The world of home cooking comes down to two kinds of people: chipper sorts who prep all their meals in advance and live a life of well-labeled, stackable containers, and goofballs who have been known to make three separate grocery store excursions while cooking one simple dinner. (Guess which one I am, and you’ll know why all the cashiers know not just my name, but what I’m cooking on any given evening.)
Even for a member of Team Goofball, it’s hard to argue with the logic behind meal prepping, which promises that you can spend just two hours on the weekend making delicious, healthy meals that will fuel you all week long. But lots of things that make sense in theory don’t always survive that moment-of-truth on Sunday morning when you can’t bear the thought of grocery shopping, chopping and cooking, let alone doing a whole lot of it.
These books promise to get you over those hurdles — with weeks of meal plans, step-by-step schedules and beautifully styled photos of ready-to-go containers, each one filled with something scrumptious that you could have, too— if you would just follow this author’s advice.
How To Know If You Should Do Meal Prepping
Is this the year you finally try it? Here’s a question for you: Consider how busy you are, on a scale from “I wonder if I’m actually in a light coma right now” to “my hair is on fire and my pants might be next.” Now here’s the counterintuitive answer: The closer you are to the flaming-hot side of the equation, the more this meal prep thing might be just the ticket. According to these authors, following their plans will save you time, guaranteed.
“If you ask people what stands in the way of their dietary goals, most of them will say, ‘I don’t have time to cook,’” chef and meal prep cookbook author Robin Asbell told HuffPost. “Whether you’re trying to follow a healthier diet or eat less costly takeout, it’s still hard to walk in the door after a long day at work and make a meal from scratch.” That’s where meal prepping comes in, she said. “Anyone can find the time to work smarter, not harder, and set themselves up for success. In our hurry-up digital age, the idea of carving out space and time to care for yourself and your family, while saving money, is very appealing.”
If you want to prep for your prep by reading prep cookbooks, we’ve prepared several good choices that cover just about every level of expertise and kind of diet.
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.