Sure, we can wait for the New Year to kick in but since Meal Prepping is all about planning ahead, I thought why not get the party started now. I've gathered some of my favorite tips of all time, past & present to create this list. So here ya go, and be sure to let me know your best tricks too!
1.) Hard boil 1-2 dozen eggs a week - It's nothing new, but between Eric and myself we can polish up 6-7 in one sitting. Literally half a dozen! We'll do 1 yolk each and 2-3 whites piled on some whole grain toast (love Dave's Killer Bread) with a couple slices of avocado for a fast lunch!
2.) Clean your fridge out every other week - They say a messy car means a messy life. Frankly, I feel that way when my fridge looks like a tornado. Clutter, expired dates, and a way too expired Arm & Hammer baking soda in the corner. Spending just 10 minutes is crucial and will give you mental peace of mind in the kitchen!
3.) Prep Prep Prep the night before - Kids's snacks for school, cereal bowls and juice cups. Carve out 7-8 minutes before plopping down to watch your Netflix or dive into that book. You'll thank the heavenly stars you did in the "jam packed" AM hours.
4.) Always have lemons, avocado, almond/oat flour, GOYA Adobo Seasoning and olive oil on hand - Dressings for salads, quick sautés, fiber-filled muffins or a healthy dredge on your chicken thighs. Eggs too, of course!
5.) Create a rough dinner sketch - I'm not even asking for a full blown plan. Just an idea of what dinners are going to look like for the week. Eliminate ten trips to the market by creating an outline with your family of what dinner is going to look like to squash any "complaining!" Kids love control so give it to them! Pick a consistent day to food shop on the weekend and have an ongoing list running throughout the week so you remember it all.
6.) Bag it - I don't care how little time you have, take five minutes to wash, peel and chop at least three vegetables that will carry you through the week. My current favorites are sweet potatoes, cauliflower (of course) and celery. Nosh, bake and toss them in salads, puree in soups or serve as an easy side!
7.) Toss fruit about to expire into resealable bags - Got some bananas about to expire you are about to toss into the trash! Stop! Cut them into planks and toss them in a ziplock for a sweet and refreshing nosh any time. Don't forget grapes; toss them in some lime juice and a sprinkle of sugar and freeze for a healthy & fun treat!
8.) Make time for a 3 pm snack either at work or with the kids. - Bam! 3pm hits and there is still three whole hours (or more) until dinner! Way too long for me, which is why I am not asking, I am ordering you. Make one of my healthy loafs, Cashew Crumb Loaf is delish! Top it off with a nice spoonful of almond butter and handful of raspberries. Or perhaps some popcorn with cashews, which make a lovely pair for work or carpooling. You'll thank yourself later at dinner time when you aren't ravished!
9.) Treat yourself every day - The best way to stay consistent and healthy is to not be super rigid! Eat the chicken fingers that you love at the diner. Enjoy that Shake Shack burger with your kids. With *21 meals a week,* a couple of them do not have to have the rainbow as the focal point. It's all about balance my friends. Savor that Friday glass of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay to wind down and even make it two! I do!
10.) They say if you haven't worn it in a year, donate it! Same goes for kitchenware. Do yourself a favor and make it a point to casually go through all of your pots, pans and tools.That old carrot grater that is dull as can be; toss it! Lighten the load and clear some space. Allow yourself a trip to Target or Amazon order to buy three new kitchen toys for the season. (Remember to use your coupons!)