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First of all, lets have a little discussion about the history of meal prepping. After all, I am trained as a historian. No for real, like I have a degree and everything.
And you know what I do with my highly trained, analytical mind? I work at a bank. Yes. More on that later.
Anyway, assessing the history of something is key in understanding its importance.
How am I supposed to trust this weird trend where I put all of my food in small containers and eat leftovers all week?
You know why? Because as the family dynamic in the United States began to change, so did meal preparation.
Stay with me here.
As I take a look back at my own family, I can easily see a few trends emerging. My grandmother, worked at home raising a family and keeping a household. She raised three gorgeous kids and was the OG Home Boss.
Grandma would wake up early with the kids to fix a simple breakfast, send them to school to eat cafeteria lunches, and have dinner for them when they got home. As a mom, I am positive she felt as if her daily life revolved around meal time.
My grandma fixed a meat and potatoes kind of meal. And she would repurpose the leftovers.
I love this! My dad tells stories about how leftover meat would be stretched by making soups the next day. Extra mashed potatoes would become potato cakes. My grandmother was taught to cook by her mother who was born in 1920.
My grandmother learned to repurpose and never waste food because her mother lived through the Great Depression!
Our home lives are a reflection of the world around us.
My grandmother had no need for preparing meals only one day of the week, because she ran her home full time.
But today, we need a change.
I have a freebie full of amazing meal prep recipes to start out with right here!
Some of us are still trying to prepare meals the same way other generations did. It is not long before we find out that this simply will not work. Today we live in a fast paced, over committed, over worked world where we can easily leave the house at 7am and not return until 8 that night.
It is no wonder we fancy the drive through lane!
We need a solution to our fast paced lives that doesn't involve a greasy sack of burgers. Enter- meal prepping.
The main deterrent to meal prepping is the assumption that it takes far too long to do.
I am not sure about you, but some days I don't have time to shower my actual physical body- I sure as hell don't have time to make spaghetti squash.
Here is the cold, hard, truth though- we do have time.
We have the time, we just need to reallocate it.
I am not here trying to take away your Grey's Anatomy time, I swear, I am just trying to readjust your schedule.
If you would give yourself 2 hours a week to meal prep, you would NOT believe the difference it will make.
There is a HUGE difference in the way I eat when I spend time prepping and when I do not.
Here is a quick comparison for you.
Just last week, I was so overwhelmed/tired/moody/annoyed that I decided to take a 3 hours nap on Sunday instead of spending my usual 1.5-2 hours preparing meals for the week. So I slept. And when I woke up, I felt like crap because I knew I had wasted my time.
Before I lose literally everyone because I talked badly about napping... I am not Satan, and I am not against napping. This is just an example of a time sucker for me.
Anyway, Monday came and I had leftovers from the weekend for lunch. And then dinner came.
And I had not a blessed clue what to fix. Every pound of meat we owned was frozen solid and there was not a piece of fresh produce in sight.
So Ramen Noodles happened. Oh yes. 3 Million milligrams of sodium and an empty stomach later, I began to regret my time sucking nap and subsequent lack of preparation.
And it was only freaking Monday.
The rest of that week we ate whatever we could find in the pantry and we ran through the drive through WAY too much.
We wasted more time and more money than if we had just buckled down and spent two hours on Sunday getting our life in order.
Does this sound like your week? Cool. I am not alone.
I actually did a little bit of research and found out that 72% of Americans go out for lunch! Say what? That is a HUGE expense that can easily be avoided with preparing meals ahead of time!
The average American spends $10 on lunch each day, woah! I figured that my meals I prepare cost an average of $3/meal.
That is an annual savings of $140/month and $1680/year!
I am not sure about you, but I could think of a few ways to spend that extra cash.
I wrote a post on getting started with meal prepping and the essentials you need. I promise there are NO ultra expensive products that you don't need, just the basics to get you started!
So let's fix this mess shall we?
Here are 6 reasons you need to meal prep...like now.
- Meal prepping saves time: I know the most common objection to meal prepping is the time it takes up front. If you add up all of the time you spend staring aimlessly into your fridge, waiting in line at a drive through, or debating on what to make for dinner- you can clearly see a couple hours up front saves a lot of time in the end.
- Meal prepping saves money: If money is tight, this gives you all the more reason to meal prep! Planning your meals and preparing them ahead of time helps you resist the temptation to spend way too much money eating out.
- Meal prepping saves calories: Okay so if I am being honest, I am not at all a health nut. Is health nut PC anymore? I am not trying to be offensive. Anyway, I wouldn't consider myself a 'clean eater' but I can tell you for sure that when I prepare meals at home I cut down on portion sizes and am less tempted to overeat compared to always dining out.
- Meal prepping saves sanity: God bless it, but if I have to come home one more evening after working 8+ hours and try to make an intelligent decision regarding food choices I may just lose it. Meal prepping takes the guess work and brain power out of it. You don't have to be overwhelmed by the choices, because you already did the hard work earlier in the week ;)
- Meal prepping builds confidence: I love going into my week prepared. The feeling of having clean clothes folded, lunches prepared, and dinners planned is amazing. I know that I can conquer all the things this week with throw at me. Boom. You are a damn kitchen queen.
- Meal prepping gives you more fridge space: Oh my gosh, freaking fridge space. The holy grail of all kitchen desires. Investing in a few nice pieces of Tupperware is extremely important. This allows you to easily stack and store containers instead of having drawers stuffed with produce, for example. Remember- you are only prepping for a week here- not three years, don't overbuy.
So, how convinced are you? 100% convinced? I thought so.
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