We all say our lives are insane and busy all the time. The last thing we need is to put our meals together in the morning before work every day. We don’t need rushed mornings and we also don’t need to prep our meals the day of. Come on, the morning should be more relaxed and focused more on getting that coffee down, with a side of a healthy filling breakfast. This post will be a full guide on the good ol’ meal prepping methods and why you need to start today if you haven’t already.
Talking about meal prep, also check out my guide on how to track your macros on MyFitnessPal! It’s a step by step guide, which will help you understand the app more clearly.
(The Ultimate Guide On How To Use MyFitnessPal)
What is meal prepping?
Meal prepping can be described as easy ways to prepare foods and organize them into individual containers for different meals throughout the day. Breakfast, lunch, snacks. Nothing is better than being prepared for a busy day with your handy meals on deck! Not only is meal prepping great on saving time, but it’s a better way of eating healthy and reaching your fitness goals.
1. Stock up on good containers
For meal prepping you will need more containers than you think. Get compartmentalized containers, glass ones or plastic. I prefer plastic just because it’s not as heavy or as big as glass ones. It’s cheap and great for reusing every single day.
2. Pick a prep day
Picking one day out of the week helps with having a daily scheduled routine with meal prepping. One day is better than a couple times a week.The goal is to make it as easy for you as possible. Sundays are great because you’re going into a fresh new week, which allows you to prep food until Friday or Sunday. Depending what you do on weekends. There’s no downside to meal prepping, just understand sometimes the food can get repetitive, some are ok with that and some aren’t. If you want to prep more than 1 dish for some excitement that’s fine too. After all it is your prep day. 😉
3. Plan your meal and make a trip to the store
I like trying to plan out my meals in advance. Plug what you want for dinner for the whole week and try to shop for only those supplies and of course you can’t leave the store with some unnecessary treats. 😉 Knowing what you’re having for dinner and even lunches for the whole week makes your life so much easier. I usually just shop for the major dinner staples and plan out my lunches according to what we have at home, that way you also save money. Lunches I keep simple and I know I always keep multiple proteins, carbs and veggies available for easy dishes to prep during the day (since I work from home). Or I make sure to make extra dinner for leftovers.
4. Buy in bulk
If you have the space in your freezer why not save some money and trips to the store by buying in bulk. Buy extra when you see stuff you use on sale! Sales are my favourite and I always grab more than I need. Going to the grocery store once a week can get annoying at times, so It’s great having extra stuff, so you can just store more in your cupboards and freezer.
5. Start with foods that need more time to cook
You want to prep the foods that will take the longest to cook that way you can do the little things as it’s cooking. Usually the protein and carbs for your lunches are great to start with! Roast veggies and potatoes, rice, quinoa etc. Maybe the day before you toss your chicken in a healthy marinade, so that you can just grab and cook the next day.
6. Always have staples on hand
Staples in my household would be oatmeal, eggs, milk, egg whites, rice, fruit, chopped and washed veggies and of course proteins and some others stuff. These things I listed are great to toss into a meal for a quick snack. Example: oats are amazing, add some egg whites, milk and fruit and bam! you have an amazing shake! Yes, I add in some egg whites in my oats, extra protein is great and they don’t have much flavour, it’s a win win! Obviously I make it flavourful, but it was a quick meal put together just in case! Always be prepared! It’s great to throw stuff together when you haven’t gone to the grocery store in awhile. My “Mass Gainer Shake Recipes” blog article is a great example of throwing stuff together!
7. Don’t forget to prep snacks!
When we talk about meal prepping your mind usually thinks about full on meals for lunches. However, reaching your fitness goals, saving money and having that after lunch munchie craving, it’s great and much needed to also prep your snacks too! Prep overnight oats, yogurt, fruit, nuts, protein bars, protein shakes, veggies with hummus. There are A TON of options here, so prepping anything that can cut your sweet tooth, will definitely help you stay on track. It’s also just great to have snacks handy that way you can stay full and energized throughout your day!
8. Always make extra! Leftovers are key
Even if you meal prep every Sunday, leftovers are a great easy way to throw some meals into a container for the first day or so after. I don’t like wasting food, so I’ll eat some meals 3 days in a row. This is a great tip for weekends! Make a lovely Friday night dinner and make extra. Use the leftovers for either lunches for sat and sun or dinner. I’m a huge foodie, but I’m also keen on saving time. Who wants to cook everyday? Not this girl. And I’m sure you don’t either. Saving time brings me happiness!
You can also change up the taste and textures of what you cook. Example: Crockpot salsa shredded chicken. I like to have it with rice and a veg. You can change up the rice flavour by adding in some coconut milk and adding lots of yummy flavours such as cilantro, green onions, sriracha etc. Then the next day have shredded chicken tacos! There are so many ways to change one single dish! You just have to use your imagination and come up with fun ideas. Instead of thinking ugh this meal again, think of ways of spicing it up so you’ll enjoy it. Maybe have a little “treat meal” and fry your corn tortillas. 🙂
9. Organize your meals
We all know that avocados are weird, one day they’re rock solid and the next day they’ve going bad… The struggle is real! Foods like that should be eaten first, if you meal prepped a couple different meals throughout the week make sure you eat the meals first that have stuff that can go blah just in a few days. Make sure you organize your fridge and keep track of when you cooked what. You could label them, but for me that’s just extra work I don’t need.
I’m not a fan of freezing my meal I just made, I’d rather use it for leftovers so I don’t need to cook for the next few days. Some stuff doesn’t freeze well and I’m a big fan of fresh food. However freezing some stuff like soups, stews and chilis are great! Make extra, get ahead of the game, freeze some and pull it out when you know you want it for some lunches throughout your week.
I hope you guys found this post helpful! As much as this post is about helping you stay healthy no matter where you are, life can get pretty hectic, so why not try and save some time during the week. Let’s face it, Sunday’s can sometimes feel blah knowing you have to go to work the next day, so take advantage of meal prepping. Prepping stuff the morning the day of is not ideal and we as humans need to have more chill mornings so that we can be focused and ready to kick butt for the day!
If you ever have any questions regarding fitness or nutrition, don’t be afraid to ask! I’m not a trainer or a nutritionist, but I do enjoy helping out as much as I can! 🙂