Hi friends!  A few of the most common questions that I receive both in person, and here on the blog is "Do you meal plan?  Do you meal prep?  And if so, how (to both questions)?"  I thought I would answer the questions here on the blog, then share with you how I do this.  Here we go! Do I meal plan?  Yes.

How do I meal plan?  Each Sunday I fill in a spreadsheet that I made in Excel (OCD, much?) with general meal ideas for each day of the week.  IE: for dinner on Monday evening I may put "taco salad."  Once the sheet is filled out, I write exactly what I need for each day in the form of a shopping list.  I mean exactly (down to the coconut oil I may use to sauté something).  I then go through my refrigerator and pantry to cross reference what I already have in stock and don't need to buy.  This may sound like several steps, but I've got it down to about 10 minutes.  I cross off those items on the list.  I'm a TJ's gal, so I head to the store and get all my ingredients.

Side note:  A few things...While my meal plan is just for Greg and I, this can be done for a single person, or a huge family.  No limitations, amigos!  Not only does meal planning save me time and energy, but it also keeps me mindful of what I am putting in my body.  Another benefit is that it also saves us a bunch of $!

Do I meal prep?  Sorta.  My version of prepping is getting my snacks ready.  I like to chop up my veggies and stick them in individual bags, as well as put individual containers on hummus/dip/nut butter with them.  This is great for us to just grab and go.  Another thing I like to do is make smoothie bags and stick them in the freezer (I make extras during the summer, too).  I chop up bananas, spinach, berries, etc., throw them in individual bags, and toss in the freezer.  This makes it soooo simple when I'm in a rush, or want to make something quickly.

When it comes to my main meals (especially dinner), I like to take my time and really get into cooking.  This also helps me relax.  If prepping your meals is something you enjoy doing, more power to ya!  :)

I hope this is helpful for you!  For your convenience, I also am sharing my meal planning spreadsheet.  Feel free to download, and use for your own meal planning.

Download here: The Happy Healthy Balance Meal Prepping Sheet

See you tomorrow for my Foodie PenPal Reveal!

xo.  Jen