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Prep Once, Eat Healthy All Week Long

Prep Once, Eat Healthy All Week Long

Healthy Eating by Prepping on Sunday!

Something new that I am starting this month is cooking as much as I can on Sunday, for the week ahead. I am hoping that this will help me to eat healthier and also save time in the kitchen.

As much as I love menu planning, that alone was not preventing me from eating unhealthy snacks and meals. Honestly, I was simply too lazy to whip up the healthy foods that were on our menu for the week.

I am hoping this new Sunday food prep idea will help.

Here’s what I made yesterday, in about 3 hours time:

  • Cut up carrots, celery and cucumber for snacks
  • Cup up strawberries and pineapple for snacks and adding to oatmeal or yogurt
  • Homemade hummus for veggies
  • Hard-boiled eggs for lunches/snacks
  • Healthy peanut butter balls (added a bit of cocoa for some chocolate flavour)
  • Garlic & parmesan roasted chickpeas
  • Cut up broccoli & cauliflower for dinner sides
  • Healthy bran muffins for breakfast and snacks
  • Homemade granola bars
  • Homemade granola for granola bars and yogurt topping

I felt so accomplished once I finished everything and my husband was very surprised that I cooked/baked for 3 hours straight – but it honestly didn’t feel that long. I was too caught up in how awesome it was going to be to have all of this food made for the week ahead!

As you can see, I mostly focused on snacks this week because snacks are my weakness (where I do the most unhealthy eating). Next week, I am going to also try cooking up some meat and side dishes (quinoa, rice, etc.) to make dinner and lunch prep easier and more healthy, too.

Do you do “Sunday prep” or something similar in your home?


  1. jennifer

    What a great idea! My issue is also snacking on unhealthy things, you’ve just inspired me to go cut up the strawberries that have been sitting in my fridge so i’ll be more likely to grab them for a quick snack 🙂

    • Cassie Howard

      Yay, glad I inspired you! 🙂

  2. Ashley

    So glad to see that you are doing this. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do but have never taken the time.

  3. brittney

    I am the last person who should be giving advice on healthy eating, since I do not eat healthy myself. However, I am the only person who cooks in my home and my wife has been trying to eat “clean” / ” healthy ” so I have picked up on a few things… From my experience, cutting up cucumbers too soon before eating them has often left them feeling slimy and unappealing. ( Hope you have better luck than I did ) In regards to eating unhealthy ” snacks” , if you don’t buy it you can’t eat it.. If you only buy healthy stuff, you will be forced to eat healthy stuff.

    • Cassie Howard

      This is very true. I am trying to cut out as much of the processed food from our diet as possible.

      And no problem with the cucumber, it usually only lasts a day or two in our house!

  4. Dianne

    It’s funny you posted this now, because I am also planning to do this today to (hopefully) get myself to eat healthier and be better organized for meals and snacks!

  5. Cherise

    I agree with the previous post; just simply don’t buy the snacks and it eliminates the problem. You’ll find yourself staring in the fridge the first few weeks but then you will adjust and figure out some alternatives. My husband eats seriously unhealthy (and doesn’t gain weight, GRR) and I eat mostly clean foods. I simply limit his snack options to ones I don’t care for anyway. Works for us!

  6. Cherise

    Oh…and I don’t prep anything ahead of time. I find it goes bad on me. Just having it on an easy-to-see shelf works for me. We also make lots of smoothies with leftover fruit and veggies usually get put into a tossed salad or stirfry at the end of the week. Then I menu plan the next week out of my fridge and pantry before I even look at the flyers.

  7. 050937k2

    I usually do this for fruit and some veggies. I almost always have a salad in the fridge – one salad lasts 2 days, so I can always make it the night before.

    I work outside the home and am Gluten free, so I have to make sure I pack enough for the day because options for eating are limited!

    I have a couple shelves in my freezer of “lunch meals”. These are usually left over homemade dishes that I can pick the night before.

  8. teachermum

    I’m now packing three adult sized lunches and I’ve been thinking I need to prep with lunch products to save time and avoid food waste. Seems my family will grab something ready to eat…but if the grapes aren’t washed and available…they go bad! I have tons of snack sized baggies so can easily fill tons up and put it all in a container in the fridge. Dividing up tubs of yogurt and cottage cheese would also help.

    Now to just do it!

  9. melanie

    Very cool… the peanut butter ball recipe isnt coming up for me…can you send me the recipe? Thanks 🙂

    • Amanda B.

      I noticed with the peanut butter ball recipe the page wont come up it’s because it comes up xhttp instead of just http in the address bar remove the x and you’re good to go

  10. Marianne

    I love prepping stuff ahead, although I’m not very good about doing it routinely (it kind of goes in spurts).

    One thing that I do regularly, is whenever I’m cutting up peppers or onions for something, I cut the whole thing, even if I need only a part of it. Whatever I don’t need for what I’m preparing right then, I throw into a container in the freezer, already chopped up, to be used in future cooking. I most often use them in home made pasta sauce, but you can add them to pretty much anything where they’re going to get cooked enough that they don’t have to be super crunchy (if you want crisp and crunchy you’re best off with using fresh … and I do sometimes store the cut up parts in the fridge if I know I’ll be using them within a day or two.).

  11. lilly

    We do a slightly different version of Sunday prep. We have 2 slow cookers going on the weekend (when Smart Meter rates are lower). We cook large portions, split and freeze. Even in the summer, using the slow cooker does not add heat to the house.

    Plus we bought the slow cookers on sale : )

  12. Emily

    I have used variations on this type of thing. It does not take double the time to make a double batch of something. Make sufficient of something for two meals. Either eat it twice that week, or freeze the second meal (assuming it is something that freezes well) for later. Another variation is to have something one night and then a variation of it two nights later. On Sunday say have roast chicken, baked chicken breasts, roast pork, bbq steak etc. Do sufficient for more than one meal. Later in the week, as appropriate, slice for sandwiches, create a salad with, add to an omelette etc. Chili can become several different things. Same thing with homemade tomato sauce.

  13. Christine

    I would love to try this but for me it’s not realistic. I live alone and I work two jobs, one full time, one part time, which means I often work seven days a week. I often don’t even have the time to cook or go grocery shopping!

  14. NancySusan

    I too cook on Sundays. I usually make a big pot of soup. This comes in handy for lunches and one supper (along with bread and salad). I also like to freeze the soup in lunch size portions. It’s quick and easy to grab as I run out the door. Yesterday we also cooked a roast of beef. It was for supper and will also be used for stroganoff later in the week. Cooking in big batches is great. Eat one, freeze one.:-)

  15. Terri MacKay

    When I make dinner, I make enough so that my daughter and I can take smaller portions to work for lunch the next day. That way, I know that we’re eating healthy, even when we’re at work, and I save A LOT of money.
    There are several fast food outlets in the mall where I work, and it amazes me that I have co-workers who buy their lunch every day. At an average of $8-$10 a day, that works to upwards of $200 a month they are spending on unhealthy lunches. For a dollar or two extra a day,I just make a little extra for dinner, so that we have 2 lunch sized portions for the next day.
    I do make a week’s worth of oatmeal for myself for breakfast. I make it on Sunday and store it in a large tupperware bowl in the fridge. In the mornings, I just have to heat up a portion and add whatever fruit or nuts I want. A nice hot breakfast every day in a couple of minutes.

  16. Melanie

    For the past couple of years I have cooked my meals for the week on Sunday, portioned them out and into the fridge (or freezer if too much!). I usually cook 3 main dishes and a few sides. That way when I get home from work at 7 or 8 I just have to grab my meal and warm it up. I live alone and dont enjoy cooking for 1. This gets it all done with less stress through the week.

  17. Lorraine

    Cassie I love your site

    I do a lot of freezer meals and slow cooking but prepping snacks for lunches and evenings is something that never occurred to me at all. The people I cook for at my house are getting really tired of toast and peanut butter.
    I think i’ll start with chopped carrots and celery with hummus and some muffins. Is Sunday night too late to start? lol


  18. landsy

    How do you keep your strawberries from going bad throughout the week? Mine last like 2 days and then they start to go moldy.

    • Sandra

      Wash them in a vinegar/water wash…

  19. Megan

    Thank you for listing everything that you made- super helpful for me to copycat;)
    I’m currently juggling meal planning, couponing , and advance food prep…it’s not easy for me yet, but I’m trying to make it a routine. It’s certainly easier than panicking at 5:30 with a hungry toddler hanging onto my legs!
    (And a convincing husband whispering “pizza…”)

  20. Heather

    Can you please post your homemade granola bar recipe?


  21. Linda

    Also what I do is have a weekend cook. I make a huge pot of soup on a Saturday, with a couple of whole chickens, take them out and have for dinner and seperate and sort the chicken for the next nights. Then I freeze 1/2 of the soup The next day I brown meat/veggies etc, and make pasta sauce, chili, and have one for dinner with rice or pasta. Then freeze in family size containers. Usually we can have 1/2 the soup pot for Sat, Sun and Mon and a lunch or two. Then we have cooked chicken for eating cold or making quick wraps, chili in a bowl or in a wrap, and pasta sauce for pasta.Usually everyone has different things but we are set pretty well from Sat to Wed, with raw veggies, or salad, and a veggie I cooked Sunday and on that day I use up, or combine and have whats left for Thurs lunch. Then I cook new for Thursday easy with potatoes/fries/fish, and pizza’s/wings for Friday. I still have the other 1/2 in the freezer so we can skip the same syndrome. I can make a roast, and some ‘mexican’ type meat. This will do us the same again as last week. Till Wednesday. Keeping the freezer loaded is such a stress reliever, when you are tired, or a ‘cutting back’ week, 🙂 Good ideas here thanks!

  22. Sharon

    Since vegetables are the main thing that we eat in our house, I have gotten in the habit of washing all produce as I bring it home in a vinegar/water wash (1 part vinegar to 10 parts water) and then I know that it is all clean and ready to go for salad making, juicing, and cooking.

    • Cassie Howard

      Absolutely! We do that, too. Saves so much time!

  23. Jen

    YOU ROCK! I do this too … Menu is based on price matching and what I have stock piled. I create a two week menu. Week 1 includes pretty much everything for the 2 weeks, minus produce and dairy that’ll expire. All dinners are estimated at $10 or under (if I go over one meal, I reduce on another). Here is one of my hand outs -copied and pasted:

    • BBQ Sausages, Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Veges
    • Shepherd’s Pie and Salad
    • Grilled Vege Wraps and Salad
    • Crockpot Navy Bean and Sausage Soup
    • Tacos
    • Pasta with Rose Sauce and garlic bread
    • Homemade Beans and Toast

    Week day lunches: sandwiches (cheese/tuna/egg/deli-meat), left-overs, quinoa salad with vege grab bags & boiled eggs

    Prep Work Sunday (roughly 1.5 hours *food processor highly recommended):

    – Fry and Freeze a pound of bacon (Tip: cut raw bacon into pan with scissors) + save bacon grease in a tupper in the fridge for another meal! (chef’s secrete ;-). Freeze bacon in a ziplock
    – Use same pan (adds flavour), fry 3 pounds of ground beef – save 1/3 for Shepherd’s Pie dinner (Sunday), place 1/3 in fridge for Taco dinner Wednesday, divide the remainder and store in fridge in two separate ziplocks (label as ground beef for beans/nachos)
    – Boil eggs for lunches and store in fridge
    – *Grate 1 -500g block of cheddar and store in fridge
    – *Make Quiona salad for lunches, prep Navy Bean Soup and create vege grab bags for lunches

    While bacon is frying, use food processor to grate cheese (COLD cheese is best) and store in a large ziplock, cook PC Lentils and Quiona in microwave and allow to cool on a plate. Give the processor a quick wipe and chop veges in processor in the following order (placing each item in bowls along the way)

    7- Carrots, 6-Stalks of Celery, Parsley (freeze extra), Onion and garlic (see Navy Bean recipe for amount)

    -Make Quiona salad – see recipe and store in a tupper in the fridge for lunches – DO NOT ADD SAUCE

    -Place ingredients for Navy Bean Soup (minus sausages) into zip lock baggies (individual bags per veges and an individual bag for seasoning) – place in fridge with recipe

    -Save remaining processed celery and carrots in baggies for dinner salads

    -Using left over celery/carrots and rest of veges (ie: cucumber, peppers, grape tomatoes), create Mon-Thurs grab-bags for lunches (in ziplocks)

    Saturday: BBQ Sausages, Mashed Potatoes, Grilled Veges (Zucchini, Eggplant, Onions, Carrots – yes!, Peppers) – get hubby involved …have wine, ENJOY appetizers and look forward to the beginning of a stress free and healthy food week!

    Note: Ensure doubles are made of all Saturday evening dinner items ? …slice up 3 sausages and place with Navy Bean baggies in fridge

    Sunday: Shepherd’s Pie and Salad (using pre-cooked ground beef and mashed potatoes also using grated carrots and celery (even a vege grab bag? For salad)

    Note: Wash and store extra lettuce for Monday’s meal (wash leaves and wrap in paper towel)
    Monday: Grilled Vege Wraps and Salad (you get the idea now, right? ….using pre-BBQ veges, pre-grated cheese and pre-washed lettuce

    Note: Place Beans in water and store in fridge for dinner Tuesday. Take Crock pot out and place on counter so you don’t forget!

    Tuesday: Crockpot Navy Bean and Sausage Soup

    Wednesday: Tacos (using pre-cooked ground beef)

    Thursday: Pasta with Rose Sauce and garlic bread (use up any week’s ending tortillas/buns for garlic bread)

    Note: Take out crock pot for Friday’s dinner so you don’t forget ? …open cans of beans and pour into a large tupper, add ketchup and brown sugar and store in fridge. Chop an onion and store in ziplock separately.

    Friday: Homemade Beans and Toast

    …I can send you recipes if you like too (just realized how long this is on it’s own -LOL)

    • Sheila

      Hi Jen.
      Would love to get your recipes. Looking for some new meals . Thank you

  24. Amanda

    This is such a great idea! My almost 3 yr old is CONSTANTLY asking for snacks all day long, with less interest in meals, and I hate handing him processed snacks out of the cupboard so often! Plus my twin infants keep me busy so its always my go to cupboard 🙁 Thanks for the post!

    • Cassie Howard

      My son is the same – always wanting snacks and not meals! A snack basket in the fridge is a lifesaver for us. 🙂

  25. shannon

    The fat burning blueberry muffins, ideas for swapping out coconut? Really dislike the taste.
    Learning as I go, thank you for your recipes.

    • Cassie Howard

      Just add more flour and a hint more sugar.

  26. Jaime Landry

    I would also like to receive the recipies for the April 27th post by Jenn. I am really trying to get things organized, keep it cheap, and feed my family of 7 (plus their friends) healthy meals and snacks.
    Thank you so much

  27. Jaime

    I would also like the recipies. I have just started pre prepping. Thank you for posting.

  28. Jena


    Sounds like you cook your whole chickens in the soup, right? How long does that take?

  29. Cori Rashell

    I love this, I totally want your recipes, they are very different and sound wonderful!

  30. Miranda

    I would really appreciate any of the recipes you could send me for this post. My family would like to try this! Thank you!

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