Prep Week: Family Meals

Monday, August 8, 2022

Preparation is a superpower you develop. I learned over the years that backtracking my steps towards my goal of having family meals saves me time and gives me the family experience I want to create. 

Backtrack your steps • let's say my goal is to have at least 4 family dinners this upcoming week. Here's the thing: I have a long commute before I get home. I may have kids' activities before dinner. How can I reach my goal of having a family dinner? In my case, I want it to be homemade. I also know that I have to make it myself. The way to backtrack is the following: find a few hours when I'm not busy the weekend before. Grab pen and paper and write a menu. Now that I have that information, I prep a few meals ahead. This past weekend I cooked spaghetti, rice and black beans, chicken and vegetable stew and grilled chicken. I go on to freeze these meals or to set them aside for designed use. Backtracking makes life easier. Suddenly, I'm not stressed during my commute because I know exactly what we are eating. It may take a few minutes to unfreeze and serve a homemade meal that will nourish my family. I can be at peace during afternoon kid activities because I don't need to get in line in the fast food drive-thru. I can be assured that my family has a healthy and delicious meal waiting for us. 

Action step: think about your goal for this week when it comes to meals. Backtrack your steps. Commit to planning and preparing those meals. Remember, it is about progress, not perfection. 

What if I don't cook? How can I backtrack my steps and make my meal time easier?

Here are the good news: grocery stores are wonderful things. They sell meals that are already ready to go. I often take advantage of them when I have little to no time to prep things. While I'd love to make homemade pizza, I lack time so I buy one. I've seen local grocery stores increase the variety of ready meals for diverse types of food preferences. I often buy a rotisserie chicken for quick meals (baked chicken with veggies and rice, chicken salad, chicken soup, etc). They sell boiled eggs ready to go. They sell salads that are already portioned and assembled. They sell chicken afredo. They have gluten-free and vegan options. When you do not cook or have no time, find the options that will make your life easier in your local grocery store.

I admire people who count on the community to help them prep ahead. I've heard of a group of friends getting together on a Saturday to prep freezer meals for a month. If you have that type of friendship, I'd take advantage of it. Even if you choose to prep 7 freezer meals, the time together will be rich in so many ways. There are multiple internet sites with such recipes ready to go. I think any challenging project becomes easier when a group of friends is involved. 

I wanted to talk about food because it is so relevant to our lives. 

You can also backtrack other things such as exercise. How so? Come back next time and I'll tell you.