Be honest: Does your weekly meal prep routine spark joy? Maybe a better question is: Do you have a weekly meal plan?
Unless you live in the Dark Ages—i.e., you don’t have Netflix—you’ve probably heard of Marie Kondo, the Japanese organizing guru and inventor of the KonMari method. Think of her as the Mary Poppins of Organizing: practically perfect, impossibly cheerful, and girl gets stuff done! Kondo’s method involves asking yourself whether objects in your home “spark joy.” (Ten pairs of black yoga pants do spark joy for us, Marie!).
Maybe you’ve already folded your towels the Kondo-approved way, or perhaps you’re a KonMari dropout. Either way, it’s spring, and while you’re in spring-cleaning mode (and maybe fighting off seasonal allergies), we’ve got you covered with a few tips to give you that “sunshine in your pocket, good soul in your feet” spark of joy—or, at least a few practical meal prep hacks and grocery list tips.
Plan Those Meals … But Don’t Overplan
We’d all love the luxury of time to create an Instagram-worthy meal a la the amazing Chrissy Tiegen … but chances are that’s not super realistic with your schedule. Instead of aspiring to something that doesn’t jive with your lifestyle, create a go-to list of doable recipes that get the job done.
A thrown-together taco salad? It tastes good, comes packed with protein, and fills you up. Win, win, win. A grilled meat and veggie? That’s perfect, too. Keep this easy recipe list handy to make weekly grocery shopping less of a pain in the you-know-what.
Snacks That Spark Joy
Yep, sprinkle-topped donuts spark joy with us, too. But we also feel really good when we actually eat clean, hearty, protein-based snacks that satisfy. Skip the hangry hour, and stash snacks where you need ’em—the car, your purse, your gym bag.
Keep a list of healthy snack ideas stored in your smartphone to resist impulse buys at the grocery store. Beef sticks and bars are the perfect on-the-go snack to pop in your office desk, your car, or your pocket. We also love nuts, bell pepper strips dipped in hummus, and apple slices with a little PB.
A Realistic Routine
On a keto kick? Doing the Whole 30? Going lean with paleo? Who isn’t these days? You know yourself and what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to diet, exercise, and meal planning. Take a few minutes and pencil out what your week looks like.
Identify slots of time it makes the most sense to fit in exercise—whether a 15-minute run around the block or a good, long sweat sesh at the gym. Once you find a routine that works for you, set incremental rewards for sticking with that plan and smashing your goals.
Hack Your Grocery List
In the gospel according to Kondo (aka her book, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up”), everything should have order. When building our your grocery list, avoid wandering down other aisles by making a list divided into sections. Base your list off the perimeter of the grocery store first, gathering your fruits and veggies, meats and dairy … and then work your way in as needed. An organized list before you shop cuts down on zig-zagging through the store—and unhealthy temptations, too.
As the weather warms and the days get longer, implement these practical solutions to make shopping, exercising (hey, shopping is exercise, too!), and cooking much simpler. Even if you dread meal prep, you may just find that a pared-down routine adds more time to your day for things that actually do spark joy! Take that, KonMari!