Many people who have changed their lives swear by meal prep. I have prepped weeks at a time and found, for me, I do get bored. However, I have found a different version of meal prep that works well for me.
Instead of making 21 (or more) prepped meals, I like to prep just enough so that I have some choices and can also throw something together in a moment. Because I like a little variety and do get bored after about three days, I have found that partial prep works best for me.
What do I mean by partial prep?
- Prep Grains – I like to have quinoa and brown rice cooked and ready to go. In an instance, I can throw together a stir-fry and not have to wait 45 minutes for my rice to cook. I can also make quinoa for breakfast, or toss in a cup of rice with veggies and protein for lunch, etc. It allows me some flexibility without more than about 5 minutes of prep time.
- Purchase Fruit and Vegetables – There are some staples I like to have in the house. These are apples, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, romaine or spinach, bananas and any seasonal fruit and veggies. When I do not have these items in the house, I will be more likely to grab something that is not as healthy. So for me, part of my prep is shopping!
- Have Some Meal Staples – If you are not used to cooking, it may be more difficult for you to throw meals together. I have several go-to’s that I use for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. Some of these include:
- Tacos – Tacos can be made with just about anything and I often do Breakfast tacos with eggs, veggies and salsa. They are filling and one of the easiest, healthy ways to get a meal together. NOTE: I never fry the tortillas. I usually just heat the corn tortilla on an open flame so it has a little char flavor to it.
- Scrambles – I eat eggs just about every morning. They help me to stay satiated throughout the day and I notice when I don’t have them, I am more ravenous over the day. Scrambles can be made with just about anything, even leftovers! Heat your veggies and meats first. When ready to your liking, add your scrambled eggs or egg whites and continue to cook. You can make this a quiche by not scrambling and sticking in the oven as well.
- Stir-Fry – Since my rice or quinoa is already done, I just heat up some veggies and chicken (or other protein) in a skillet. When ready, I add my rice and a splash of gluten-free soy sauce. Within about 5-10 minutes, I have a fresh, unprocessed stir-fry which is healthy and filling!
- Proteins – Normally, I will get a rotisserie chicken made without salt and breakdown the chicken. I have also purchased “Just Chicken” from Trader Joe’s, which is just chicken roasted with a little olive oil. These two options make it easy and convenient for me when I don’t have a lot of prep time. When I do have some time on my hands, I will roast a chicken in the oven or cook chicken in the crock pot. Having chicken that is already cooked is easy for me to make tacos, stir-fry’s, burrito bowls, salads, sandwiches, etc.
If you are a full-speed ahead Meal Prepper, awesome! You’re doing great!
But, if you don’t feel you have that much time, get bored with similar meals or just don’t enjoy it but want to be more prepared… Try partial prepping. You may find that you prep differently than I do, and that’s okay! We are all different and I am gluten free so I have my own challenges too!
We don’t have to be perfect. All we have to do is be better than we were yesterday!
To your health!