Updated: Feb 11, 2020
I feel a little vulnerable sharing this but I know for a fact there are others who have felt this way, and I feel like it’s a service to share.
When I was competing in bodybuilding it was a great test of my perseverance, dedication, and commitment; and I enjoyed the grind and the process. However, it was tough on me mentally. I would look in the mirror and think I’m not lean enough. Like WHAT?! Crazy. I remember crying, literally crying with tears streaming down my face with my hood up and bags under my eyes as I did my 60 minutes of morning cardio. I followed a meal plan that included 6 almonds as a snack. BUT at the end of the night I was ravenous and would somehow find myself halfway through an entire jar of peanut butter. I would wake up in the morning feeling bloated, ashamed, weak (why can’t I just stick to the plan?!), and berate myself.
THEN in 2015 I found out I was pregnant. I realized I can’t eat out of Tupperware for the rest of my life and I can’t freak out on myself for not doing a workout or eating something I deemed “unhealthy/bad”. I wanted to be a good role model for this child. I didn’t want him growing up with anxiety around food and only exercising to look good. I wanted him to see a healthy mom who has a healthy relationship with food and exercise because it makes her FEEL good.
So I stopped prepping my meals and trusted myself to eat what I wanted when I was hungry and exercise because I enjoy it. This has been a long journey but I knew I had to do this for my children, and for myself. Now I can go on vacation and ENJOY it without the guilt I used to have because I’m eating “bad” foods, and OMG not exercising. I’m not perfect and I still over indulge now and then but I’m in a much happier and better place. :)
NOW I still meal prep but it looks A LOT different. I don’t have 14+ pieces of Tupperware laid out all over my kitchen.
My steps to meal prepping and planning look like this:
STEP 1: Decide on 3-4 healthy recipes you want to make that week that you will eat for lunches and dinners.
Click here to get my free No Fuss Recipes For Your Daily Life
- The number could be different for you. I know for my family of 4 (two adults, 2 toddlers) 3-4 meals is enough
- I also know we will eat out once over the weekend
- I always keep spaghetti ingredients on hand if we run out of meals!
STEP 2: Make a grocery list of the items you need for said recipes
STEP 3: Decide what snacks you want to have available during the week
STEP 4: Add items you need for snacks to the grocery list
STEP 5: Saturday or Sunday prepare all your meals and most of your snacks for the week. From start to finish with clean-up it takes me 2 hours, sometimes more. If you have help, it's faster. I cook and my husband does all the dishes when I’m done. If on the rare occasion he doesn’t have to occupy the kids then he will chop all the veggies.
- On Thursday if there are leftovers I don’t think we will get to then I will throw them in individual glass pyrex dishes and freeze them.
Snacks I prepare:
- Hard boiled eggs
- My Homemade Protein bars (find the recipe in my recipe ebook in the SHOP)
- If it’s going to be a busy week I will pre-portion my yogurt/cottage cheese for the work days as well
- One of my healthy sweet treats from my recipe book
Snacks I buy:
- Protein bars - if I don’t make my own
- Cottage cheese
- Greek yogurt
- Nuts (almonds or walnuts mostly because that’s what I like)
- Veggies and hummus
- Apples and peanut butter
- Rice cakes
- Peanut butter sandwich or roll-up
- Bread I buy - you can find at most stores
- Wraps I buy - you can find at most stores
Breakfast Prep Ideas
- Overnight oats
- Egg cups
- Nonfat plain greek yogurt with berries and healthy fat such as nut butter, ground flaxseeds, or chia seeds
Check out my No Fuss Recipes For Your Daily Life recipe book. It contains 21 recipes that are easy, healthy, and flavorful. If you struggle to find easy, healthy meals that don’t take hours to prepare then check this out!
If any of this resonates with you or you have a similar story, I’d love to hear about it. Send me a message on Facebook or a DM on Instagram, and let me know your story, I’d love to connect with you.
Balance is everything. With food, exercise, work, relationships …..