With Instagram making #mealprepsunday look so glamorous that it appears to be the end all be all to reaching goals, it may seem that if you don't have 2+ hours on Sunday to cook and prep everything beautifully, you simply can't reach your goals.
Girl, I don't have time to prep. Well, that's a lie. I do, but not time I want to give to prepping because in all honesty. I don't like it. I'm so over doing things I don't like to do because those things supposedly are the only ways to reach my goals.
The way you see prepping done on social media typically looks something like: chicken + vegetable + rice/sweet potato.
A really old school, bodybuilding kind of approach to "eating clean".
While there's nothing inherently wrong with that combo, if you don't have time, don't want to, or don't like the plainness of those kind of meals--how can you reach your goals?
The real question: Do YOU have to meal prep to reach your goals?
You can take a less stressful approach to your food for the week with still being mindful and reaching your goals.
Here are 10 ways you can reach your goals w/o prepping:
1.) Shop frozen for your protein. I love Trader Joes when it comes to pretty much everything. Their frozen meat selection is perfect for me. I buy their grilled chicken and it's the easiest to get home and throw that + veggies in a pan with grassfed butter and sauté.
2.) Buy precooked protein: TJs coming in clutch again with so many precooked options. If you don't want to worry with cooking at all, grab their chicken sausages, meatballs, BBQ pulled chicken or other options in their grab and go section! Most stores will have many forms of precooked meats! Add these onto a salad, into pasta or just add some veggies to the side and go!
3.) Crockpot: Throw some chicken, potatoes, carrots, onions, lemon and rosemary--let it cook all day and come home to a meal you barley had to do anything to make. There are SO many recipes you can make using your crockpot!
4.) Make double: So you don't want to carve out time on Sunday? Totally fine. When you're making dinner each night, make extra so you can have it for lunch the next day!
5.) Are you making my awesome protein pancakes on the weekends? If not you should be. Catch the recipe below. When you're making them, double or triple up and then freeze them. Take them out just like you use to those frozen pancakes you ate as a kid from the store and nuke them for 10-20 seconds then flip. You can eat them in the car or at work! Top with some PB and fruit or my fave, maple syrup and fruit!
6.) Have core staples on hand: If you choose not to prep meals on the weekend, that doesn't mean you can wing it all week. There has to be some form of mindfulness happening to make this work in your favor. Having things like quick protein, fresh/frozen veggies + healthy fats will be key.
7.) Be okay with garbage bowls. GB are what I like to call my lunch and dinner for the past 23 years of life. It's not a recipe, but it's what you have on hand all thrown together to make a meal. All garbage bowls have a protein source, fat source, veggies and carb when needed. This could be in the form of a big salad with chicken, apples, peppers, goat cheese and avocado or a bowl with plantain chips, taco meat, avocado, tomatoes and peppers.
8.) Make ahead the night before. Like this meal. I took my frozen chicken from Trader Joes and added some green beans in as well. When I'm ready to eat it I'll microwave it (sorry dad! I typically never use the microwave but have to today!) and then I'll add some avocado to it. I also packed two hard boiled eggs for breakfast + 2 pieces of Ezekiel bread, strawberries and have PB in my backpack. It took me about 3 min to bag all of this stuff last night and I didn't even have to cook.
9.) If you don't want to cook at all, know a few places you can order and pick up that align with your goals. I do Bibipop, Chipotle, Whole Foods hot bar, greek food, burgers and Panera to name a few.
10.) Know that not prepping doesn't mean you eat all the donuts all the time. it just means you aren't doing the traditional weekend prep. You still must be mindful of what your week looks like + what you'll need and when. If that means you'll need to make double a certain night, do it. If it means you have to make ahead the night before, do that. Adjust the tips given to you to make sense for your life!
Here Are some of my no prep meals: