What Is Meal Prepping?
In simple terms, it’s when you prepare meals in advance.
You can make full meals then store it in a container.
You can cut and cook all of your ingredients then store them separately; to be plated and assembled later on.
The Benefits Of Meal Prepping
Not only is meal prepping setting yourself up for nutritional success but you also save time. Instead of spending 30 to 60 minutes everyday in the kitchen, all you have to do is reheat your food in 2 minutes. That gives you more time to relax and enjoy your life.
On top of saving time, you save money!
Think about how much money you spend on going out for lunch, dinner or ordering take-out. You can put money away for a vacation, pay off debts quicker, invest in your health, etc.
Making your own meals is cheaper and healthier than going out.
Like I said earlier, meal prepping is setting you up for nutritional success. When we meal prep, it helps us get into a positive and motivated state of mind. During the week we might be too tired to cook a healthy meal for ourselves and just decide to order take out instead. We still can!! But let’s eat our prepared meal first and then we can decide if we still want take-out. Typically after eating our prepared meal we can better choices.
Meal prepping is great for everyone. For those tracking macros, for those that are trying to eat healthier, for those with busy life schedules, those that want to lose body fat and gain lean muscle, for those that want to feel more energized and so on.
Keep It Simple
Don’t try to be adventurous and explore Pinterest for recipe ideas. When starting off, it’s best to cook meals that we already know how to make or use simple recipes.
Crock-pot meals are so simple. Just add your ingredients and that’s it.
Make meals that you actually want to eat.
Start by meal prepping 3 days worth of lunch this week. If it goes great, try it for the whole week. Then you can start prepping dinner and breakfast as well. Don’t overwhelm yourself by overcomplicating things.
How To Meal Prep
There are many ways to meal prep but I’m just going to keep it simple.
Think about your week. Do you have time to sit down and eat lunch? Are you constantly on the road? Do you have time to cook yourself a meal? Do you have access to a microwave?
This will help you think about what kind of meals you should prepare.
Take a piece of paper and write down what you’d like to eat. Remember to cook/make what you already know using simple recipes.
Sauces can help make “boring” pieces of chicken taste delicious! We’ll talk about sauces in a different post as there are healthy and no-so healthy sauce options.
Once you write down what your meals are going to be, decide how many days you want to eat each meal. That way when you go to the store, you know how much of each ingredient you need.
Make meal prepping a two day process. Write down your meals and go grocery shopping one day then cook/prep your meals on a different day. This will help with mental fatigue. Meal prepping could be a time consuming process (especially if you make elaborate meals and if the grocery store is packed). So instead of spending 4-5 hours meal prepping on a Sunday, you can spend 2ish hours on Saturday and Sunday.
Sometimes when the grocery store is packed and busy, it can stress us out and make us impatient which drains us by the time we get into the kitchen.
What to have in your kitchen
Some essential things to have are food containers. If you are tracking your food, you’ll need a food scale (this is best for experienced food preppers).
From there, most of us have the basics such as knives, cutting boards, pots and pan, an oven tray, a crockpot. But as your kitchen skills progress you can play around with spiral cutters, muffin trays, waffle irons, food processors and more. We’ll save that for another day.
We already mentioned how sauces can really make a bland meal into something delicious but we also need to mention spices and herbs. Spices and herbs can be a real game changer. If you’re not comfortable combining your own spices, you can get ones that are already mixed such as taco mix, Cajun mix, Italian herbs, etc.
Happy Meal Prepping!!!
P.S. If you’d like some guidance when it comes to meal prepping and nutrition, sign up for a free consultation where we can talk about what nutritional challenges you face and what you’d like to achieve. We can help make a plan for you.