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simplified meal prep & planning

Meal Prep Hacks that Will Simplify Your Life

simplified meal planningPaige ReohrComment

Meal prep is one of the most important things you can do to eat more nourishing, healthy, real food.

Essential meal prep hacks that will simplify your life. Streamlined meal prep tips and tricks to help you save time and prep efficiently. #realfoodwholelife #realfoodwholelifemealprep #mealprep #healthymealprep #mealpreptips #mealpreprecipes #minimalism #simplification

It’s a keystone habit: one thing that makes a big difference, causing a ripple effect across your day, your week, and eventually your life.

But the thing is, traditional meal prep can feel overwhelming, daunting, and downright tedious.

We fall into the trap of thinking it has be complicated, time-consuming, and take hours upon hours of slaving away in the kitchen.

The good news? It doesn’t have to be that way.

Adding a little intentionality to your meal prep, and approaching the process incrementally will allow you to find more ease and efficiency.

And when you simplify, the whole thing just becomes easier.

Be sure to grab the free cheatsheet below, then read on for 6 essential meal prep hacks that will simplify the process.

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    1.  The Power of One

    Let’s talk baby steps.

    As is in starting with one thing and building from there.

    Roast a batch of veggies. Make lunch for the week.

    Yes, one thing counts.

    Start with one, and build momentum from there.

    Try It: Roast a batch of veggies or make lunch for the week.

    2. A Little As You Go.

    Instead of looking to carve out an hour (or several), try prepping a little as you go.

    Boil some eggs alongside your tea kettle.

    Make a double batch of pulled chicken for dinner, then use leftovers for another meal later in the week.

    Try It: Make a double batch of pulled chicken.

    3. Planning Before Prep.

    Here’s the thing: having a flexible plan for the week, or a meal map, will help you prep with purpose.

    Making sure you have the right groceries on hand is half the battle, so map out your week before heading to the store, and then prep a little to give your meals a much-needed jumpstart.

    Here’s a free simplified grocery list to get you started!

    4. Prep the Essentials.

    Thing of your meals in terms of the Essential Six: protein, sauce, cooked veggies, raw veggies, grains/bases, and toppings/extras.

    Combining these six parts allows you endless variety, plus a chance to prep just one part. Make a big batch of base/grains, cook up some protein, or stir up a sauce or two.

    Now that’s meal prep simplified.

    Try It: Make a big batch of base/grains, cook up some protein, or stir up a sauce or two.

    5. Low and Slow.

    Let that slow cooker or pressure cooker work for you.

    Throw in some beans or protein, hit start and walk away.

    With very little work you’ll have a couple of proteins prepped for the week.

    Try It: Prepare some slow cooker beans or protein this week.

    6. More of the Same.

    Hey, we don’t have to reinvent the wheel every single week.

    Have a go-to make ahead breakfast you love?

    Or a hearty salad the sustains you through the day?

    Put those on your permanent prep list.

    Yes, variety is great, but so is ease.

    Bonus points: create a corresponding grocery list that goes alongside, so you’ll always know what to buy and have what you need on hand.

    Try It: Find a breakfast or hearty salad and prep it every week.

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    Essential meal prep hacks that will simplify your life. Streamlined meal prep tips and tricks to help you save time and prep efficiently. #realfoodwholelife #realfoodwholelifemealprep #mealprep #healthymealprep #mealpreptips #mealpreprecipes #minimalism #simplification

    Simplified Guide to Meal Prep & Planning

    simplified meal planningRobyn DownsComment

    Simplifying meal prep & planning is an absolute game changer when it comes to eating beautiful, real, healthy food.

    Because meal prep & planning doesn’t have to be complicated, boring, or time consuming.

    Read on for the Simplified Guide to Meal Planning & Prep.

    Simplified tips to make meal planning and meal prep easy with a free downloadable guide. #realfoodwholelife #realfoodwholelifesimplify #mealplanning #mealprep #foodprep #mealprepping #mealprepmonday #mealprepsunday #cleaneating

    The Why

    Simplifying meal planning and prep takes a some upfront work, and also requires a mindset shift.

    The time and work to learn a new process and shift your thinking is so worth it, though, as it will allow you to streamline, reduce decision fatigue, and create time and space for what you really love.

    but first, grab your free simplified guide to meal planning & prep!

    Free Simplified Guide to Meal Prep & Planning

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    1 | Streamline

    Designating time and space for meal prep & planning allows you to streamline the entire process of eating healthy, vibrant, real food, saving you precious time, money, and wasted effort in the long term.

    2 | Reduce Decision Fatigue

    Deciding what to make for dinner and gathering the correct ingredients requires mental energy better spent on other things.

    By simplifying the process, you’ll reduce decision fatigue and have more mental energy for the things that matter most.

    3 | Create More Time and Space for What You Love

    Simplifying means less time spent on scrambling at the last minute, which means you’ll have more time and space for what you love, while still enjoying beautiful, healthy food, everyday.

    The first step in simplifying meal prep & planning is creating a clean, organized space.

    Creating a Capsule Pantry is a great place to start when you’re ready to simplify.

    Similar to a capsule wardrobe, a capsule pantry is made up of a limited number of versatile ingredients that you’ll love to eat, and that can be combined into a variety of easy, delicious meals.

    Focus on the Essentials

    Now that you’ve created space, it’s time to get organized.

    Focus on adding back the essentials so that you can create versatile real food meals with ease.

    Here are 3 simple steps to get Focused on the Essentials:

    1 | Organize

    Gather ingredients and organize them by type.

    For example, group proteins together in the freezer, and place grains + bases together in the pantry.

    2 | Audit

    Prior to creating your grocery list, do a quick audit of your fridge, freezer & pantry to see what needs restocking. Then make your grocery list to fill in the gaps.

    Tip: Stock up on the essentials such as grains, beans, and protein when they go on sale, online, or at your local wholesale store.

    Freeze what you can’t use within a few days in individual serving sizes.

    3 | Quality Over Quantity

    Less is more when it comes simplifying real, healthy food. If your budget allows, invest in higher quality ingredients for maximum flavor.

    Real Food 1-2-3

    When it comes to simplified meal prep & planning, it’s all about ditching complicated plans and endless hours prepping.

    Simplifying starts with a 1-2-3 process. Here’s how to do it.

    1 | Meal Types

    Instead of relying on complicated recipes, focuses instead on meal types.

    By starting with meal types instead of rigid recipes, you’ll be able to create a loose plan that allows for greater flexibility and ease in the process.

    The Meal Types:

    Meal Types

    2 | The Essential Six

    Focus on the building blocks of any recipe, or The Essential Six, which can be combined to create fresh new meal types each week.

    The Essential Six:

    The Essential Six

    3 | The Mix & Match Method

    Simply select a meal type, then mix & match the Essential Six to create versatile, customized meals.

    Scroll to the end of this post to grab your free guide to Simplify Meal Planning & Prep!

    Prep with Focus

    Like meal planning, simplified meal prep doesn’t have to take hours.

    Streamline your process by focusing on prepping the Essential Six, then using the Mix-and-Match Method to prepare weeknight meals, effortlessly.

    1 | Start with a Sauce

    If you only have a few minutes, consider preparing a few sauces for the week to keep in the fridge and add variety to any meal.

    2 | Add a Grain or Base

    With a little more time, try prepping some grains for bases for the week.

    3 | Go for Protein

    Whip up a batch or two of protein, and you’re well on your way to streamlined weeknight meals.

    Shift Your Mindset

    Like most things that matter, simplifying meal prep & planning takes time and a powerful mindset shift.


    Letting go of perfect when it comes to meal prep & planning will make all the difference in sustained, long term success.

    It doesn’t have to be perfect, or all-or-nothing.

    Start small. Meal map one day. Prep one thing. Do what you can and let the rest go. You’ve got this.

    What are your favorite ways to simplify meal planning? Share them below, and tag @realfoodwholelife on Instagram so I can see what you're up to!

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    Simplified tips to make meal planning and meal prep easy with a free downloadable guide. #realfoodwholelife #realfoodwholelifesimplify #mealplanning #mealprep #foodprep #mealprepping #mealprepmonday #mealprepsunday #cleaneating