This is the cake on the icing of your meal prep training and will truly turn you into a master of your craft.
Evaluating allows you to see what went wrong, what went right, and how to improve so it can be even better for the next time. I evaluated constantly when I first started prepping because I ran into a lot of the problems I have listed in this post and had to figure out ways to defeat them. Now I do quarterly and yearly evaluations of my meal prepping so that it stays a lifestyle instead of a fad.
Sagacious Tip | Be sure to make evaluations and assessments a constant part of your life so that you can continue to become the best you possible!
Keep reading to find out the 6 things you should evaluate and consider in your meal prepping and the best ways to master them.
The Ultimate Guide to Meal Prep:
Step Three | Evaluate it
Meal Prep Evaluation #1 | What things irritated you most about your last prep?
“It was 5 hours instead of 2 hours”
Meal prep timing takes practice.
Additionally, bulk cooking was just plain new to me.
We as a society are used to cooking one meal at a time so cooking all your meals at once seems ridiculous and a high mountain to climb.
You gotta get past the lengthiness for a few preps to really be able to succeed.
They will be longer than expected, but as you turn into the Prep Master you were born to be, they will only be a ninja chop in your time!
- Competitive? Time yourself and try to beat it by 10 mins each time.
- Easily distracted? Go to the next section and follow the tips I lay out
- Easily discouraged? Know that I believe in you and have provided you with almost everything you need besides your willpower to #GetPrepDone!!! The only thing stopping you is yourself (and maybe your bank account and if that’s the case read my financial literacy series )
Your feet, back, and head started hurting
First, check to see if your BS mode is on and if it is and turn it off!
Now if you are really hurting, make some changes to get things done. You know that meal prep saves you time, money, and sanity so anything stopping you will have to be round house kicked so you get this done!
Wear more comfortable shoes, take Ibuprofen before you start, get a back brace, or get a maid to do the prepping for you. 😉
It prevented you from doing something else you enjoy
Now you know I told you to plan your preps in Step 1 of the Meal Prep Series for a regular time and day on your calendar.
- Your bestie decided to hit that sale at the mall and needs your expertise in every outfit.
- Your show was canceled on Tuesday and now is premiering on your prep day.
- Your crush finally asked you on a date
It’s really easy to find any excuse to let your prep slide into tomorrow and homerun into next week, but you gotta stay strong against temptation!
Remind yourself of your true priorities and stick to your guns.
If you don’t prep:
- You will spend at least $25 on lunch while at work for the week. (That is a bill, a new dress, or money to pay off debt )
- You will have to cook dinner and clean up every night for dinner!
- Your schedule will be thrown off for the rest of the year- Dramatics are good for the soul!
Your food turned out nasty or not what you really wanted
It didn’t have enough flavor:
It’s time for you to stop following recipes to a T and start making them fit your needs.
Be sure to taste tests while you cook, this food is for you, not Martha Stewart!
It was too soggy, salty, mushy, ( add your excuse here):
This can happen a lot when you try new recipes or are rushing, or are used to eating food the night it is cooked.
- Keep new recipes for the weekends and then incorporate them when they pass your taste and texture taste
- Be sure to make dedicated time in your calendar for meal prep and be faithful to it so it becomes a habit
- Train your brain to see food as nourishment over pleasure so you can kick your expectations to the curb.
Meal Prep Evaluation #2 | You were distracted the whole time
Ask your spouse or friend or even hire a babysitter to watch your kids for a few hours. Meal prep saves you so much time ( time is money yall!) that it’s worth every penny of the peace you have to focus on your prepping.
SO or Bestie
Have your boo or bestie help you with the prep or even do prep swaps. I wish I had friends with similar interests in cooking and prepping or I would do prep swaps on the regular. You get to try new food and save time. #winning
Do not disturb takes 2 swipes and a tap. Make it your best friend! Additionally, let people know your meal prep schedule. Tell them to call any other time, but then. Some people can talk and prep, but I get way too distracted and take too many pauses. If you just need to hear someone talking, get a podcast and learn something new while you cook.
I use to prep and set my portable smart TV on the counter to watch Netflix. It would extend my cooking by 30 mins to 2 hours because I would have to:
Pause to take in the super serious near-death scenes by Oliver Queen!
Sit back and think about how in the world Rafael and Jane are still not together?
Or hold my sides for 5 minutes laughing at Michael Scott.
Shoutout to my Green Arrow, Jane the Virgin, and The Office Fans!
Watching TV does not work for me!
Make TV a treat when you cross the finish line.
Tell yourself you get two whole episodes and cup of wine if you finish the prep in record time.
Like I said before motivation is motivation. Just do it Boo!
Meal Prep Evaluation #3 | What meals turned out to be disgusting during your prep week?
Plenty of delicious meals can take a turn for the worst when they are warmed up, left sitting in the fridge for more than a couple days, or frozen and then defrosted. Here are some quick tips to keep things in the right direction.
Tips for bad warmed food:
- Try to use an oven or mini oven to warm up your food in a less radioactive zapping manner.
- Undercook your food by a few minutes, so that when you warm it up it’s al dente.
- Stick to foods that don’t require any warming while outside your house.
Tips for bad fridge food:
- Stick to weekly shopping for veggies and fruit
- Use up foods that expire quickly at the beginning of the week
- Avoid buying food that expires quickly, no need to waste your money on food that doesn’t last
Tips for bad defrosting food:
- Here is a list of the worst foods to freeze, be sure to check out the list of foods that you will be surprised you can freeze here as well!
- Avoid foods that don’t freeze well if you do more than a week of prep
- Be sure to check out these defrosting tips to make sure you are doing it properly for certain foods.
Here is a list of the most Gag-Worthy foods to avoid:
- Fish-fish is disgusting if overcooked as well, only tuna fish can grace my meal preps and even then only every other month or so.
- Egg Whites- they become rubbery and trifalin after just 30 seconds in the microwave + they are really watery when they defrost and just look and smell unappealing.
- Salads- limp salad leaves make me shudder
- Fried Chicken- soggy
- Fries- soggy
- Plain rice with no sauce- dry and hard
- Anything that doesn’t have spices or flavoring-Trust me you will head to chick-fil-a with a quickness
Meal Prep Evaluation #4 | What recipes work best together?
You have to make sure that you enjoy eating the food you prep or you will despise meal prepping. I tried doing a diet prep one time and I didn’t meal prep for a month after that, it was disgusting and bland.
Stick to foods that give you the tingles when you think about eating it for at least one meal each meal prep.
I like to pair up meals that start simple and then get more complex like boiled eggs for breakfast with spaghetti squash chili for dinner or meals that are treats like my bacon egg cups #thriving with basic chicken and broccoli.
Actual Footage of me eating my favorite food—
When you taste buds are happy, meal prepping is at it’s dreamiest!
Be sure to make a Pinterest board, spreadsheet, or bookmark folder or all your favorite meals for the different meal times. This will give you ideas when you can’t think of what too cook and also inspire you to try different flavors of similar meals.
Additionally, try to figure what cooking styles are easiest for you.
Do you do better with all stovetop meals or all oven meals? Is the crockpot your best friend? Do you hate turning on the oven in the heat of summer?
I fell in complete love with my crockpot when I first started meal prepping to the point, not one, not two, but three of my crockpots cracked from over usage. It was so easy to mix crockpot dinners, with a smoothie breakfast, and salad lunch. This year I haven’t touched a crockpot as I’ve learned to use my stove more and was missing the crispiness it gives food.
Evaluate these things to make your meal preps much more enjoyable!
Meal Prep Evaluation #5 | How well did the recipes portion out?
A huge source of irritation for my meal prepping is when portions didn’t pan out correctly. I thought it would be enough for 5 meals but it only had enough for 4. Or I would still be really hungry after eating the prepped food and wish I had something more nourishing.
This will require a lot of trial and error, as well as deciphering between your hunger or greediness.
I am super greedy and love food and found myself eating day two‘s food on day one or running out of food for the last day and having to eat out.
I first had to evaluate if I was eating the correct portions for my body type. As an emotional eater, I eat to feel less stressed at work or just have something in my mouth to distract me from my thoughts for 5 seconds.
That’s when portions actually help you and make it easier for you to eat right. The consequence is not having food for the end of the week and having to buy lunch. Make sure to drink water in between meals and to try smaller meals and snacks to keep your eating on track.
Or maybe you are a person who regularly works out or just can eat like a horse and still be healthy.
This is when you need to increase the portion sizes or double the recipe to better suit your needs.
Being hangry is not a joke in my world and my family and friends run for their lives when I’m on the prowl. Be nice to people and feed that monster inside of you!
Meal Prep Evaluation #6 | It Cost too much!
First off, stop copying off those cutesy organic meal preps on Instagram, those people are being paid to entertain and entice you so they can afford that ish.
Secondly, I gave you a list of the best value and budget stores in my Master Prep Kit, but maybe none of them are close to you (I doubt it), You are a little too boujie for budget living, or you have store favorites that you don’t want to change.
Honestly, you need to just suck it up and bite the bullet. Shift your mindset about money, privilege, and how you like things. Empower yourself by getting uncomfortable and changing for your best life.
My meal preps cost me $134 for 3 months of 5-day preps. If I can do it, so can you!
Thirdly, meal prep is worth every dime, because it saves you time! I love corny rhyming yall!
There is no way in the world non-prepping cost you less than meal prepping unless you are dealing with the mindset talked about above or got a Sugar Daddy who paid for all your meals. ( If that is the case #AintMadAtYa, I’m looking for a husband too! 😉 )
You have got to see that time is money and meal prepping gives it back to you. It removes the power food has over your time and finances and allows you to fill it with your main priorities and goals.
Hopefully, the tips above allowed you to evaluate your first or 100th Prep and improve it for next time as well as stop the excuses you have for not prepping! Meal prepping is the one lifestyle change that I have stuck with for the long haul because it gives me so much more than it takes. Plan it, prep it, and evaluate it for meal prep success!
Read: ReEducated Recipes—A monthly breakdown and review of some of my favorite meals to prep.
Evaluate the ReEducation:
- Evaluation is a key ingredient to meal prep success
- Distractions can be easily eliminated by planning ahead
- Don’t allow the things that irritate you to stop you from prepping, it gets better! Use my tips and stay the course!
- Get the Master Prep Kit stocked with everything you need for meal prep success
- Keep reading the Meal Prep Series and ReEducate your meal prep.
How did your meal prep evaluation go? What other tips are you using to evaluate your prep? Comment below!
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