If you’ve ever felt overwhelmed about the thought of meal prepping, you’re not alone! So many people do great when it comes to working out and scheduling days in the gym, but can’t figure out how to get in the groove of meal prep. I mean, that’s partially why the fast food industry is so successful! It’s fast, easy, and most of the time…cheap. But what if I told you that meal prep could be the same way?
Meal prep is THE BEST way to stay on track during the week with your nutrition. It saves you from having to decide last minute on a meal (which sometimes isn't always the best choice) and you also have the freedom of knowing exactly what macros are in each meal that you prep! When you're in a hurry, you can just reach into the fridge, grab your meal, and go.
Personally, I love meal prepping for one to two days in advance. It allows me to be flexible on a day to day basis and I don’t need to dedicate an entire day in the kitchen for cooking. When I go grocery shopping on Sundays, I will typically pick two different types of meats for the week, as well as vegetables and carbs to make sure I have balanced meals throughout the day. For example, today I bought:
- Ground turkey
- Ground beef
- Jasmine Rice
I’m able to make different combinations of the above foods for each meal throughout the week. This is super helpful if you typically get bored of eating the same meal over and over again! You can get creative with this and use meats/sides that you really enjoy. Don't forget that you can always prep snacks too for when you’re on the go. I like to cut up some apples with a side of almond or peanut butter for optimal dipping ;)
When it comes down to cooking, one of the things you’ll need to have is Tupperware. I purchased this brand called Meal Prep Haven from Amazon: Click Here to See the Containers and I love them! They are dishwasher safe, microwavable safe, and re-usable, so I never waste containers.
In my opinion, the way to make meal prepping most convenient is to separate your meats first (into whichever portion sizes you prefer) in ziplock bags and freeze them. That way it only takes a short time to defrost, and pop onto the stove to get cooking. This also saves you from having to cook an entire pound of meat at once, and being forced to re heat it 3-4 days later.
So tonight, I’ll grab my 4oz portion of turkey from the freezer and cook it on the stove with some jasmine rice and zucchini. Then, I’ll take my 4oz piece of beef, and cook it alongside potatoes and peas. In about 20-30 minutes, I have two meals ready to go for the following day; both filled with a balance of protein, carbs, and fats.
This also helps with preparing you for the rest of your day if you don't really want to prep every single meal. You don't necessarily have to prep everything, like your breakfast (eggs or oatmeal), but you can at least know it's there and ready to go. Also, by knowing the amounts (macros/calories) you have in your prepped meals, it helps to plan and keep track of what to be eating for those meals you didn’t prep the remaining of the day.My advice for meal prep? Keep it simple. Stick to things you know you enjoy! Try different combinations of protein, carbs, and fats, and discover what’s easiest for you to make on the fly.