TJ's Meal Prep: How it got started - Part 1
Updated: Feb 8, 2022
If you're anything like me, I like to be prepared. I own two businesses and prepare tax returns part time during tax season. Needless to say, I am a super busy lady. My schedule is always changing, and mealtimes don't really exist for me. During my busy season, I work no less than 12 hours a day. To function, I have to have meal-prepped food, or I wouldn't have the time to eat.
I have meal-prepped for myself for years. Mostly salads for lunch with whatever fruits & veggies were in my refrigerator. And I almost always made chicken, rice & green beans for supper. HOW BORING! After a year of eating the same thing every day (I'm not kidding, I packed the same cup of fresh fruit for a snack, too) I decided I needed to add a little variety of meals.
I became best friends with Pinterest. I could scroll for hours. I started by searching different salads (because believe it or not, I really liked my chicken/rice/green beans). Taco Salad, Chicken & Berries, Southwest Salad. Anything that had something more than bell peppers, cucumbers, and cheese. Don't get me wrong, I often make my old reliable salad but ever since expanding my pallet and trying new things I never would have thought to put together, I really changed up my meal-prep menu.
Ok, if you can believe it, the chicken & rice did get a little old. After expanding my lunch salads, I decided it was time to switch up my dinners. I stuck to chicken for awhile but added new seasonings or toppings. I upgraded the green beans to asparagus. Small changes, but ones that definitely changed my life.
I know what you're thinking; how does eating chicken change your life, Tylor? Well, after making some of these new meals, I needed to gloat. Obviously. They looked & tasted delicious and were better than plain chicken breast. Que Snapchat Stories. I posted a picture of my meal-prepped lunches all boxed up and ready to go. Next click was a picture of this chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese, spinach & mozzarella cheese with roasted potatoes and green beans. And then the replies started rolling in. "Do you sell these at Twin Kiss?" "OMG, meal-prep for me, please!" "These look awesome!" (Here I am gloating again!) But seriously, I got messages like this every week for a few weeks until I decided to actually do something about it.
And then, TJ's Meal Prep was born. Very early stages. My only customers were my mom, my gram, my sister, and my best friend. I had 6 meals for a total of 3 weeks. I typed a description of each meal on a Word Document and texted a picture of that to each of my testers. They were numbered 1-6, and they told me which number they wanted. Via text. Thinking back to that now, if I hadn't created a website, I would be so flustered. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Fast forward to the end of the 3 weeks, they were mad at me. Not because they hated the meals but because I didn't have any more menus for them! Back to Pinterest. 3 more weeks of menus and 3 more weeks of testing. Some constructive criticism here and there but mostly good news. Apparently, I can cook (regardless of what my fiancé says).
My mom worked in a larger office and of course she bragged me up. She rolled into work with meal-prepped food every week and walked the long way back to her office so everyone could smell her meal after re-heating it (haha, mothers!). After a couple weeks of her co-workers asking her and her asking me, I decided to let her office order meals, too. And that's what took TJ's Meal Prep to the next level.....
to be continued in the next blog!