Here are my TOP 10 tips for successful W30 meal prepping!
1- Have a plan. Choose your meals/recipes a few days before meal prep day. Inventory your kitchen for the items you already have on hand and make a list of what you need to buy. Do not rely on your memory – you will end up making multiple trips!
2- Align your meal plan with your schedule. Check your calendar and determine which days you’ll need more on the go meals vs. a meal you’ll have to put some time into. If you know you aren’t getting home until 8:00 one night, don’t plan on something that will take 30 minutes in the oven.
3- Schedule meal prep into your day like you would an appointment. This seems silly, but put it on your calendar and make it non-negotiable. If possible, get your family involved! My kids do some part of our meal prep every week.
4- Just like in life, do the hard things first. Make the more challenging or more time consuming items first on meal prep day.
5- Multi-task! While one thing is in the oven, chop up all your veggies or prep a slow cooker meal. Be as efficient as you can. This gets much easier with practice!
6- When packing meals, refer to the Whole30 meal planning template. Commit this to your memory! Be sure you are getting adequate protein, veggies and plated fats in all of your meals. Under eating is one of the most common reasons that people end up going off plan on W30! Also if you workout regularly, be sure to carefully read the pre and post workout nutrition info in the meal planning template! I will post later today with more information on “building your plate” during W30.
7- Storing prepared foods can get tricky depending on how much fridge space you have. I make and divide my breakfasts into individual containers. I pack lunches the night before as I always use dinner leftovers. Dinner items are stored in large commercial food storage containers that I purchased at Sam’s Club. You have to figure out a storage system that works for you!
8- Don’t be afraid to add major flavor! Utilize spices, sauces, dressings, marinades and more to add flavor to your meals. W30 Ranch, Frank’s Hot Sauce, salsa, guacamole, Tessemaes/Primal Kitchen dressings are all staples in my house! There are lots of store-bought versions that are compliant, but homemade is the best and so much cheaper!
9- If you are making a recipe – like Whole 30 Chili or a casserole – double it and freeze half to pull out in two weeks! It’s not much more effort to double a recipe and it’s a huge timesaver! Another good idea for doubling recipes is to share with a W30 friend! Double up and give them half and then have them do the same! Get some variety with less work!
10- Clean as you go. It is no fun to exhaust yourself meal prepping then look at a sink piled high with dishes to wash! I try to start with an empty dishwasher and load it as I go.
I’d love to hear your tips on meal prep too!