. I had to find my own path. So now, I’m sharing mine, so you can find yours. I also want you to realize you should explore your own -ish and that it’s ok to do it your own way!
What is Meal Planning/Prep?
- Meal planning is the simple act of planning some meals for the week
- Meal prep is the concept of preparing dishes ahead of schedule
Why Doesn’t Everyone Do It?
- The obvious answer is time…right? You may not want to be in the kitchen all day cooking meal prep on a weekend. You may think, “great another habit to have to add to my already busy day.”
- The thing is, you can keep it short, simple and still successful.
- Keep reading to see how.
4 Easy Tips to Meal Planning/Prep
Here is the meat of your post. You’ll break down the problem into a list of easy to accomplish steps to help your reader.
Tip 1: Find Easy Healthy Recipes
- One of the BEST tips I can offer is to find recipes that are simple, easy or quick dump and go ebook
- I put together a short ebook full of Dump & Go recipes
- Even if you don’t use a dump & go recipe, there are tons of recipes you can look up that are still easy and healthy. Pinterest has tons of recipes!
- Another option is to use recipes you already know how to make but plugin healthy substitutions to make it healthy for you and still tasty for the family.
- Lastly, there are tons of options at your local grocer that are already prepackaged. You can split them up into your meal prep containers, or simply eat them as are. This tip typically works best for breakfasts and lunches.
Tip 2:Use a planner or FREE printables
- I am addicted to my calendar planner! Sometimes I also use printable calendars. I like to write out my weekly menu plans and hang them on the fridge. This not only is a reminder for me, but my husband and kids also get an idea of what to expect.
- Get your free Dinner Printable here
- Get your free Snacks Printable here
- Get your free Lunch Printable here
- Get your free Breakfast Printable here
Tip 3: Shop Your Kitchen
- It may seem that you need to go make a laborious trip to the grocery store to get started; but, I bet if you look in your pantry and fridge that would change. There are likely many different food options that you could put together in ways you didn’t quite expect. This way, you can save money and use what you have. Think of your fridge as a salad bar. What do you have in there that needs to be cooked so it doesn’t go to waste? What can you put together that you already have?
Tip 4:Utilize an Accountability Partner
- Accountability partners can be a great asset to a mom. It can also count as a little self-care. Having a friend or partner that can keep you accountable and vice versa reminds you that you matter too.
- An Accountability Partner can also be a food or fitness group or coach. An investment to yourself (short term or long term).
- Join my team No Excuse Ninjas Facebook Group for everyday help, encouragement, tips and coaching from other bari-moms like you!
The Last Thing You Need to Know About Meal Planning and Prep
- What I want you to take away from this post is that no matter what your situation is you can do this too! Meal planning and pre are PROVEN ways to stay on track with diet and health. It would be beneficial to start this method as soon as possible. If that intimidates you, start with the tips I mentioned above.
- What are some other tips you use to stay on track with meal planning or prep?