How To Meal Prep
First things first- you need containers big enough to store your food – Tupperware or glass works. If you plan to reheat food in your containers make sure they are BPA free and microwave or oven safe. Buying containers of the same size can also be helpful for stacking in the fridge.
Also having the right tools will help! This is by far my favorite! My awesome veggie chopper. 🙂 I got it for $10 at Aldi’s. 🙂
STEP 1 – PLAN
Before you actually start prepping, you need your PLAN! How else will you know what to make? This task can be daunting but don’t overwhelm yourself. Cooking up a whole week’s worth of meals is a big task and even the best of us can struggle with that. Start with a few days if you need to and work your way up!
A meal plan is essential to going grocery shopping and knowing what all to buy! This will save you time and money. Write down each breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack you will be eating, then break that down into a list of ingredients, and how much of each you will need. If you are like me- a lot of these ingredients and foods will stay the same and you just need to tweak your ingredient list after the initial make up. It is best to stick to tried and tested recipes at first so that you don’t end up cooking a bunch of food you don’t really like the taste of.
Also, don’t make so much that it will spoil and go bad before you eat it.
Overnight oats (yummy recipe here) are a great recipe that can sit in your fridge for a few days.
STEP 2 – PREP
There are lots of ways to prep your food, remember you should adjust it to suit your lifestyle. I love eating HEATHY foods but that doesn’t mean boring foods! People that try to cook up plain chicken and broccoli and eat it all week often give up on meal prepping and healthy eating because they say it is bland- but it certainly doesn’t have to be! I love uses spices and homemade marinades and dressings. Try to incorporate as much variety as you can so that you don’t get bored of eating the same thing each day. This can be as simple as switching up your spices or protein every few days.
You can either prep for a couple days or the whole week. I like to use Sunday as my grocery shopping and meal prepping day!
How much prep I actually do will also depend on what it is I am actually preparing. I always chop up my veggies (for lunch salads, dinners, and breakfast omelettes) and wash fruits and then place them easily accessible in my fridge. I cook my grains and proteins for the first few days, and usually make a batch of that overnight oatmeal! It is SUPER important to write down a clear plan and do what works for you.
The point of meal prep is to make life easier for you during the week, this doesn’t mean you have to pre cook all of your food though! For fish I cook it for that day and the next two and place in the fridge- I use either in a lunch salad (which I already have the veggies chopped for, or for dinner with either my carb (brown rice, quinoa, or a sweet potato)- which I already have a batch cooked, and veggies which are already chopped!
You can marinate your chicken breasts or fish, place them in the freezer, and defrost when you’re ready to use them. Same deal with homemade veggie or turkey burgers. I make fish
Another example is to make one larger batch of your favorite sauces and refrigerate it, rather than make several smaller batches. If you like your vegetables freshly cooked, then you can portion them out for each meal and put them in containers ready to be steamed or cooked. You can also wash all fruit and portion the nuts that you will be using as snacks, so that you can easily eat them on the run.
Mason jars are AWESOME food storage containers and are great to throw in a lunch bag (flight attendants, this one is for you) because they keep your salads tasting fresh for days!!!
You can get creative with what you put in them but here is one:
Crushed fresh garlic
olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Put that on the bottom and top with in this sequence
grilled chicken breast (or fish)
Its very important to follow the sequence and place greens on top so they dont get soggy 🙂
Enjoy!! Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions!