Now that school is back in session, your day may have just got busier. This is when preparing for meals becomes essentially important. Meal prep can set you up for success. Pick a day out of the week to spend 1 to 2 hours preparing for the week ahead. Just like you would not be unprepared for an important business meeting, you should spend equal amount of time preparing for a successful and healthy week.

Here are some quick and easy tips to help you prepare for the week ahead.

Precut veggies:

Meal prep doesn’t have to be hard. Take some time to pre-cut your vegetables and store them in containers. This will save you a lot of time during the week when you are busy. You can also save more time by buying precut vegetables at the grocery store. This may cost a little more, however if you are just are too busy this can help save on some time.

For salads, I like to precut the Ideal Protein select vegetables in one bowl and in a separate pole have the pre-cut unlimited raw vegetables. This way during the week, I can just grab 2 cups of the select vegetables and then as many vegetables out of the unlimited raw vegetables container as I want. This really helps me to save on time in the mornings, especially when I am in a rush.

Emergency Food

It is a good idea to always have “emergency food“ on hand. This is a super easy meal prep idea to incorporate. Frozen vegetables and canned meats (tuna-fish and salmon) are good staples to have available for the times when you do not have time to go to the grocery store. This way you always have healthy food options available. When we don’t have healthy food options available this is when we tend to gravitate towards unhealthy foods and/or fast foods. Remember if you stock your refrigerator, cupboards, and freezer with good food you will eat good food.

Meal Planning

Spending some time to write out what you plan to eat for the week is also a good idea. This way you can make sure that you shop for exactly what you need. This will also minimize food waste. I like to write down exactly what I will be eating for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks for the week and hang it on the refrigerator. This helps me to stay on track with healthy eating for the week.

Simple Recipes

It’s always a good idea to have some easy, simple recipes on hand. Each meal does not need to be a gourmet meal. Spending too much time in the kitchen can become overwhelming and knock you off track. Purchase some healthy cook books or go online and search for some healthy recipes. Print out any recipes that you like and keep them in a folder to make your own cook book.

Whenever I get a craving for a certain dish I will often Google a healthy recipe idea for that dish (for an example “healthy Pad Thai”). This way I can enjoy some of my favorite dishes without going off my healthy eating lifestyle.

Bottom line it is always best to be prepared for the week. Taking a little bit of time once a week to set yourself up for success is essential. Remember you are worth it. Take the time to treat yourself right!