how i prep food for the week

How to Prep Healthy Food For the Week

food prep

I’ve mentioned a few times on here how my food prep binges on the weekend really help me stay on track with nutrition throughout the week. I hadn’t really thought much about writing a post about it until I saw the awesome Lindsay over at the The Lean Green Bean do her weekly series on her food prep routine. I was so inspired by everyone else’s food prep, that I thought maybe I should give you guys a small peek into mine as well. So this past weekend, I snapped some photos while I set off one of my patented kitchen bombs.

The first step for my food prep is to make a list. This shouldn’t surprise you. I’m pretty much the queen of lists. Ha! I did a little pre-list when I made my menu and went grocery shopping for the week, but now that it’s time to actually do the work, I make a “real” list and make sure to put it in the order I want to work.

food prep list

After my list is made, I usually pull out all the ingredients I’ll need to get through the whole list. I’m lucky to have a giant island to spread out on. Having all the ingredients out and clumped together really saves me some time. Plus, I also like the visual of working my way through them. I put ingredients away as I’m finished with them, and as the counter starts to get empty, I know I’m closing in on the finish line.

food prep ingredients

To make the most out of my time, I try to start with the things that have an element of inactive work. Like making bread. I make a loaf of bread each week, and I get the dough together and rising first, before I do anything else. Bonus: because I’m working in the kitchen and have the stove and the oven on, it warms up and my dough rises better. Win!

dough bread

Next, I just start working through my list. I try to keep like things together so I can use the same kitchen utensils without washing. Like, for example, I chop all my veggies for snacking…

veggies

…and then right after, I start working on my salads-in-a-jar. I’m not sure who the first person to think of putting a salad in the jar, but man, it is genius. I was skeptical when I first tried it, but just as long as the lettuce is separate from the dressing, it all stays fresh and crisp for days. My lunchtime veggie intake has skyrocketed thanks to these little salad jars stashed in the fridge. I usually dump the whole thing into a bowl, but Craig just shakes it up and eats it right out of the jar. It’s a a perfectly portable healthy lunch. Love ‘em.

salad jars

Once I’ve made it through my whole list, I stash everything on the top shelf of the fridge. Not only does it make it easy to get to, but it’s also the first thing we see when we open up the fridge door. I’m a believer that if I’m visually assaulted with healthy foods, I’m much more likely to eat healthy foods.

fridge

Curious what I made this week? Here’s the whole lot of it:

food prep

This, plus some other additions like cereal for breakfast or leftovers for lunch, will be enough food to get us through the week. It took me about three hours to get through all this cooking, but I know it saves so much more time than that during the week. It makes it so easy to grab breakfasts, lunches and snacks during the week. Honestly, the time and effort isn’t all that bad. The worst part about the whole thing? The pile of dishes afterward. Yeeeeesh.

kitchen dishes

But thankfully, I have an awesome husband who doesn’t mind cleaning up after I spent hours cooking us healthy, yummy food for the whole week.

Each week, I try to make 2-3 options for lunches, 2-3 options for breakfast and a handful of options for snacks. It changes each week. Here’s another food prep I did a few weeks back. In this one, you’ll see other food prep frequenters like granola bars, overnight oats, fruit and yogurt parfaits, and tuna salad. It all just depends on what we’re in the mood for.

food prep
If it weren’t for food prepping each week, my diet would probably consist of some leftovers and whatever food was within reach in the pantry. I know having all these fresh fruits and veggies ready and waiting has definitely made me eat more goodies. Even Craig agrees! He says that without the weekly food prep, he probably wouldn’t even bother with packing fruits or vegetables in the lunch he takes to work, but with it all there and ready to go, it’s actually easier to just grab something healthy instead of doing the work to pack something not-as-healthy.

Food prepping takes a pretty big time commitment, but for us, it’s a system that works, so that time is worth it. If you’ve never tried it before, I highly recommend making your own list and setting off a kitchen bomb of your very own!

Do you do food prep? What are you favorite dishes to prepare for eating throughout the week?

104 Comments

  1. ErikaJade says

    Truly inspirational! Exactly what I needed to kick my year off right! Your a ⭐️⭐️! Happy healthy New Years!!!

  2. Judy says

    I always feel better about the work week if I have my lunches already made. I’ve been on a big kale Caesar salad kick…I make it with nonfat Greek yogurt and almost zero olive oil and toss in a can of cannelini beans for extra protein. It lasts forever. But today I made your Greek salad..delicious! Reminds me tabouli.

  3. Ashley says

    Great prepping!! Do your cut veggies stay fresh in the 8×8 glass dish and for appx how many days? Trying to come up with something that will keep them fresh too!

    • Cassie says

      They’ll last dry for a few days, but they can last much longer if you store them submerged in water (even ice water, if you have a cold enough fridge). My grandparents always had an old gallon ice cream container with ice water and cut carrots, cauliflower and celery in it in their fridge for snacking!

  4. Misty says

    Gorgeous pictures and fantastic meal ideas! I’m prepping to do this tomorrow (Sunday) to help have a better week food wise this coming week and this was a huge boon to my planning phase. Thank you!

  5. Jessica says

    This is great! I was wondering what your food budget is like? I have been cooking more clean and my budget has gone up. Can you do this on a budget?

    • Cassie says

      Our grocery budget is $500 per month. And YES, you can do this on a budget. In fact, I think it’s better for a budget, because you are cooking in bulk and avoiding eating out!

  6. Arika says

    Oh my!! Just stumbled across you on interest! This is all so awesome. I just had to change the way I eat, no more white flour for me anymore, and have been looking for some ideas. Just found them! Thank you:)

  7. Nancy says

    This is so helpful – thank you! I just started working with a nutritionist and know this approach will really help me to improve my eating habits!

  8. livia romeiro says

    Do you know how you can inspire people around whole world? Yes! You inspired me here in Brasil to use this food organization. our no-time-life prejudice our diet directly! thanks for the willingness to share your routine with everyone! I hope to continue using your knowledge fot the health of my family!!! Thanks again!!!

  9. Jessica says

    I have to say that after reading this, I, for the first time, feel like I can do this type of meal prep. I usually read these things and say “it’s too hard to figure out.” Or “I still don’t know where/how to start.”
    This is seriously the first time I feel ready to do it! And I have read many…and popular ones!
    Thank you!!!

  10. Yohanna says

    Hi , I want to know when you make the box of raw vegetables for a period of 5 days is this – they stay fresh ? if so at what temperature

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