As a single mom who is juggling multiple careers, frequent travel and solely taking on the load of parenthood, there is often minimal time and mental capacity to plan and execute meal preparation for both myself and my picky toddler. I fully recognize the importance of eating quality meals and food sources, so rather than using my situation as an excuse, I choose to make nutrition a priority and simply pivot and do what I CAN.
As a parent, we cannot pour from an empty cup. Here are FIVE tips that help me save time, plan ahead and reduce my need to make multiple decisions (a day) around meals and food choices for me and my daughter.
1. Plan dinners (or as many meals as possible) for the entire upcoming week over the weekend.
The more you plan things in advance, the less brain power will be needed in the midst of a chaotic week. With already knowing exactly what you'll be eating, you can also shop for AND prep food sources during the weekend when you have more time.
2. Prep your protein and carbohydrate sources in bulk.
Why only prepare food sources for one meal at a time? Coook in bulk for 2-3 days at at time, throw everything in the fridge and simply portion/reheat in whichever way you desire (and as needed). Throw a fat source on top such as an avocado, nut butter or reheat your food in oil/butter/ghee and you have a fully balanced meal with each of the macronutrient profiles.
3. Keep it simple.
As much as we'd like to create the extraordinary meals for ourselves that we see on social media, the best way to wave time is by keeping it simple. A protein, carb, fat and fiber source is all you need. Simple doesn't mean lacking in flavor!
4. Become BFFs with the frozen section.
Some of the quickest, tastiest, and most nutrient-dense meals come from the frozen food aisles. Frozen fruit, oven-roasted vegetables, pastas, frozen potatoes, and even wild caught fish are all frozen food staples in my household.
5. Ditch the mom guilt.
Just because you aren't providing a Michelin star quality meal for yourself or your kid(s) doesn't change your value as a person/parent. You're doing the best you can and you're doing it ALL ON YOUR OWN. Allow yourself grace and know that you're doing your best.
You may not be a single mom or even a parent right now, BUT I bet that at least ONE of these tips could be helpful for your weekly meal planning, prep and nutrition goals. You can also check out Coach Casey 's post where she shares her tips as a working mom of two and Coach Chanel's post of her tips as a busy entrepreneur as well!