Our Meal Prepping Story
At the beginning of every epic guide, there’s a story. Ok, I can’t actually verify that that’s true, but for the purposes of this post, let’s assume it’s true.
So, before we dive into telling you how to meal prep like a boss, we’re going to tell you how we used to do things when we meal prepped more like . . . an intern.
Basically, my concept of meal planning has evolved substantially since I first started eating paleo back in 2013.
Back in the day, when I (Mitch) was just a wee paleo lad, my idea of meal planning was more or less buying 4 lbs of ground beef, 4 lbs of sweet potatoes, some coconut oil and 90 bags of frozen veggies, and flying by the seat of my pants every day to assemble some semblance of a meal all before getting so frustrated and tired that I’d wind up blowing $100 extra dollars on Jimmy John’s Unwich sandwiches (“um, and hold the cheese, please, because I’m paleo – kthanks.”) and/or the Whole Foods salad bar.
Well clearly that stopped working for me pretty quickly, so my next stage of eating involved going ALL-IN paleo, dedicating myself to cooking the most gourmet, amazing meals I could set my sights on: crab, fish, steak, pork loin, the finest local whole chickens – if it could be found at Whole Foods or a farmer’s market, I was ON. IT. I was such a paleo boss, you don’t even know. In fact, I was SO much of a paleo boss, that I even hired my cats to do my accounting! …kidding. In other words, I started eating much, much better, but I was also spending about $200 a week on just me (single dude at the time, living alone). This obviously became a problem, too, and I learned a very valuable lesson: cats are not good accountants.
The Stages of Meal Prepping
From there, I (and Britt, once we met), cycled through several additional stages of the “Meal Prep Blues,” including:
- The stage where you only eat 2 dishes. Ever.
- The stage where you’re having money troubles so your diet consists of only frozen chicken and veggies, and a lot of guacamole. And water, because that’s free.
- The stage where you discover paleo-friendly plantain and sweet potato chips, and how well they pair with guacamole and/or air (aka anything).
- The stage where you try to find new recipes every single night and go to the grocery store each new day like ‘normal’ people, but quickly realize that ain’t gonna work.
- The stage where you try to ferment and culture the $h!t out of everything while growing your own urban garden and wrestling live chickens because you hear it’s the thing to do.
- The stage where you buy 30 types of paleo/aip-friendly flours and then have no money left for actual food, so you eat a lot of waffles.
- The stage where you waste about half of your fresh produce you bought because you get home and realize you have a whole lot of ingredients, and really nothing that goes together at all.
- The stage where you Hulk out and try to do meal planning, shopping and meal prep/batch cooking all in one day. RAWR! But then you realize you’re so tired and sick at the end of that day that you just want to curl up on a ball and you revert back to step 1 where you vow to never make more than 2 dishes at a time ever again.
Honestly, the list could go on.
Meal Prepping 2.0
Luckily, the madness stopped when Britt and I moved in together and we started to get the hang of this whole “meal prep” and “eating paleo on a budget” thing, and that’s obviously why we are here today, talking to you about how to meal prep like a TRUE boss (and not living under some bridge or raging because all we’ve eaten are 5 lbs of Jimmy John’s Unwiches the past week).
And this is why we wanted to do this series to walk you through our tips for meal planning success, because we have probably gone through every possible method of meal prepping (and non-meal prepping) to know what works and what doesn’t, especially if you are a very busy individual (which, who isn’t nowadays?).
So, we hope that this guide can get you out of that rut, or out of feeling so overwhelmed by cooking while following AIP/paleo, or that may it can just help you feel a little more confident with your current meal prep skills.
So get your boss pants on, because we’re about to enter into #MealPrepMania. Next up: 5 Meal Planning Tips to Help You Meal Prep Like a Boss