Meal Prep for Moms with Cheryl Malik of 40Aprons

July 30, 2019

Cheryl Malik wears a lot of hats—or rather, aprons. As the creator of 40 Aprons and mother of two young kids, Malik develops the most creative and delicious paleo and Whole30 recipes that are also quick and family-friendly.

Today, she dives into her best meal prep hacks, favorite self-care routines, and tips for encouraging healthy eating at home.

What does getting “back in session” mean to you?

It means hitting a rhythm that feels in control. That means plenty of meal planning and meal prep on Sundays; making plans that work for us during the week for breakfasts, lunches, and dinners; and having reliable exercise routines that feel stable, rather than exceptional. When we have a lot of unusual events or travel, we start to feel a little out of control, and physically, we don’t feel as good as normal. We all crave routine in our family!

What are your favorite daily routines?

I never, ever thought I’d be the one saying this, but I wake up early to work out most days. Since I have two young kiddos, the moment they wake up, it becomes about them for me. Exercising early sets a fantastic tone and gives me some real self-care to start the day. We also cook at home most evenings, and I feel so nourished by the healthy food and family dinner we have. My husband and I have some alone time after the kids go to bed, and I indulge in a little organic wine, some tea, or an adaptogenic or nootropic beverage to cap my day. I finish the day with my selected supplements, like CBD oil, magnesium oil spray, probiotics, an adaptogen blend for sleep, and some high-quality skincare.

What are the daily routines you want to get better about (or maybe try) in the fall?

I tend to overdo my meal planning and meal prep for the week, starting every Sunday early with hours of grocery shopping and errands! It’s truly too much, and I plan to strategically utilize Thrive Market more and more to cut the shopping out of the equation. I’m also hoping to simplify my meal prepping a little. I’m super type A, so I want to have the most amazing meal prep ever, but I end up spending so much time and effort on Sundays that it’s just not worth it. I’m trying to train myself to expect downtime!

How does Thrive Market make it easy to stick to a new routine?

Thrive Market helps me stock my pantry and freezer with the high-quality ingredients we always use and need to have on hand. It’s so easy to order from the couch, instead of loading everyone up in the car to head to the best fishmonger or fancy health food store! Not only that, but my grocery bill is smaller with Thrive Market, so I have more options for my family.

What is the best way for moms, both new and veteran, to prepare for the school year?

The best way to prepare is to simply prepare! Make sure you review the upcoming week ahead of time, so you won’t be out at 10 p.m. on a Tuesday night trying to buy some “silly socks” or restock the pantry for the kids’ lunch the next day. Meal prep makes it easy for us to grab lunch or breakfast (or both!) and get going, since we’re all super busy. And I love doing all my shopping on one day of the week, so it’s not an issue the rest of the week. Thrive Market plays a huge role here in helping me stock my pantry and freezer more affordably and in less time. (Uh, hello, it’s a click of a button—no trekking into town to get that paleo creamer you like!)

What is the best way for a busy family to stay healthy? Is simple meal prep the trick or do you have any sneaky hacks?

We make healthy eating and living the norm in our family. Our pantry and fridge are loaded with healthy foods, and there’s always meal prep for the week ready for everyone. Surrounding ourselves with healthy foods makes staying healthy that much easier. And by initiating a consistent physical activity routine, it becomes second nature. No thinking required!

What are your go-to snacks for keeping your kids full and happy?

My kids love Larabars and pouches! My son also loves an apple with peanut or almond butter, and these peanut butter crackers are his favorite. He’ll do anything for these Annie’s Organic Bunny Fruit Snacks, too.

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Lily Comba

Lily Comba has never met a baked good she didn't like. When she's not baking, you'll find her writing, taking a Pilates class, or collaborating with the editorial and social team as a Senior Content Writer at Thrive Market.

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