There was a time during my dieting years I would pre-cook all my food for the week on Sundays. Typically this weekly “food prep event” would include cooking for hours and measuring out 4 oz servings of grilled chicken or tilapia, 1-2 cups of cooked greens, pre-measured sweet potatoes or brown rice, and more. I’d load it all into my ziplock baggies or Tupperware and be all set for food each week!
This was me 🙂
This method of food prep worked well for a while until I ran into 2 problems:
- 1) I got bored with my food choices and would crave other (more delicious!) foods.
- 2) Deep down I really hate to cook and, after a while, I would start to dread the hours it would take to do my Sunday food prep cooking.
Once I realized I needed a change, I began to embrace a method that fit my personality SO MUCH BETTER! 🙂
I would still use Sundays as a time to think about the food I would have each week (especially for dinner). I’d even write it down to know I had enough food in the house each week, BUT I would not spend hours cooking and prepping anymore. Those days are gone!
Now, if you’re something who loves to prep and cook food each week, feel free to continue cooking on “food prep Sundays” if that works well for you.
If, on the other hand, you’re someone like me who truly hates to cook, today I’m sharing my favorite ways to eat each week!
MY 6 FAVORITE (NO-COOK) WAYS TO PREP FOOD
1) Pre-made Healthier Meals
Many grocery stores sell healthy and fresh pre-made meals (or meal kits) that only require we put them in the oven to cook them. If you’re in the south, Publix has many great options. I also find many good ones at Wegmans (up here in the DC area), and even Costco on occasion. In addition, Amazon is starting to carry many meal kits and pre-made meals through their Amazon Fresh program, which I’ve also used.
2) Healthier Meal Substitutes with Protein
For healthy meals on the go (especially breakfast and lunch), I’ll often substitute a protein bar or protein shake. My favorite protein powder is Optimum Nutrition, and lately I’ve been enjoying Think Thin or Quest bars. Many times I pair these with fresh fruit as well. Yes, these protein substitutes are more processed than whole foods, but in moderation these quick meals are great when you’re short on time, and the protein helps keep us full for hours.
3) Rotisserie Chicken and Other Pre-Made Proteins
Did you know you can buy pre-cooked hard boiled eggs now? You can! I also love buying rotisserie chicken (taking off the skin) and using the white meat to add to recipes so I don’t have to cook the chicken.
This is about as involved as I like to get with cooking now. Throwing a few ingredients in the crockpot in the morning is a great way to get a home-cooked meal without a lot of prep. There are also MANY healthy recipes you can find online that help support our health goals.
5) Salad Bars
Many stores like Whole Foods, Earth Fare, Wegmans, and other large national grocery store chains have salad bars where you can get salads, and even complete healthy meals on the go. Yes, they can be a little more pricey than other options, but they are good in a pinch!
6) Eating Out
Meals out gets a bad wrap for being an unhealthy way to eat. It’s true that most fast food and restaurant meals are higher in calories, carbs and fat than home-cooked meals, BUT by looking on restaurant websites ahead of time, we can often find healthier options.
ONE LAST TIP!
Sometimes people get hung up with their meal prep and try to eat (and cook) 100% clean, 100% of the time. I did this for years with my old method of meal prep. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay consistent trying to prep 100% clean food all the time. Instead, I found consistency trumps perfection. Some of the methods above may not be 100% clean, BUT they are healthy and good! Best of all, I have been able to stick to them every day for years. My weight has stabilized, and my health markers and blood tests are now consistently in the normal range. They were not before when I would be 100% perfect with meals, but then fall off the wagon for months. My clients have similar stories as well.
You know you’ve found success with your eating plan when you can continue it with consistency.
These are just 6 of many options you can use to eat healthier each week when you don’t like to cook. Have a method you love that I didn’t mention above? Please CONTACT ME and let me know.
Have a great week!