Everyone has that one friend in their INSTAGRAM feed who makes it look effortless on #foodprepsunday by lining her granite countertops with beautifully balanced rainbow colored Gladware as she gladly announces that all of her meals are ready for the week.
If you’re scrolling through social mildly annoyed that you can’t find the dedication for preparation, put down your phone and do something about it. You don’t have to go for Pinterest perfection, just start somewhere and your future self will thank you later on in the week. With a well laid plan, one shopping trip, and some time in the kitchen, you could be prepped in just a few hours.
We all have that cabinet drawer or lazy susan full of random tops and mismatched bottoms of throw away food containers. Before you food prep, make sure you have enough containers on hand to store your meals. There are so many affordable options on the market now. If you are environmentally conscious, go with the old school tupperware. There are even “travel systems” on the market, coolers with custom made containers to fit perfectly. As long as you can carry it with you, it will work.
If you are cooking in bulk, you need to buy in bulk. Produce stands are a great way to economically stock up on produce. Stick with seasonal offerings and you will save even more. Check out wholesale clubs for meat in bulk, the bigger retailers are carrying cleaner options now. If organic and grass-fed is out of your budget, look for packaging that says, “never ever” in terms of added antibiotics and hormones.
If your maiden voyage into meal prepping includes several fancy recipes, you are bound to jump ship before you reach your destination. Start simple by cooking seasoned meats— like ground turkey, chicken breasts, meatballs, etc. You won’t become tired of any one dish if you add condiments for variety throughout the week with our complete line of PaleoChef sauces and marinades.
Don’t forget about that “good fat” in the Paleo prescription. Fat will keep you feeling satiated longer and it contains essential acids to support vitamin absorption and body functions. Cooking your meats and veggies in coconut oil is a great way to impart healthy fat and tons of flavor into your paleo diet.
Remember your protein doesn’t have to be warm! Prepping salads made with canned tuna or chicken paleo-style is an easy way to mix it up. Get deliciously creative with PaleoNuts and Dried Fruits like cranberries for a salty sweet taste.
Don’t forget to prep snacks to curb hunger in between meals! Chopping veggies, hard boiling eggs and portioning nuts the night before or even the morning of will keep you balanced. Clean snacks are hard to come by on the road, so stock up on Steve’s PaleoGoods and you will always have an option in your bag even when you didn’t make time to prep.
THE CROCK ROCKS
Multiply your culinary efforts by creating a few meals at once. The crock pot is a great way to mindlessly make a meal while cooking another one on the stovetop. If you’ve never crocked before don’t be scared. Thousands of amazing paleo crock pot recipes are a simple Google search away. General rule of thumb: fatty tougher meats work best in the crock pot, think chuck roasts, short ribs, pork shoulders and lamb shanks. They become tender with the slow and low heat of a crock pot.
ROAST YOUR VEGGIES
Here’s a delicious make and take tip that can keep you in veggies for a whole week! Preheat the oven to 350. Lay some bacon on a cookie sheet and bake until brown and crispy. Carefully remove bacon with two forks and allow to dry on a paper towel (before consuming multiple pieces). Now take whatever fresh chopped veggies you have in the fridge and put them on the sheet. Think broccoli, asparagus, onions, tomatoes, carrots, mushrooms, peppers— your preference is the only limit. Push them around on the cookie sheet so they become coated with bacon goodness, and season to taste. Bake for 20-30 minutes at 350 and enjoy, today or tomorrow.
Even if you like your meals cooked fresh, prepping ingredients on the weekend could make weekday cooking a breeze (and more likely to happen). Chopping and skinning vegetables and portioning meats in freezer bags with spices and marinades can save you valuable time as you bring a hectic day to a close with a healthy meal. Stopping to eat out or picking up take out is not as tempting if your fridge is beckoning you home. Invest in your ingredients, your body will pay you back by looking and feeling it’s best.
Even if not your usual practice to brag about your meal prep on INSTAGRAM, we want to see you just eat real food! Tag your pics #jerf #jerf365 #stevespaleogoods and show us your meal prep. You never know who you might inspire to get off their social scroll and into the kitchen to do some prep of their own!