I'm a busy city girl trying to do her best to eat healthy, work out and find balance. Read on to find out how meal prep helps me reduce stress, and save time and money.
Hello & welcome!
My name is Taylor Stinson and I'm The Girl on Bloor! I create free recipes through this blog and I teach people how to ingredient prep (a twist on meal prep) through my meal planning app, Dinner Prep Pro.
I've been running this blog since 2014 and it's my passion to show people how they can reduce the stress in their lives AND save money on groceries all while spending less time meal prepping every week. Who has time to spend half their weekend in the kitchen? Not me!
Now I know you're probably wondering: what's with the name? Well, Bloor Street is one of the busiest main streets in downtown Toronto, and I've lived on this street on and off for the past several years. I love the area so much and really identify as a busy city girl! And as a busy person, meal prep really is a game changer in helping you get more time back to live your best life. I assume that's why you're here 😉
If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to hit up my contact page. I love hearing from readers!
My meal prep story
When I first started meal prepping, I started as a way to save money and feel healthier by eating more homemade foods. I also wanted more time in the evenings to work out, do different activities and see friends.
In my late teens and early 20s, I struggled to balance full-time school, part-time work, volunteering and a busy social life, which led to a lot of eating out or eating TV dinners between activities.
Plus downtown Toronto is filled with all kinds of crazy amazing food, so I went a little nuts eating out and by the end of my undergrad degree I realized I'd gained 25lbs and felt like crap. I had no energy, I was spending WAY too much money on food and I got into this unhealthy cycle of yo-yo dieting over the summer/school year.
By my mid-20s, I knew I needed to make a permanent change for my overall health and well-being. I was sick of having a toxic relationship with food and feeling stressed out around mealtime. So I started to meal prep.
Around this time, I finished school and got an office job. Now that I finally had a set schedule, my goal was to bring a homemade lunch then have dinner ready and waiting in the fridge when I got home. I thought if I could just eliminate cooking in my day to day, I'd be less stressed and able to eat healthy without having to think too hard.
So I got on Pinterest, looked up all these meal prep recipes and then would spend an entire Sunday making all my meals for the week at once. I don't know if you've ever tried to do this, but it is SO MUCH WORK. I was spending SO much time cleaning up, and then I hated eating leftovers all week long.
Sure, it was nice to have some extra time back in the evenings after work, but it didn't feel worth it, especially when I'd be so tired after a big prep and then see all the fun things my friends were doing without me over the weekend.
Because I couldn't be consistent with it, I quickly fell out of the habit of meal prepping every Sunday, and that led to me feeling like a failure and ironically INCREASING my stress around food.
Why ingredient prep?
Now while I was struggling to nail down a meal prep routine while working my office job, I continued posting recipes I was making to this very blog you're reading and was finally able to monetize it enough to justify working on it full time.
As a new business owner, I started to develop systems to enable me to work more efficiently, one of which was prepping my ingredients ahead of time so I could photograph recipes faster.
It made my life SO much easier and the upfront commitment of the ingredient prep itself was very minimal – it only took about one hour to prep for 4-5 recipes with very little clean up. After doing this for several weeks, I had this lightbulb moment realizing that it was THIS kind of meal prep I could actually commit to because it was SO easy! I had formed the meal prep habit without even realizing it!
Here are a few key realizations I've had while ingredient prepping instead of meal prepping:
- Half the work of a recipe is done, so you just dump & cook in 20 minutes or less
- You barely have any dishes after doing your prep
- You have more time for activities that bring you joy and improve your health, such as working out
- It saves you mental energy in deciding what to eat for lunch/dinner
- You reduce food waste because you're enjoying more appetizing meals cooked fresh (no leftovers!)
- You save money on food (both on groceries AND takeout) because you're planning ahead
Wanna Learn How To Meal Prep?
My meal planning service, Dinner Prep Pro, removes the guesswork and helps you get dinner on the table in 15-20 minutes each night. My meal prep checklists only take 1 hour each week!
My qualifications & education
Okay, so I know you're probably thinking: that's all fine and great, Taylor, but what exactly qualifies you to talk to me about meal prep?
Well, how does almost 10 years' experience sound?!
I have been developing and photographing recipes FULL TIME since 2014. I have over 550 free recipes published to this website, and in that time I have amassed a wide readership – over 1.5 million people visit this blog every month, and over 30,000 people subscribe to my meal prep email newsletter. CHECK OUT MY RECIPE ARCHIVES HERE.
You can also join over 300,000 others and follow me on Facebook, Tik Tok, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube! Or check out my ebooks that you can purchase for more meal prep inspiration and meal plans.
In 2015, I finally finished school and graduated with a Master's degree in journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University. I've worked with several different food brands such as Vitamix, Canadian grocery store chain Loblaws, Andy Boy, Philips, Sabra, Harvest Snaps and more, and I've also done some food styling for CHCH TV's Morning Live show.
As I was working on my Master's degree, I had a column on Toronto.com and worked for the Yellowpages, so I know ALL about publishing, too.
As The Girl on Bloor and as a Master of Journalism graduate, my work has been featured around the web in articles from Buzzfeed, Better Homes & Gardens, Brit + Co, Women's Health, Reader's Digest, Apartment Therapy, Yahoo, HuffPost, Prevention Magazine and more! Through the blog, I was also a regular contributor to HuffPost Canada Living, writing a Cooking in Season food column.
Here are some articles where I've been featured:
- Buzzfeed Food – 18 Fizzy Cocktails Guaranteed To Get You Kissed At Midnight
- Buzzfeed Food – 18 Vegetarian Grain Bowls That Are Better For You Than Yoga
- Buzzfeed Food – 17 Delicious Ways To Take Your Avocado Obsession To The Next Level
- Yahoo – Jazz Up Your Grilled Cheese Sandwich with These 20 Recipes
- Brit + Co – 9 Comfort Food Appetizers for All Your Spring Parties
- Brit + Co – 13 Smart Foods to Eat Before a Test or Major Presentation
- Brit + Co – 22 Starbucks Copycat Recipes Your Wallet Will Thank You For
- Huffington Post – The Best Meal Prep Containers (I was featured as an expert in the article)
- HuffPost Canada Living – Meal Ideas from the HuffPost Canada Living Contributors
- PureWow – 30 Spring Dinner Recipes You Can Make in 30 Minutes or Less
- The Everygirl – 40+ Seasonal Recipes to Make This Spring
- Community Table – 36 Spaghetti Squash Recipes That Will Make You Drool
- Greatist – Meal Prep Chicken Recipes
- Lifehack – 15 Healthy Dinner Recipes
- Country Living – Vegetarian Slow Cooker Meals
- Livestrong – Instant Pot Pasta Recipes
- Healthline – Instant Pot Keto Recipes
- Delish – Instant Pot Indian Takeout Recipes
Beyond all the brand collaborations and my formal education, I've been cooking for myself for a long time – I've experimented with what works, and what doesn't. And I have mastered the art of ingredient prep, which I now offer as a weekly service through Dinner Prep Pro (sign up to get a 7-day free trial!)
How I can help you with your goals
Through this blog, I primarily share healthy recipes and meal prep resources designed to help you reduce stress around mealtime and live a healthier, more fulfilling life! Here are some of the ways I can help.
Reducing overwhelm and getting started
If you need help getting started with meal prep, I give you a step-by-step framework in my free 5-Day Meal Prep Challenge.
- 5 days of helpful meal prep emails
- Daily homework to help you implement the lessons
- A 7-day meal plan and prep ahead checklist
- A free meal planner template
- An invite to my meal prep Facebook group to complete your homework and hold yourself accountable
Staying consistent with meal planning
If you need help with actually sticking to meal planning and meal prep every week, my subscription service Dinner Prep Pro does the work for you!
Think My Ingredient Prep System Will Work for You?
My web app, Dinner Prep Pro, is a customizable meal planning tool. Every week I send you a new customizable meal plan with grocery and prep ahead checklists that auto-populate, regardless of changes you make!
My all-time favorite recipes from the blog!
So with all the recipes I create, which are my absolute favorite?
Here they are:
- Coconut Mango Chicken Meal Prep Bowls
- Tahini Coconut Energy Bites
- Sashimi Tuna Salad with Carrot Ginger Dressing
- Chicken Spring Roll Jars
- Fajita Stuffed Chicken
I have these meals on repeat ALL the time at home!
Thanks for being here and for enjoying my recipes – it's an honour to get to share my passion for cooking with you and to teach you how to meal prep. I hope you enjoy the blog! If you ever have any questions or feedback, please don't hesitate to get in touch.