Meal Preps aren’t just for Gym Junkies

So I think everyone talks about how there is “no time” to eat healthy, home cooked meals.


Really? (Ok, no guilt trip here about time management pitfalls in life.)


Solution: Meal Preps


The problem is I don’t see families doing it enough unless someone is a regimented gym go-er with some “fitness” or weight goals. (No lecture either on healthy body image here…. today anyways.)


So how about a three hour family party cooking on a weekend?


And if one week, Emma has to go to dance and Martin is at hockey – start scheduling a time or swapping meal prep weekends into your iPhone or Google calendar – putting it in their makes it more likely to do it. And “inviting” people (even roommates or friends) makes you more likely and accountable to do it. (Everyone seems to have a fitness buddy, why not have a healthy meal prep buddy too!?)


The more members participating the more hands to help and the more recipes that can be made.


The idea is, cook once, eat twice (or even 4 times)!

And once you start seeing the ease of reheating frozen meals YOU MADE, you will keep with your values of a healthy lifestyle when time runs away from you.


Meal preps are just as good for single adults and retired or widowed folks. Imagine you creating your own “meals on wheels” program for yourself and others (share/exchange with friends).


Just make a double batch (for families especially) and divide into reusable containers to freeze as individual meals. The more recipes you make, the more selection you have. If using a smaller recipe or living alone, immediately serve one portion into a container when putting some on a plate for yourself.


Being that I can be alone at dinner sometimes when the kids are with the ex and Mr Ginger is working, I tend to not value cooking for little, ol’ me. It’s not healthy, so these are care packages I make myself so that I get an amazing home cooked dinner when sometimes I don’t feel like I’m worth the effort. (I know, I know…..I’m getting better at it but successes are along the journey not just the final destination/goal, so I’m celebrating my advances).


I also find this handy for when everyone wants something different for dinner:


Mary wants pasta (yes cooked pasta and sauce can be frozen!),


Emily wants pulled pork (usually matched up with a whole wheat bun),


Mr R Ginger loves my chilli,


And sometimes I feel like homemade chicken soup (bone broth, veggies & meat with or without noodles).


Round your meal out with extra vegetables and everyone is happy with no one stressing with the question “What’s for dinner?”.


Benefits:

  • Saves time

  • Healthier eating

  • More time during busy periods in your schedule

  • Less stress/arguments

  • Goals/values are easier to achieve

  • Family time

  • Trying new recipes (especially if exchanging with friends or other families)

  • Perfect way to use up bulk store purchases

  • Saving money by making something with sale or discounted items

  • Emergency meals when budget gets tight or an unexpected event happens (someone gets sick, extra meeting/appointment)

Cons:

  • 2-3 hours a week is required

  • Freezer space is needed

  • Requires patience and team work when allowing all family members (young, old, less skilled) to help

Great Recipes to Split:

  • Chilli

  • Pasta sauce – homemade

  • Soups/broths made from previous roasted chicken or turkey dinner

  • Stirfries

  • Crockpot meals

  • Roast and veggies

  • Hot appetizer dips

Any meal you can think of that would be great to make ahead?


Don’t forget that the bonus is you’ll already have a meal for that night as well! Or maybe a buffet!


Make home cooking a reality by scheduling it into your calendar for next weekend (and grocery shop accordingly – plan 2 to do) right now! Go ahead, I’ll wait…..