This post is part of our ongoing Simplify Series, which focuses on strategies for improving your health and outlook by simplifying various aspects of your life. To view other related posts, search for “Simplify”.
You really can’t go on Pinterest, scroll through Instagram, or even mindlessly look at Facebook these days without seeing people or companies promoting or sharing their meal-prepping strategies. It makes a ton of sense if you think about it – we’re all wildly overscheduled with a million things on our minds, probably the last of which is what we’re going to make for dinner that night. That is where meal prepping came in to save the day for my family and me. Instead of haphazardly throwing together a meal, or – even worse – ordering takeout because I’m too tired (read: lazy) to cook, I now plan our dinners a week in advance and do my very best to stick with them.
For some background, I’m a writer here at CDPHP®, my husband owns his own contracting business, and we have a toddler in daycare. Most afternoons at around 4, my husband and I text each other to figure out where we’re at in our day. If I’m on deadline and he’s supervising a job site, we need to make a plan for who will pick up our daughter that night. Then, once we’re home, we immediately launch into the feeding/letting-the-dog-out-and-having-dinner-before-bedtime routine, which generally lasts a couple of hours. Rather than wasting that precious time figuring out what to make for dinner and cooking it, I want to spend it catching up with my girl and my husband. Sound familiar to you? Good – then let’s get prepping!
Here’s how we make meal prep work for our family:
Here are a few of my favorite web resources for meal prepping:
Pinterest – I have found so many great recipes that have become staples in my house.
Buzzfeed Tasty Videos – Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve definitely watched a Tasty video (or 300). They have some awesome meal-prep videos, as well as one-pot or one-sheet dishes that are perfect for busy weeknights.
Greatist – I subscribed to their daily emails about a year ago at the suggestion of a colleague, and I am SO glad I did! Not only do they feature excellent articles on living your healthiest, best life, but there are always great recipe ideas and meal-prep strategies to add to my repertoire.
If you’re looking beyond web resources to sharpen your healthy-cooking skills, I strongly recommend taking a peek at the CDPHP community wellness class listing. These free classes, like Warm Up the Winter with Your Slow Cooker, will teach you to create healthy, satisfying meals.
We also recently held a healthy recipe contest with our CDPHP Insights community. Thanks to our winner, Karen, for submitting her Zucchini/Chicken Bake, perfect as a main dish or as a side. In second place was Dana for her delicious Banana Bread recipe and Rose placed third with her take on a Spinach Mushroom Frittata. You can download recipe cards for each of these items and try them out today! Also, consider joining our CDPHP Insights community – you’ll have the opportunity to share important feedback with CDPHP, as well as participate in fun contests like this one.
Let’s face it: We’re not perfect, and you still may order the occasional pizza. The important thing is to try and devote some time to planning ahead and shopping for exactly what you need. You may just see your stress level – and grocery bill! – decrease as a result.