My College Meal Prepping Journey

After taking the fall semester at home, I wanted to start and go through this Spring semester with a bang and with some drive to stay healthy physically and mentally. I realized a lot about myself as I stayed home an entire semester and wanted to maintain that mindset with me back in Tampa. 

That being said, I decided to dedicate part of this healthier mindset to meal-prepping weekly. It is definitely something I need to mentally prepare for and prep what I want to do ahead of time, but it is SO WORTH IT! Being so active in dance too, coming home from classes, practices, and rehearsals has been much less stressful since I don’t have to worry about what I am going to eat that day or night! I am reassured that I am putting back nutritious things in my body and I am replenishing what I lose each day. It has definitely eased my mind tremendously and has probably reduced a lot of my stress… crazy how food can do that right ??

Everyone’s meal prep will be different and I am still adjusting to what works for me. I like to be very strategic and organized, and I thought I would be able to prep every Sunday at least, but days in a week are so dynamic and ever-changing that my meals have to adapt to my schedule; so I am still maneuvering to find that balance. Sometimes I find myself prepping on a Tuesday (one of my easy days) for five days ahead or something, so you can definitely figure it out based on your schedule and needs. 

I generally meal prep 4-5 lunches and dinners for the week with space for days/weekends where I might treat myself to a dinner out or get some delivery/take-out. I make it very flexible and workable for me, but it may be very different for you.

In my opinion, a balanced meal has a source of carbohydrates, vegetables (at least two kinds) cooked or fresh, and some sort of meat or alternatives for protein. So far I have made broccoli salad, chickpea salad, hummus chicken and vegetable wraps, steak and potatoes with green beans and squash, salmon and quinoa, and pasta with grilled chicken and sauteed mushrooms.  All of these sound so overwhelming to make but a majority of the things I purchase are pre-packaged and pre-cooked items that just need to be reheated and seasoned and personalized. A lot of meal preps take full DAYS of dedication, and that scared me. Most of my meals probably cost about $25 max for the entire week… how awesome is that! Not only do I save time but I am saving money.

The way I do things, my meal prep for both lunch and dinner probably takes me at least an hour or an hour and a half during my entire week… not bad! I was actually very surprised with this. It does take effort and a mindset but it is soooo worth it! I find myself even unlocking a hidden love for cooking and trying new things which honestly excites me so much! I also started a tik tok account to document these meal preps for college (dancers) or any college student. (follow @theballerinabody)

I am very excited to share this with you guys and continue this journey!! Hopefully I will start having recipes out soon and even a whole week/month meal prep guide, planner, and grocery lists to help you all out even more!