Don’t Believe the Lies: Meal Prep Makes Life Easier (3.5 min read)


Have you seen all the Instagram Reels, Pinterest images, or TikToks of a fridge stocked with cute meal prep containers? You’ve felt inspired to plan ahead, to eat healthier, but when you open your Tupperware cabinet you’re discouraged by your mismatched containers and missing lids. Maybe you still push through and you make the meals, but when you try to fit all the containers into your refrigerator, it doesn’t quite fit or there’s room for nothing else?

And then, there’s the lies we tell ourselves

The recipes for meal prep are complicated.
It takes too much time.

It’s too expensive to eat healthy and to prepare meals.

I’m going to be brutally honest with you. These are all just excuses.

The Truth:

Dana’s current lunch meal prep: Greek salad, chicken salad with avocado and red onion, and chopped veggies.
  • The recipes for meal prep are complicated.
    It can be super simple.

    There have been stages in my life where I have made meal prepping more complicated, using a variety of recipes, trying new things, but lately, I’ve been sticking to simple meals because I value efficiency.

    The last few months, my weekday lunches consist of Greek salad, chicken salad made with avocado and red onion, and snack size veggies (carrots and celery or frozen edamame I heat up). Depending on the week, my snacks are a Fage yogurt, a Sargento light cheese stick, or a piece of fruit like an apple or an orange.

    Guess what? I value my time so much that I buy pre-made rotisserie chicken rather than uncooked chicken breasts. Right now they cost the exact same (it may even be less money for the rotisserie chicken and I don’t have to do anything besides cut it up). The only thing I need to do is chop my salad veggies and mix together the chicken, avocado, and red onion. Viola! Done!

    Other good ideas for meal prep is finding a good bulk crockpot recipe that you can put in one day for a few hours and then dish into some containers. There are some great shredded chicken and veggie crockpot meals. I love soup recipes for this, particularly in the cooler months.
  • It takes too much time.
    Meal prepping actually saves time.

    Efficiency is key for me. My time is valuable and I do whatever I can to minimize doing the “I have-to’s” rather than “I want to’s.” I typically do a grocery order on Saturday and my meal prep on Sunday. At this point I almost never go into the grocery store unless I need something last minute or the store was out of something in the order and couldn’t find a reasonable substitute. Sunday I spend time prepping my lunches and at the very least, planning my breakfasts and dinners. With my current meals it takes me an hour or less. Even when I’ve been more complicated and included prepping breakfast, it’s taken less than 2 hours. Sunday may not work for you, but that’s the awesome part, meal prepping can be flexible! Find a time that works best in your schedule.

    Another way meal prepping actually saves time is it takes away the decision process during the week or after a long day. You don’t have to take time deciding what to make. It also makes the majority of dishes and cleaning for one day (and doing dishes is my least favorite household chore!).
  • It’s too expensive to eat healthy and meal prep.
    Meal prepping is the cheaper option.

    The grocery bill may look large, but over time, meal prepping actually saves money. You can buy ingredients in bulk, freeze food, and stick to a budget. Planning ahead also decreases impulsive decisions to eat out or eat poorly.

    Tip: Have healthy frozen meals you can go to after a long day when you don’t feel like cooking. Trader Joe’s is my favorite for this.

Other Benefits of Meal Prepping:

  • Predetermined portion sizes – everything is already measured out and in containers. You’re less likely to overindulge!
  • Predetermined nutritional value – if you want to be specific about your micros and macros, your protein to fat to carb ratio, this gives you the opportunity to figure this out ahead of time.
  • Improved relationship with food – when planning ahead, you increase your knowledge about nutrient rich foods and how it is fueling your body.
  • Reduced food waste – when food is prepped ahead of time and portioned out, it’s less likely to be thrown out and more likely to be used or incorporated into a meal.

Meal prepping can sound daunting. What works for me, may not necessarily work for you. But like a lot of things in life, the fear itself is the greatest obstacle. Once you start meal prepping, it’s easy to see the benefits and you’ll be sure to experience them in no time.

What’s one of your favorite meals to prep? Share the contents below to help out others who are just getting started!

Author: Dana Perich, Wellness Educator & Coach