As meeting professionals, we are always planning. Any way you look at it, it is what we do. We plan. So, then, why do so many of us skip the planning when it comes to our home lives? I know that I am totally guilty! The biggest thing for me is meal planning. Eating healthy and making meals that don’t take a lot of time can be overwhelming. And, with a busy work schedule and other commitments, it’s hard to find the time to cook at all, especially something healthy.
Towards the end of 2015, this became exceedingly frustrating to me and I felt like we were eating take-out constantly. I was tired and stressed out and just feel all-around bad and the way we were eating wasn’t helping at all. And, the thing is, I actually LOVE to cook! That is when I realized that if I planned ahead like I do in my profession, then the task of cooking should be easily accomplished. So, I came up with my plan.
I decided to start small and commit to having healthy lunches prepared in advance for during the week plus three dinners that were prepped and ready to go for quick mid-week cooking. By Friday, my husband and I agree on the next week’s meals. On Saturday the shopping gets done and on Sunday the cooking/prep. The biggest help on prep day is to make a punch list – something we are all used to doing EVERY DAY as meeting professionals.
Making a Punch List
To do this, I write down each dish that I am making and what the steps are for making that meal. Then on Sunday, I do the steps that can be done in advance. For example, if one of my meals was chili-lime marinated flank steak with roasted broccoli. So on Sunday I make the marinade, chop the broccoli, and put the steak in a large Ziploc bag (by itself – yes this little step helps).
On the day I am making that meal, I add the marinade to the bag before going to work. When I get home I just need to toss my broccoli on a sheet pan with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast it at 425 for 20 minutes and grill the steak. THAT’S IT! Ten-fifteen minutes tops of active cooking time and I have a delicious and healthy meal! Here is the recipe for my chili-lime flank steak.
The Secret to Healthy Meal Prep
For lunches, it is even easier. I make a big pot of my favorite soup and a salad kit. I freeze the soup in pint-size wide-mouth mason jars. I take it out in the morning and by lunchtime, it is defrosted. Three minutes in the microwave and you have delicious homemade soup. It saves money and you know all of the ingredients that are in your meal! I do essentially the same thing with salads. I get large containers and then chop up and divide my ingredient among them. On the day I want to eat it, all I have to do is add the dressing!
Try it and you will see that with a little bit of pre-planning, you can have healthy homemade meals that fit into your busy life as a meeting professional!