Hey guys! Welcome back to my blog 🙂 So as many of you know, I’ve recently (finally) graduated night school & am ready to start getting back into health and fitness. First was getting myself to the Gym. Now it’s time to get back into healthy meal prepping!
I’ve become somewhat of an expert at meal prepping over the past few years and have picked up more than a few tricks along the way. A lot of days during school I’d have to bring breakfast, lunch, and dinner with me, especially if I planned to go to the gym. Meal prepping and meal planning can help greatly in whatever health goals you have whether it’s weight loss or just sticking to a healthier diet.
Here are my favorite meal prep tricks.
- Consolidate Your List.
A few years ago when I started cooking more and eating out less I’d scour the web for fun healthy recipes. There were so many recipes I wanted to try that I’d end up with a grocery list that included every possible item for meals ranging from vegetarian, Asian, Italian.. everything. This backfired because not only did I spend wayyy more money than I wanted on food, but also I would change my mind halfway through the week & waste all those ingredients! This led to me picking 2 or 3 star meals that I wanted to try and then building the rest of my meals off the ingredients on that list. For example say you want to make stuffed peppers one night, you can buy extra peppers, extra meat, and extra cheese and make burgers and a salad another night that week. Picking a few fun meals kept things interesting without ingredient overload while consolidating ingredients made for easy planning.
- Mix Textures To Avoid Boredom
Something you don’t realize until you’ve tried it: foods of all the same texture are boring. Too mushy and you might as well be eating baby food, too crunchy and you might as well be chewing on rocks. It’s all about balance! An easy way to incorporate different textures into your meals is to make a Buddha Bowl. Try mixing crunchy items like seeds, roasted chick peas, fresh veggies, with soft items like hard boiled eggs, roasted vegetables (sweet potato & brussle sprouts are my favorite).
- Freeze Ahead
Sometimes on Sunday you think grilled chicken and rice will work for 3 days and then Wednesday comes around and you can’t have any more. Maybe at that point you leave your poor lonely meal in the fridge in exchange for a warm, gooey (super unhealthy) pizza. I run into this problem a lot with Elliott…. he’s the one who get’s bored with eating the same meal more than once in a week.. and that’s fine, but we needed a solution. Enter frozen meals. Once a week make easy to reheat meals & put them in a freezer safe container, write the date you made it in sharpie on tape, and take out when you’re ready for something different. That way you have a few healthy meals prepared in advance but you also aren’t wasting food!
- Think Outside Of Lunches.
Every week when I meal prep I obviously focus on making a lot of easy to eat lunches for the work week. It’s even better to go the extra mile and take a few minutes to try a few healthy lunches and prep some ingredients for snacks and dinners. For instance every week I prepare an easy to reheat frittata which takes 20 minutes tops and is great for a grab-and-go breakfast. It ensures I don’t live off of cereal and Dunkin’ Donuts. You can also try a super versatile Overnight Oats. It’s also great to prep a few snacks like cutting up a bag of veggies for when you’re looking on something to munch on and prep somewhat for your busy weeknight dinners. Pre cutting veggies, or a bag of quinoa in advance can make a big difference when you’re tired and thinking about how much easier it would be to order out.
- Don’t Skip Condiments.
Condiments can make or break a meal. Plain cooked protein is boring, and honestly who looks forward to that? I’m a huge fan of investing in great condiments to keep things interesting like spicy mustard, soy sauce, sweet chutneys, and of course some sort of hot sauce or sirracha. You can incorporate these into your meals however you’d like!
- Make It Fun.
Meal prep shouldn’t be a chore! I love to put on some fun music, pour a glass of wine, and make it a couple’s quality time. Elliott will usually cut things and work with the protein and I make all of the add-on’s and seasonings. Also don’t bother making all of these complicated labor-intensive items. Sometimes some easy sheet pan veggies keep things light and don’t eat up your whole day!
What do you like to meal prep?! Do you have any tips you think should make the list?? Let me know in the comments 🙂