Meal Prep Made Easy Week: It’s time to take your health on, and we’ve got you covered. Coming up on October 14th is the 4-week UnDiet Meal Prep Made Easy Group Challenge! As an extra bonus, we’re including live coaching calls with Meghan, a copy of UnDiet, tons of community support and extra sweet freebies. Get all the deets and register here.
I couldn't always cook. I actually thought I was one of those people who "can't cook."
When my health kicked my ass and I realized very, very quickly that if I didn't learn to cook, take control over what I was eating, and pay attention to the details of my food (like how much love was going into it -- seriously!) there was no way I would be able to regain my health.
And so I entered that room in my apartment called the kitchen, and I started to cook. This wasn't when I was 15, or 20, or even 25. I didn't really learn how to cook until I was in nutrition school when I was 28, and even then, I didn't learn to cook in school. What I was learning in school was about nutrients. I learned that vitamin A was vital for wound and tissue healing and I knew with Crohn's, I had ulcerations in the lining of my gut that needed healing. I therefore worked out that I needed to eat more vitamin A-rich foods. I started with kale. Given that I had learned how raw foods weren't the best for digestive inflammation and that vitamin A was a fat-soluble vitamin, eating raw kale salads wasn't going to get me what I needed, and so I started playing with recipes that included kale and a high quality fat source.
That is how I learned to cook. One ingredient and one nutrient at a time. I taught myself to cook and playing in my kitchen served as my study break. But then it all changed.
In 2008, I started my business which has since grown into everything you see here, plus my school. I no longer lived in my kitchen/loft as I had done, and no longer had hours to spend researching, comparing recipes, creating, and playing. Like most people in this world, I had work to do. I had a business to launch. You know that old saying about how entrepreneurs work so hard to give up their 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. day in exchange for a 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. day? Yep. That was true for me.
Eating well and taking care of my lifestyle habits is what healed me from an incurable disease. I didn't want to slide back, but knew if I didn't continue to make eating well a priority, it would. And that's when the first spark of Meal Prep happened.
I realized that I was spending a lot of time grocery shopping and coming home and still not knowing what to make. I found myself spending so much time each day doing the same tasks -- chopping garlic, juicing lemons, washing my blender, scrubbing cutting boards -- tasks that I realized if I prepped all my meals at one time, I could save loads of time in the grocery store and when it came to meal time.
Meal Prep Made Easy was the first workshop I ever taught. And it was based on how I had come to learn to make my own healthy eating a non-negotiable part of my week. Two hours every Sunday was my meal prep time. I would scratch out a list of what I wanted to make, check what ingredients I had, what I needed, and I was ready and set to go to town on the prepping.
This was a life changer! I still made time, as part of my job, to experiment in the kitchen, but my meals, my sustenance, my medicine to keep me fuelled and functioning was five minutes on the stove away from ready -- always!
Now it's not just the eating well that's a non-negotiable, but the meal prep each week goes right along with it. I give this one practice full credit for my being able to sustain remission and enabling me to put so much attention into my work, my friends, and my family. If I think about how much time and money this one thing has saved me over the eight years that it has been part of my weekly routine -- well, it makes me want to travel around the globe a million times (okay -- maybe a slight exaggeration, but you get it).
I no longer make big in-depth meal plans. I don't need to, though I do recommend it if you're just getting started.
Now I know that every week I will have my staples, and add to that my dinner meals. Lunch usually takes care of itself with the leftovers and I typically rotate through a few different breakfasts.
The key is to find your groove, commit to it for a month and then keep it going, not because you feel like you have to, but because you truly want to. It's that great of a habit!
Here are a few of my sample weekly meal plans:
Every week (these change less frequently):
Week 1 Sample
- Tomato sauce + meatballs (pastured beef or tempeh)
- Vegan Mac + Cheese w/ sprouted tofu, cauliflower and broccoli
- Chickpea Curry (add coconut milk + optional protein)
- Butternut squash soup + chickpea bread
Week 2 Sample
- Balsamic-Glazed Tempeh
- Slow-cooked Bolognese + spaghetti squash
- Creamy Kale Salad + Almond Bread
- Bean + Veg burger (from UnDiet)