Meal Prep or Messy Kitchen

So here we are, hump day, I’m currently eating dinner that I prepped on Sunday and already thinking about what I will prep this weekend. You’ve seen the perfect photos on Instagram and Pinterest, 5 days, 5 lunches, snacks and dinners, all prepped before Monday even hits. I’m here to give you the reality of meal prep…

When I started my full time [adult] job last year I slowly began meal prepping. At first it was as simple as cutting up veggies and bagging them up. This was quick and a life saver! Time went on and I felt ready conquer more…side note: I’ve never been much of a cook so I needed simple, easy recipes….What was I planning to have for lunch that week? Salad. Okay, 5 plastic containers with spinach. Took about 3 minutes. Than I thought to myself what is the most time consuming part of making dinner? Cooking the protein; for me this is chicken most of the time. I would marinate the chicken for most of the day, put it on a pan and throw it in the oven. Different marinades can include Italian dressing, olive oil and seasoning, or even a ranch packet with garlic. No standing around necessary and multitasking encouraged. See the theme here: Simple and Easy.

Reality check:

This past Sunday I went all out. Meal prep consisted of Carrot muffins, egg casserole, baked chicken, roasted veggies, and tuna salad. Fact: This took me hours and then I couldn’t figure out what to eat for dinner that night. Also no fancy pictures of all my hard work. (If it’s not on snapchat or IG, did you really meal prep?) So here is a picture of my messy kitchen and dirty dishes. This ‘spice’ lacks a dishwasher.

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Here are some questions to ask yourself before hitting the grocery store and starting to meal prep:

  • How many people are you preparing for?
  • Are there any days you don’t need food for? Work lunch, happy hour with friends?
  • What is your morning routine? Do you need to prepare something ahead of time to make sure you eat? (Do not skip breakfast!)
  • How can you incorporate more fruit and veggies each day? Remember 5 servings is the magic number.
  • How much time do you have?
  • Do you have enough ziplock bags and plastic containers?

It’s really up to you how extravagant your meal prep can be. It also doesn’t have to take hours on end. Whether you are a busy mom or college student, or whatever your nutrition goals may be, meal prepping can be extremely helpful! Try it today!

~Ginger Spice Out

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