One issue people have with meal prep is they don’t want to give up there Sundays. Sundays for a lot of people are a day of rest and a sacred day in many ways. Good news there are 4 healthy meal prep ideas that don’t include cooking on Sundays!
Meal prep is one of the best ways to eat healthy and lose weight. Not to mention it will help you reduce stress during the week, add more time to your schedule, and maybe even save some money. Basically, meal prep is the solution to many of life’s challenges.
One issue people have with meal prep is they don’t want to give up there Sundays. Sundays for a lot of people are a day of rest and a sacred day in many ways. While I think there are many good habits (including meal prep) you can do on Sunday to jumpstart your week I understand you might have other priorities.
The good news is meal prep can happen on day. You can even split it up into a couple days if you want. There really are no hard and fast rules when it comes to healthy meal prep ideas. Sunday is the most popular day to meal prep because it’s the start of the week. But if Sunday doesn’t work for you then I have some other healthy meal prep ideas you can try.
Remember the goal is to have healthy food ready to eat. However, when that happens doesn’t really matter as long as it works for you.
Here are the healthy meal prep ideas I’ve tried when I don’t feel like (or have time) to prepare food on Sundays.
Healthy Meal Prep Ideas
Prep dinner in the morning
You know I’m a morning person. Honestly, it’s amazing the amount you can accomplish by getting up an hour or two earlier. As long as you have the ingredients available dinner can be prepped before getting ready for your day. I’ve put together meatloaf, meatballs, chopped vegetables, trim chicken, and prepared slow cooker recipes all before getting into the shower. I’ve also cooked up rice or quinoa, made pizza dough in my bread machine, whipped up clam sauce, or threw together the makings of a soup. Once everything is prepared or cooked then simply put it into the refrigerator for dinner later on.
Do I think it’s possible to prepare dinner every single morning?
It depends. If it’s the only time you have then I’d make it work. Pushing yourself in the morning to have a healthy dinner ready after work is better than sleeping in and stressing after a long day about what to eat.
Like I always say, pick your hard.
However, if you can’t seem to get into a morning routine and something keeps getting in the way of making dinner then use this healthy meal prep idea as a backup instead of a go-to.
Cook or prep the night before
If you’re not a morning person then considering preparing dinner (for the following day) the night before. Of course, we’re all tired, and want to sit on the couch and veg to the boob tube, but think how good it will feel knowing dinner is ready for the next day. Now you don’t have to worry about “what’s for dinner” or sticking to your healthy eating goals.
Also, to take this healthy meal prep idea a little further, you don’t need to focus on just one dinner. If you carve out a couple hours after work then you can, most likely, prepare dinner for the rest of the week. This means you’ll only need to sacrifice one night after work for meal prep. I’m sure you can do that.
I’ll say it again, pick your hard. Trust me, I know meal prep is the farthest thing from our minds after work. However, if you want healthy foods on the table, and to remove the stress of not having dinner ready, then meal prep (whenever that happens) is your best solution.
Double dip recipes
This is one of my favorite ways to meal prep. Basically, this means to cook once and eat twice – or three times. For example, you can make a double batch of taco meat on Tuesday for tacos and then on Friday use some of the taco meat for taco pizzas or salads. Or make a batch of shredded buffalo chicken for subs on Monday and save 1 ½ cups for buffalo macaroni and cheese on Thursday.
Another way to double dip recipes would be to make a double or triple batch of any recipe and then freeze for the later in the month. For example, prepare a slow cooker meat sauce this week for spaghetti and then freeze the rest to use with ravioli next week. Same with any chili or soups.
My tip with this healthy meal prep idea is to plan for it. Don’t just hope for “leftovers” but prepare enough to use in a second or third recipe. This way you can create a meal plan around those meals.
Batch or freezer cook once a month
This takes double dipping a few steps further. Freezer cooking is the best meal prep method for those that don’t have time to meal prep an entire meal plan every week. In fact, this was my favorite (and most used) method when I started on my weight loss journey and working 40+ hours a week out of the house. Freezer cooking is preparing ingredients and/or recipes ahead of time and freezing them to be used at a later time. Basically, it’s preparing meals when you have the time so you can eat healthy when you don’t.
Just like with once a week meal prep there are many different ways to freezer cook. In my opinion, to experience the true benefits of freezer cooking I recommend stocking your freezer once a month or so.
Yes, this is a lot of work and does take time. However, you can have a months worth of meals in the freezer with just 5-6 hours – sometimes a little more or less depending on the recipes.
Trust, me there’s nothing like having meals in the freezer ready to cook or eat! As a busy person this makes life so much easier.
With these healthy meal prep ideas I’m referring mostly to dinner. However, you can use these ideas for any meal. My advice is to focus on the meals that would make the biggest difference if prepared ahead of time. For example, if you struggle with breakfast then make oatmeal, breakfast sandwiches, or a smoothie the night before. Better yet, stock your freezer with all of these items. Do what works best for you.
If you’ve been putting off meal prep because Sunday’s aren’t a good time for you then I hope the healthy meal prep ideas here will help. Meal prep can be a game changer for anyone struggling to eat healthy. Like I said, there aren’t any hard rules to when you should meal prep. You need to fit it into your lifestyle in a way that works for you.
I can go on and on and….on about meal prep! To learn more I recommend signing up for my free 7-day meal prep email series. In this series, I teach the ins and outs of meal prep and provide you with many of my absolute favorite meal prep recipes. By the end, you’ll be ready to tackle your first meal prep day! You can sign up here or click below.