The Ultimate Guide to Meal Prepping Without the Overwhelm

The Ultimate Guide to Meal Prepping Without the Overwhelm

You guys know I love meal prepping. I usually prepare meals on Sundays for the week. I find it helps me feel more prepared for the week. Meal prepping also ensures I’m making healthy choices during the week, even if it gets busy. I’m not tempted to go through the drive-through because I know there’s a delicious meal waiting for me at home!

However, I did some next-level meal prepping to prepare for my second maternity leave. I prepared four months’ worth of food. You should have seen my freezer! 

Today, I want to share my guide to meal prepping, my favorite meal prep recipes, and how you can fit meal prepping into your busy schedule.

What You’ll Hear in This Episode

  • How to prep a week’s worth of meals
  • My process for meal-prepping
  • Meal prep recipes

How I Prepped 4 Months of Food

I first want to mention that we didn’t make four months of the same meal. That would drive me crazy! We made four months of different meals. For example, I made a month’s worth of bone broth and smoothies. I knew I wasn’t going to drink one every day, but I had 30 servings ready to go for those four months. I didn’t want to get sick of the meals I prepped, so I added a lot of variety.

As a gift, we received an extra freezer from our parents. We also bought our meal in advance by purchasing a quarter of a cow at a local butcher and purchasing other meats at a local place called Yoder’s (they ship nationwide!). We stocked up on proteins first. 

Next, we decided on carbs. I pre-packed the cooked and portioned carbs in the freezer. This allows me to pull out my pre-packed protein and carbs and heat it up to eat. It’s super easy!

I also had pre-chopped fruits and veggies in the freezer. Even if they were raw, I could easily take them out and cook them instead of having to chop them up. I know it sounds silly, but it saves me so much time and is an easy thing to do to get ahead on meals. 

As a new mom of two, I knew I would be scrambling for meals some days. It was a weight off my shoulders knowing I could pop a pre-packaged protein, carb, and veggie into the oven to serve a healthy meal to my family. I also wasn’t constantly cleaning cooking dishes. Of course, there were dishes from eating, but it wasn’t the pots, pans, measuring cups, mixing bowls, etc. that I was cleaning every day.

How to Avoid Overwhelm While Meal Prepping

In my guide to meal prepping, I recommend getting really good at making one meal. Once you’ve mastered the recipe, you can start making larger supplies, using some for that week’s meal prep and freezing the rest for later on. This kills two birds with one stone because you’re prepping a meal for the week while also creating a backlog of meals for another time. 

I love to have extra meals prepped in my freezer in case I don’t have time to prepare meals one week or we ran out of prepared meals. Your variety and amounts are diversified, so you don’t get sick of meals.

As mentioned, I highly recommend pre-chopping and cutting as much as you can. It eliminates the extra time needed to do that when you’re preparing meals. You can do this with things like:

  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Potatoes
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Mango
  • Grapes

This works with any fruit or vegetable! 

My Favorite Meal Prep Recipes

I want to share some of my favorite meal prep recipes with you. These are beginner-friendly and give you tons of ideas for recipes to meal prep.

Bone Broth Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1-3 lbs of beef/chicken and bones
  • 1/4 cup raw organic apple cider vinegar 
  • 2 tbsp peppercorns 
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 ribs celery chopped
  • 2 medium organic carrots

Instructions

  1. If cooking beef bones, you will need to broil the bones ahead of time. Cook beef bones and onions at 425 degrees for 20-30 min in a cast iron or oven safe platter to help break down the bone marrow.
  2. Add all ingredients into your crockpot. 
  3. Add water into the crock pot until mostly full. 
  4. After 24-48 hours, begin to jar your bone broth.
  5. Taste the bone broth. If it is too strong of a taste, add a little water into the jar to dilute. 
  6. Let it cool down and scrape off the fat. Keep beef tallow for future cooking.
  7. Freeze and enjoy whenever!

Smoothies

Smoothies are a super easy thing to meal prep. I pre-chop all the ingredients and divide them into portions to make one smoothie. Then, when I’m ready to make it, I take the baggie out of the freezer, let it thaw for a little bit, blend it, and it’s ready to go! You can get my guide to the best smoothie recipes here.

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough is one of my favorite things to make and meal prep. It’s so diverse and can be used for so many different things! My family loves it, and I enjoy making it. I made several loaves of bread to prepare for my maternity leave. You can find the recipe I finally mastered here.

Meal prepping has been life-changing for me. It allowed me to have a more relaxed maternity leave knowing I didn’t need to go to the grocery store every week, plan meals, and cook. I highly recommend meal prepping to everyone, especially busy moms! I hope this guide to meal prepping has helped you. Happy cooking!

If you liked this episode, check out…

Episode 5: How I Cope with Postpartum Anxiety

Episode 10: A Rocket Scientist’s Guide to Eating Healthy at a Restaurant with Ivette Rivera Aponte, NASA Engineer

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To inquire about being a guest on the podcast, submit a topic, or ask a question for a future episode, please email Laila.

Laila is a Holistic Nutrition Coach and Math Tutor. She is goal driven and mission oriented and is here to support, encourage, and push you towards the results you want, ready to help people of all ages become mission-fit to explore their full potential. As someone with ADHD and dyslexia, she deeply understands the intricate challenges related to creating a new habit and sticking with it. Her online nutrition programs and online math tutoring cater to those with similar difficulties.

To learn more about Laila, or to inquire about working with her, visit www.LailaAlieh.com.

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