Whole30 - Day 7: When You Can't Find the Time to Meal Prep

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I don’t know about you, but life can get crazy. Sometimes it’s all you can do to get from day to day, and your weekends are so full (or full of rest!) that you can’t seem to carve out a couple of hours to meal prep!

I feel ya.

I used to think I was a Whole30/Paleo failure if I didn’t do a big meal prep session every week. Seems like every blogger out there recommends it. And with good reason! Meal prep saves lives. (Or time. Or sanity.) And I’m certainly not advocating against it. But sometimes, life happens. So do you just give up trying?

Rhetorical question.

NO! You simply find creative ways to nourish yourself until you’re able to find a few minutes to rub together. You don’t have to spend half your Sunday - at least not every Sunday - in the kitchen. Unless that’s your thing. Then go crazy!

Here are a few ways I meal prep as I go - which helps me keep my weekends intact. For relaxing and stuff.

1. Cook 1 or 2 veggies a few nights a week.

Doesn’t sound hard, right? It takes a few minutes out of your day, but having steamed broccoli or sauteed cabbage or boiled sweet potatoes already cooked in the fridge means you can make a meal in about 15 minutes. Provided you’ve done the next thing. Also spaghetti squash + jar of Paleo spaghetti sauce + ground beef = quickest meal in the world. Pretty much.

2. Have some meat cooked up.

Turkey burgers, ground pork, and beef patties are easy to cook up in no time at all. And chicken breasts (or thighs) or a roast doesn’t take much time to throw in the crockpot! Get home from work, ready-to-go meal. (We use this strategy often on Sundays for an easy after-church meal). Or if you're REALLY brave (not really) get yourself an InstantPot! 

3. Make up a batch of homemade mayo.

The Whole30 mayo recipe is THE BEST. Seriously. And once you get the routine down it’s not as confusing as it might seem at first. I recommend pulling half a lemon and an egg — free range is best and makes the best-tasting mayo — out of the fridge and leaving it out for 8 hours prior to when you’ll be making it. And then you’ll have a ready-to-go condiment to eat with all that meat you have in the fridge! Plus it’s the base for some so-easy-you-wouldn’t-believe-it ranch dressing. YUM.

4. Always have eggs in the fridge.

It’s simple: eggs = just about the quickest and easiest protein you can muster up in like 10 minutes. For those nights when you don’t have any meat thawed and you’re just too tired to stop at the store. Bonus tip: keep boiled eggs on hand. Perfect for those grab-and-go breakfasts!

5. Salad mixes are ready-to-eat bundles of joy.

So is canned chicken and tuna. Together those make an instant meal, especially if you have that mayo made up. (Check out the mayo link above on how to make a yummy 2-minute ranch dressing!)

6. Wash and dry kale often and always.

Kale chips addict here. Not ashamed.

7. Remember leftovers are your friend.

Eat them all. You’re welcome.

8. Try not to stress.

You don’t have to make recipes every day. They’re good for variety, but a meat and two veg will suffice for most days. But still try the recipes from time to time so you won’t get bored!

And that’s how I get from day to day, week to week with my Paleo (and Whole30!) lifestyle - and my sanity - intact. Working 40+ hours per week. (If you’re working way more than that, maybe you need to change more than just your eating habits.)

What are some ways you meal prep? Sound off below.