It sounds daunting doesn’t it?! Where do you start? What do you do?
I’m writing this blog to let you know that there is no one right way to food prep. I want you to know that you can be prepared to eat great, healthy food most of the time. And you don’t have to feel overwhelmed or intimidated.
A lot of people ask me how to get started food prepping. The first thing I want you to do is make a list of foods you and your family like. Start with recipes everyone enjoys. You probably have a few of those already. Before going to the store, compile a list of everything you need to make two or three of those recipes. You can even organize your list by grocery store sections so you can be super efficient in there. All your produce together, freezer section, and so on. You get the idea. A few minutes organizing your list will save you lots of time in the store. Add a few things for breakfast (steel cut o
ats, eggs, Greek yogurt, etc.) and snacks (almonds, carrots, hummus, etc). Now you have your food!
When you have an hour or two during the week, get out your ingredients and your recipes. Some people pick Sunday, but if that doesn’t work for you, pick anytime that works. It doesn’t have to be the same time every week. Sometimes I prep on Sunday and sometimes I prep on Thursday afternoon. Every week is different so don’t worry about that part. Chop and prep everything at once and start cooking and packaging. If you have a slow cooker or instant pot, baking sheet, seasonings, and jars or food containers, you are ready to go. Turn on some music you love and get cooking. It won’t take long, I promise!
Assemble a meal and store it in a gallon size bag that you can throw in the crock pot later in the week. Throw a meal in the crockpot and cook and store it in the fridge to be heated up later in the week. Cook a protein and vegetable on your baking sheet and store it in the fridge. This can be happening all at once! While this is happening, you can be boiling eggs and assembling a few overnight oats. You can put some balanced, portioned snacks in baggies or small containers. Do you see what’s happening? In a short amount of time, you are making breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for the whole family! If you have kids, let them help you organize containers, or chop if they are old enough. Start showing them early how important it is to take great care of yourself! It can be fun. And the more you do it, the quicker it happens. You will start to become a pro at it. No more stressing over what to eat in the moment when everyone is starving. You’re relaxed, you’re prepared, you’re in control.
Now, as you become more comfortable with the idea, you can start branching out. Try new foods and new recipes. Make one night a week a time for everyone to try something new.
You will be surprised at how many great, delicious, SIMPLE recipes there are out there. Before you know it you will have added to your normal cycle of foods. And trust me, everyone will be happy.
So, you have a starting point. Will it work out this well every week? Heck no! Will you still grab food out and about and eat in the car? Heck yes! But, will you be more organized and prepared MOST of the time……. I hope so. I know you can do it.
Make it simple. Make it doable. Make it enjoyable. Now, get cookin’.
Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!