There is a chance you’ve heard some buzz about meal prepping. Maybe you know what it is but don’t see the point. Maybe it’s a completely new topic to you. Let me talk to you today about why you should get in on this trend.
Meal prepping is great because it eliminates many excuses people give for not eating healthy. People skip breakfast because they don’t have time to make something. People grab unhealthy snacks and meals on the go because it’s the fastest option. People eat out a lot because cooking dinner after a long day is exhausting. Meal prepping is the answer to all of those problems.
When you have healthy food ready and on hand you don’t have to worry about how much time and effort you have to commit to cooking each day because the hard work is already done!
There are two kinds of meal prep that I use. There is the Sunday meal prep, where you will do the bulk of your cooking for the week. There is also the nightly meal prep where you make sure you have what you need for the next day prepared.
Here are a few of my personal meal prep tips that will save you time, money and stress:
- Prepare all of your protein
Meat, tofu, beans, etc… Prepare all of it at the same time. You can cook on the stovetop, grill, bake, or make it a Crockpot. All options allow you to cook in bulk. Protein can last the week in your fridge or freezer when stored in an airtight contain. Add protein to all of your meals easily!
- Prepare all of your grains
Cook your rice, quinoa, barley, lentils, etc… Again these things are easy to make in bulk and can be stored for several days. Having these items pre-made means you can simply grab them, throw them over a salad or on the side of protein, and go! It will take no time at all.
- Cut all of your veggies
Buy fresh vegetables and chop everything up at once. This can be time consuming, so I understand not wanting to do this everyday. If you want an even simpler option, buy pre-cut veggies. You can throw these on a salad, in an omelet, take them with you to snack on with hummus, or a heat them up stir-fry style and throw them on top of grains and protein. EASY!
- Make fast breakfast options
Don’t have time in the morning to prepare a healthy breakfast? Make it the night before or make lots of options on meal prep day. Cook egg white cupcakes (egg whites and veggie baked in a cupcake tin). You can store them in the fridge and reheat them when you are ready to go in the morning. Make overnight oats or Greek yogurt cups with fresh fruit and nuts. Get your smoothie ready to blend the night before by putting all of your greens, fruit, ice, protein and super foods in a freezer safe container so all you have to do is throw it in the blender and press go!
- Fill up your water bottle
I have a lot of refillable water bottles, and every night I make sure they are all filled and put in the refrigerator. All you have to do in the morning is grab and go. You can never have too much water on hand. Don’t want the clutter? Buy gallon water jugs and refill those!
- Travel size
The travel size hummus and guacamole have saved my life. Okay… that’s an exaggeration. But if you don’t buy the single serving size of these two products, you are missing out. They are so easy to take with you to work and add to any meal or snack. Both guacamole and hummus provide you with healthy fats and good protein.
- Portion out your snacks
An inexpensive way to snack is to buy nuts, seeds, healthy bars, etc. in bulk. But, if you are like me, it can be hard to resist eating an entire bag of cashews. As soon as you buy these snacks put the correct portion size in a sandwich size Ziploc bag. This ensures you eat the proper amount. Also, the bags are also easy to grab as you run out your door.
- Prep your lunchbox the night before
Every night I either make a list of what food I need to take with me on a long day or (if it doesn’t need to be refrigerated) I actually put meals and snacks in my grocery tote bag so it’s ready to go in the morning. When I have to meet with a client at 5:30am, the last thing I want to do before I go is think about what I need to bring with me to eat at noon. My mind is clearer the night before, so this prep really helps out my half asleep morning self.