Contrary to what the title may suggest this is a positive post about meal prep! However it is a very real post about meal prep. Over the last year of learning the best way to meal prep for myself and K I have read the many many blogs and personal experiences of meal prep. All these cheery happy this changed my life posts! However I want to keep it real, even if I don’t get the followers these life changing blogs do, I’ll keep journaling if it helps just one miserable person make their life a little easier, and a little more real.
Meal prep. It isn’t easy, it isn’t always fun, it is always messy and time consuming. Meal prep has made everything so much easier! I may gripe about meal prep half way through or on the day of when I’m tired and beat and just don’t have the energy but this has made all the difference. I have depression, anxiety and chronic stress. This means I stress eat, I bored and sad eat, I need to keep my hands and mouth busy eat. I eat and I gain weight, I’m female with that kind of body after all! Meal prep has made it so much easier to eat and eat healthy. To make sure I am getting everything I need daily while keeping my sanity.
I can still eat spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna, pizza, and everything that is bad for you. Trying to eat it in moderation and put vegetables in every meal that I can fit them in. I try new recipes (and fail very often) but that is for another post. Today is about the successes, about the foods I love and make on a regular basis.
Spaghetti and meatballs.
This is K’s fave when made with normal noodles but he still gobbles it down with veggie noodles. I make the sauce ahead of time and freeze in two person servings. The noodles can be bought that week or stored for months if you use regular noodles.
Salsa (hot for us)
ground beef (for K) or ground turkey (for me)
ALL THE VEGETABLES
my favourites are
rainbow peppers (for vitamin C)
shaved broccoli (only is you like broccoli, it can be overpowering in large amounts)
– Toss in your slow cooker (crock-pot) and simmer on low or high for a few hours, longer is more watered down but softer veggies.
I grab our favourite veggie noodles (zucchini and sweet potato) and meatballs from the store (can’t home make everything!) toss the meatballs and sauce in the freezer until we want it.
Fishy stir fry
This one is our healthiest by far, grab your favourite fish, whether its Salmon, cod, tilapia (our favourite because its cheap) and toss it on a cookie sheet in the over for 10-20 minutes. Now to the veggies.
In a frying pan we do
Broccoli (for me)
asparagus (for K)
olive oil and garlic
fry up for a few minutes to desired crunchiness.
On “special days” or days we want to be healthy but not completely we will do a breaded fish with these veggies. If we are feeling sauce we either do a salsa and sour cream mix or my favourite, tzatziki! (full of probiotics and healthy ingredients, sugar free and low carb)
Every morning I have a smoothie, usually something plain and boring like these photos but still tasty and satisfying, add protein to make it through to your next meal!
1/2 a banana
large handful of celery
Large handful of kale
blend and enjoy!
These are only a few of the meals I prep ahead of time, more to come in later posts. now to the nitty gritty, not so fun reality of meal prep!
This sh*t aint cheap! Buying your groceries ahead of time to freeze and eat anywhere from a week to three weeks or more later can be pricey at the beginning. I bank some money then do a big meal prep shop, reminding myself the whole time it is being rung through that this is weeks worth, that this is to keep things week by week cheaper!
The time and energy.
This is no easy feat. However it is getting easier the longer I keep at it, it gets easier I promise! Prepping before your initial stores are depleted is essential! I try to pick days I know I’ll have more time and energy, always a weekend day for the bulk of it, with little things during the week where needed. This way if there is ever a weekend I just can’t, I’m not left with no prepared food and eating anything I can get my hands on. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely days I complain the entire time, and there are day I complain until I get started and feel better, almost like cooking therapy once I am half way through.
I meal prep every week no matter what, even if it is something small like cutting up a few veggies and freezing them or cutting bananas into bags, I do not have to do all the smoothie bags or even one whole one, so long as something gets done, because I know I still have some left, and this way when the new ones are done, the old are almost all gone. Remember to always rotate your food, FIRST IN FIRST OUT! I learned to follow this strictly the hard way.
I find it hard sometimes to cook certain meals if I don’t feel like them, I look at the ingredients and roll my eyes and teenager sigh in disgust. “But I don’t wanna!” I tell myself I may not want it now but I will later, because I know myself and what I like, I know this is something I have craved on a regular basis.
Now I have a freezer of meals ready and at my fingertips, from full meals like fishy stir fry, spaghetti and meatballs and smoothies to (recipes coming) freezer pizza, lasagna, peppers&steak, chocolate banana bites, dark chocolate bites, and healthy breakfast burritos!
Stay different, and stay healthy!