If you’re an SLP, then there is a good chance that you wish you had a clone! I’m here today to share some easy meal planning tips with you to help you out. I can’t create your clone, but hopefully these tips will help you prepare some delicious meals that will give you the fuel you need to get through the busy week ahead.
Link & Resources
The Speech Space Podcast Episode 48 – 5 Productivity Hacks for SLPs
Full Transcript of Podcast: 5 Meal Planning Tips for SLPs
Episode 57: 5 Meal Planning Tips for SLPs
You're listening to the Speech Space Podcast, a podcast full of tips and resources for SLPs. I'm your host, Jessica Cassity, and this is Episode 57.
Hey everybody! Today we are going to be veering off the topic of speech therapy a little bit, and talking about some meal planning tips. I do find that this is relevant though, because anything that we can do to help save us time and preserve our sanity as busy SLPs, it's always worth chatting about. Before we get started, I wanted to let you know that this podcast is brought to you by The Digital SLP membership site, which is a site that features time-saving, no print, and low prep resources for SLPs. To learn more about the membership head on over to thedigitalslp.com/digitalslp.
All right, so let's go ahead and talk about some meal prep tips that help facilitate good healthy habits while not sucking up all of our time. So my first tip is to use a favorite meal that I love... a binder, if you're old school, if you like to print things out. Or to make a Pinterest board where you collect all of the meals that you've already made for your family and that they really, really loved. You want to make sure it's a separate category than whatever your usual recipes board is. So you might call it something like "tried and true recipes" or "easy recipes my family loves" or something similar like that. You just want to make sure that you're not lumping in these "tried and true recipes" with your regular recipes board. You know, during a busy week where you just don't feel like being creative or thinking of new ideas or trying new recipes. This can be your go-to source of recipes that you already know that everyone's going to love.
My next tip is for dinner to make a weekly meals list, assign days to the meals and post it on your fridge. Now, I know this might sound like a lot of planning or a lot of work, but I actually started doing this many, many years ago and the weeks where I'm a little bit off, like say I get sick or something, or it's just so busy and I'm just not able to make the time to do that. I regret it. I always regret not making my weekly meals list. So I really love using a dry erase magnetic board that I got on Amazon. It's got little chalkboard markers, and it's this blackboard, and actually it's really cute. It has a little shopping list section on the right, and then it's got the different days on the left. So I will put a picture of that in the show notes and I'll also try to link to that or something similar. But by doing this and planning this out at the beginning of the week, it avoids that annoying what's for dinner dread that often happens when you don't have a plan or that annoying what's for dinner conversation that you're having with your loved ones when they're sitting on the couch saying, mom, what's for dinner, or what are you going to cook? You know, it avoids that. You already have your plan. Now you have your ingredients, you've got it covered.
All right, next tip is to prep what you can on the weekend. So of course we don't want to, you know, spend our entire weekends thinking about the week ahead, but we do want to spend a little bit of time getting ready, because it's going to save us time in the end. So if you listen to Episode 48 about batching at work to increase efficiency, then you will get this concept here. If you missed that episode, it was called Five Productivity Hacks for SLPs. And you can just search that on my website or go to bit.ly/5slphacks or look for Episode 48 in iTunes to give it a listen. But essentially what you're going to be doing with meal planning was what I was suggesting in that episode with scheduling and planning your speech sessions, which was just batching. So you're going to choose a day of the week where you take a chunk of time and that's the only thing that you're doing. So you're gonna be doing all the prepping that you can in one sitting to save you time later. So it's more work upfront, yes, but you actually save time when you're not multitasking. And once you get used to doing it this way, you honestly will wonder how you did it any other way.
All right, next tip is to take inventory of what you have before you make your weekly meals list. This not only saves you money, but it saves you time at the grocery store as well and prevents unnecessary duplicates and clutter in your fridge. I often find that I have frozen veggies and some rice and frozen chicken on hand, and it's not necessary for me to take the time to find more and buy more at the grocery store. My next idea for you is to invest in the right kind of food storage. So I found that it made it way easier for me to prep meals a few days out in advance when I invested in this great glassware that has three different compartments and it also came with these lovely little dipping sauce containers. So that way, when I prep my lunches and snacks for a few days in advance, I could see it all in front of me, which reminded me that it was there. And it also reminded me of my hard work when getting it ready, which made me not want this food to go to waste. The separate sauce containers prevent your food from getting soggy. So I would highly suggest trying to find something like that as well. And I will make sure that I link to those containers in the show notes. And if I can't find the specific containers, I'll make sure that I link to something as similar as possible.
My next tip is to double up on recipes. And I know this is probably one that most of us know, but I felt like it was worth mentioning. For example, in our house, we make a lot of zucchini bread because my kids love it. So we bake two loaves at a time and then I freeze one and we eat the one that we made and we, you know, hold on to that and keep it in the fridge for about a week. And then for the next week, we already have another loaf of zucchini bread ready for us because we made two at the same time. Another example of doubling up, we do barbecue pulled chicken, and then we make sandwiches on the night that we make it. And then the next day we'll do barbecue pulled chicken tacos.
My next tip is to buy big. So this is similar to doubling up, but rather than buying a couple of chicken breasts, why not buy a whole chicken and you can use it for many different meals. So you could have some roasted chicken and veggies for dinner one night, and then maybe you could do a chicken wrap of some sort for lunch the next day, and then maybe the following day toss the chicken and the salad. And if you even had some more leftover chicken, because it just depends on how many people you're feeding on that one chicken, then you could definitely make some chicken salad with the extras as well. So I find that roasted chickens are really great, especially if you can get them already made at the grocery store.
My last tip for you is to follow food bloggers who have easy recipes. So you don't want to follow, I mean, for special occasions, okay, it's great to follow people online who had these really brilliant recipes that are so tasty and, you know, they take a lot of time and effort and energy. Every once in a while, that's great. But for on the regular, you really want to follow people who are telling you and writing about easy meal prep ideas. For example, Primavera Kitchen has some great meal prep bowl recipes that I really like. And she also has some great tips just on meal prepping in general as well. So her website is primaverakitchen.com and I will link to one of the meal prep articles that she did. I will add that in the show notes, so you can head on over to her site and check it out. So those are my meal tips for today.
I would love to hear if there are any tips or ideas that you love and that I didn't mention, feel free to DM me on Instagram. My handle is @thedigitalslp, or shoot me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope that you did find some of these tips to be helpful. The one thing I wanted to mention before I hop off today is that I usually do the podcasts many of you know, twice a month on the first and third Tuesday, but this month there will actually be three episodes. I'll be hopping on here for the SLP Live Podconference, which is going to be on Tuesday the 29th, or at least my session will be on Tuesday, October 29th. And unlike my usual episodes, this one, we'll be going up in the evening so around 6:00 PM EST, and it will actually be an hour, almost an hour long. And I will be on for a live Q & A for the last few minutes of the show. So I will be discussing my favorite thing, which is using digital resources. And one of the coolest things about this is that you can actually get continuing education credits for tuning in. So if you want to sign up, you can head on over to slp-live.com and you can sign up for any of the podcasts that you'd like to be registered for. And it's as easy as that, you'll get more information during the event about how to get those continuing education credits. But yeah, I'm super excited. This is the first SLP Live Podconference, and I'm really excited to be a part of it. As always, if you liked what you heard today, please go ahead and take a moment to leave a five-star review on iTunes to help your fellow SLPs find this show. To access the show notes from today's episode, head on over to bit.ly/TSSEP57. If you'd like to learn more about how you can cut back on your prep time this year, head on over to thedigitalslp.com. All right, my friends, that is it for me for now. I thank you so much for tuning in, and I will be back on Tuesday, the 29th in the evening for the SLP Live Podconference.