why you should meal prep.

Are you a busy person? Do you buy items at the grocery store that simply sit in your cupboard for months (read years)? If you answered yes to either of those questions, you should meal prep.

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Infomercial pitch aside, once you start to meal prep every week, you will see an increase in productivity, health and happiness. Not sold?

I began a meal prep routine about two weeks after I graduated college. I was working a 9am-5pm Monday-Friday job and quickly realized that my paycheck did not allow wiggle room for an unbudgeted lifestyle. I created a budget for everything. I had to be smart with my weekly food allowance, and fast food was simply not an option. Plus, that's sincerely not healthy!

Every Sunday, I wake up and go fill my car up with gas. While I'm out, I grab a handy dandy newspaper and I beeline to the coupon section and start clipping. Whatever I see in the local grocery store ads may spark inspiration for a meal idea, but at least I walk away with a few coupons on items I had already planned on buying anyway.

Side note: I love Pinterest for food inspiration, but I do my best to avoid dairy. And Pinterest makes that a bit difficult. I recently began using the 8fit app, and they offer several food meal options, including dairy-free!

I always create a game plan before I head to the store. I plan out the meals I want to have for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and then I write a list of everything I will need for that exact game plan. No additives, no surprises.

I run to the store with my reusable bags and fill them up with everything on my list. I usually do one big lap around the store: fruits, veggies, organic section, meats, canned veggies, beans, and frozen section. I've tweaked my list simply from trial and error. I prefer frozen items like broccoli and lima beans but I must get green beans from a can- no sodium! It's all preference. I do my best to not even go down an aisle that isn't required for my list. Remove temptation, right?

I start meal prepping the minute I get home. I portion control like a champ and I have more storage containers than anyone else. Come Saturday night, my kitchen will be bare. I take pride in having nothing but my week's worth of food. I do not waste and I always feel good about the conscious choice I made to spend three hours out of my Sunday to do all this.

Why should you meal prep?

1) Save money. When you budget and plan, you're significantly less likely to splurge on food.

2) Be healthier. When you meal prep, you take control of what goes in your body.

3) Be happier. When you're less stressed about money and when you're comfortable with your eating habits, you are happier!

4) Be more productive. Reducing stress and physically being healthier leads to increased productivity and creativity.

The exact method one follows to meal prep will vary. There are several excellent ways to meal prep and it solely depends on preference.

 

FoodBrianna EllisFood