Life is busy
No matter what your schedule is like, you no doubt feel the busyness of life on the regular. Especially during the week when you are trying to do it all.
We certainly can't add more hours to the day but we can create more space and allow for more freedom to focus our energy on the things that matter the most.
One thing that has had the greatest impact on this area of my life is meal planning and prep.
I know these terms may scare you. I get it. They scared me too - for a long time.
I thought it meant hours in the kitchen and a refrigerator full of Pinterest worthy take-out containers with perfectly proportioned food. And for me, that was just never going to happen.
Not only did I not want to spend hours and hours planning, cooking and prepping but I certainly do not have the refrigerator space for all those prepped meals.
But perfection is never the answer.
So I began to explore how I could make meal planning and prep work for me.
It works. It saves time, reduces stress and allows for more consistent healthier choices during the week.
The best part?
It's not at all time-consuming or hard.
My goal is always to keep it simple. Less than an hour on the weekend allows me to make decisions ahead of time (a huge stress reliever) and prep a few key ingredients in advance. That's really all it takes to save time and energy when life gets busy.
Here are a few tips to help lay the foundation for a successful week of meal planning and prep:
Plan your meals: take a few minutes to plan your meals for the week. Find what works for you and don't be afraid to recycle your favorite meals to make things even easier! Be sure to check your schedule and plan quick meals or leftovers for really hectic days
Prep veggies: purchase your favorite veggies/ones you know you need for the week. Chop, roast, steam or grill as preferred so they are ready to go and easy to grab. Use in entrees, as salad toppers or for snacks. No matter how you use them, you're setting yourself up for some healthy choices throughout the week!
Make some whole grains: whole grains are a great way to get in some quality carbohydrates and fiber but they often have the longest cook time. Making a pot of quinoa, brown rice or farro in advance can go a long way in saving time during the week.
Start with these and make them your own. Find what works for you - what saves you time - what reduces your stress - and what creates more space in your busy schedule!
And for an added bonus - click here to access my Weekly Meal Planner to help you get started!