How Meal Prepping Promotes a Peaceful Life
Picture a typical weekday morning in your home. What feelings come to mind when thinking about your usual morning routine? Does this elicit calm, relaxing feelings? Or maybe a typical morning at your house feels rushed and chaotic? Perhaps a mixture of the two? Let’s take a few minutes to explore the world of meal prepping and how it can help create a more peaceful life.
What is meal prepping?
Meal prepping is just what it sounds like, preparing your meals ahead of time. Any meal of the day can be meal prepped, and so can snacks and desserts. Meal prepping can also be done to prepare different recipe steps ahead of time.
What types of foods can be prepped ahead of time?
Most meals can be prepped in advance. I love to do this with foods that I know will stay good in the fridge for at least 3-4 days to help carry me through most of, if not all of the week. Some of my go-to recipes to make are overnight oats, freshly chopped vegetables and fruits, pasta sauces, soups, and chilis.
I would steer clear of prepping foods that will get soggy, or not hold up well in the fridge for more than a few days.
Try to choose foods and meals that you enjoy and will look forward to. Making a recipe for lunch every day of the week that you don’t love will make eating lunch a chore. Remember that you are doing this to have a calmer, happier, more enjoyable life!
Meal prep tips and tricks
Whenever possible, prep and store foods separately from each other. For example, if you’re making pasta and sauce, store them apart from one another. The same goes for things like salad greens and salad dressing, store those in their own containers. If you are making sandwiches, leave any dressing off in order to avoid soggy bread.
Try to make large batches of each recipe/meal. This way you can make a large pot of soup and be able to eat it for dinner three to four nights of the week, rather than making several different dinner recipes. This will save you significant amounts of time and money.
Don’t get overwhelmed. If this is a new routine you’re establishing and you tend to get easily overwhelmed with change, start by prepping just one course per week. Prep and pack your lunches on Sunday and see how things go. If you feel ready the next week, you can prep lunches and snacks. Maybe the next week you can add dinners or breakfasts into your meal prep plan as well. Go as fast or as slowly as you need to and find what works best for you.
Why is meal prepping beneficial?
Meal prepping helps you distribute your time more efficiently. Instead of spending one hour per night cooking dinner, 30 minutes in the morning packing lunches, and scrambling to find something for breakfast before school or work, you can set aside a few hours once a week to get all of this accomplished.
During those few hours, you can plan and tackle your household menu for the week, grocery shop, and wash, chop, and cook your food.
Now instead of deciding what to make for breakfast, and then making and packing lunches for the day, you can enjoy your mornings! Turn on the morning news, grab your newspaper, or just sit and relax with a warm cup of coffee or tea. You can head into your day looking forward to the delicious and nutritious lunch you have packed and waiting for you!
Meal prepping will also help you make more conscious choices when it comes to the food you’re putting into your body. Rather than making last-minute decisions fed by hunger, you’ll be able to set out a plan at the beginning of the week with a clear mind. This will help you make informed choices and you won’t be caught heading to the drive-thru of a fast-food restaurant on your way home from work (I’ve been guilty of that one too many times).
Let’s take back some control in our days and lives and let meal prepping help us make decisions to plan ahead and use our time to our advantage. You can enjoy slower mornings, more quality time with family or friends in the evenings, and have a much more peaceful life. One of my favourite meal prep recipes is my spinach white bean soup. It’s perfect for lunches or dinners and holds up well in the fridge all week long.
Written by Kelsey Riley from Planted in the Kitchen
Spinach White Bean Soup
- Deep pot
- Immersion blender
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup cannellini beans can sub any white bean
- 2 cloves garlic medium
- 1 yellow onion medium
- 1 russet potato
- 2 cups fresh spinach
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Pour the olive oil into a large pot and turn to medium heat. Add the diced yellow onion and sauté for about 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and continue to cook for about one more minute.
- Add the vegetable broth, the peeled and diced potato, your well-rinsed beans, salt, pepper, and cumin. Bring to a low boil.
- Continue to cook on a low boil for about 30 minutes.
- Remove from heat and add the spinach. Let cool slightly (be careful not to burn yourself!) and use an immersion blender. Blend until you have a smooth and creamy consistency.
Spinach White Bean Soup