Food Prep in the Real World

How many of us have a perfectly clean fridge, stocked with a week's worth of beautifully prepped meals, just waiting to be eating on schedule?

Ummm, anyone??? Bueller, Bueller? 

Yup - didn't think so!

Honestly, I'm totally guilty of perusing Pinterest and drooling over the perfectly organized refrigerators and pantries of fitness junkies. I wish my kitchen looked like that every day!

But here's the reality. 

I don't have a perfectly prepped kitchen each week - for example, this past week it was February school break here in Massachusetts - while I love my children dearly and we had a great staycation (minus the puking episode) - but the food situation was totally off track, we were out and about constantly and I wouldn't give myself any awards for keeping it clean, lol! It was absolutely amazing spending time with them but its time to get back on track with my normal routine with food prep.

I think that a lot of food prep can be glamorized where people have gorgeous refrigerators full of perfectly portioned food, but that is not my life! I'm a mom we”re busy I can't possibly prep one hundred percent of the food that we're going to eat at the beginning of the week so I tend to just do it in small pockets in a way that's going to work.

So I just want to share with you 5 tips that work really well for my family in this is kind of how I do things every single week. Actually, usually twice a week, since we go through so much food!

It is essential, that I get food made ahead of time because we eat a lot of food around here I personally am doing the Hammer and Chisel program with a muscle-building eating plan so I'm eating more food right now than I normally would.

My husband is doing Body Beast and he eats close to 3000 calories a day of all clean food - clearly I need to pack his lunches (the work caf is NOT Body Beast friendly!) and if I tried to make it all in one batch on a Sunday it wouldn't even fit in my refrigerator.

Also,  I'm not big on leftovers I don't know about you, but if it's in my fridge for 3 days - no thanks!

If you  are not familiar with food prep or maybe you’re just looking for some extra tips, hopefully you can take away some nuggets here:  

Roast Everything! All you have to do is grab some fresh veggies season and add a little olive oil and people are going to think it tastes amazing! Put the oven on 425 degress, spread out your veggies with seasoning and oil, toss every 10 minutes, until its cooked tender and lightly browned. Could not be easier! So easy a 10 year old can do it, lol!

Let your gadgets do the work for you!
Do you have a Crockpot, instapot, rice cooker, or oven? Let it all do the work for you! I do 100% of my food prep using these appliances, which equals minimal clean-up and multi-tasking at its finest!

Double-up on Dinners
So simple, but just doubling a recipe equals maximizing your time. Cook once eat 2, 3, or 4 times! We love chili, pasta dishes, and soups for some of our favorite leftover lunches!

Let the kids help
Never assume your kiddos do not want to help - I have 2 boys and both love to come into the kitchen "Mom, can I help?". Its not about cooking, its about spending time together. My oldest is waaaay more into it than the younger one, but he actually likes helping to clean up and yes - he wants to use the knives, lol! There's so many opportunities for learning in the kitchen and great bonding-time. 

Find some favorites
And stick with them! Believe me, roasted sweet potato, and quinoa salad were not part of our dinner menu until a couple years ago. But over time, we've found what works for our family and while I'm always up for trying new things, I know it makes sense to have some gold standards and build from there.

If you want more details and to see what I cook up on a weekly basis, make sure to head on over to my Snapchat for daily and weekly sneak peeks into my kitchen! 

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