About a month ago, we were up in Boone, North Carolina for our annual TPY Yoga Teacher Training. To keep Patrick well-fed in my absence, I hopped in the kitchen one afternoon before training, turned on some binge-worthy TV, and prepped a few meals for him to reheat.  With all the talk about meal prepping how-to's,  this seemed like the perfect opportunity to share my meal prep tips with y’all.

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1. Be Realistic - The biggest mistake I see people make with meal prepping is being unrealistic with their goals. If you’re prepping for the whole week, give yourself some wiggle room or a night off to eat out — I did find a Pizza box in the fridge when I returned home.  Also, even though it’s important to make healthy choices, don’t plan for and prep meals that you wouldn’t usually eat. If you don’t want to eat it now, you probably won’t want to eat it later.

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2. Shop Smart - Make a list of EVERYTHING you’ll need, and check it twice against everything in your pantry. Trust me — there’s nothing more frustrating than getting home with all your groceries, starting a recipe and realizing you forgot a key ingredient.

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3. Make a Plan of Attack - Once you have all the ingredients for each recipe, DON’T get overwhelmed. Just look at the recipes you have and find a way to weave the prep time together before you start. Think about efficiency — is there something you can chop while veggies are baking? Can you do dishes while something is in the steamer? Even if you don’t have time to cook everything, I find that washing and chopping all of the veggies makes life so much easier during the workweek.

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4. Containers - You can never have too many! Stock up so that you can divvy up your food and store it in multiple seal tight containers to keep everything fresh for the week.  Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids are my favorite; in fact, if I find a stray container at my house, I will give it away.

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5. Make it fun! - This is the most important tip to keep this sustainable. Find something you love to do and pair it with the meal prep. Turn on some music, put a TV show on that you love or call an old friend. It doesn’t matter, as long as it keeps you motivated to keep going so that you can enjoy your healthy home cooked meals all week long!

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What are your best meal prep tips? Let me know in the comments!

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