Meal Prepping 101
I’ve been cooking for so long now and preparing healthy foods that I get a lot of questions from family, friends and those on social media regarding my meal prepping. I’ve been doing it on and off for probably 2 years now. Honestly, it really is the best way to try and stay on track eating wise or to even just reduce the stress of figuring out your breakfast, lunch or dinners during the work week. In this post, I will give you some tips on how I meal prep and what foods I make for lunches. Keep in mind this can be altered to your preferences of food style (low carb, high protein, vegetarian etc) and likes and dislikes.
You can meal prep your lunches for just the work week or for the full week (including weekends.) I typically only do the meal prep lunches Monday through Friday.
The first thing I do when I’m meal prepping is make a list of what I want for the week. I usually pick 2 proteins, 2 carbohydrates and 2 vegetables and then I choose the cooking style. I try and keep the meal as balanced as possible. Sometimes I will omit the carbohydrate and double the vegetables. Frozen vegetables can be an alternative to making them fresh just to cut down on time. I don’t ever use canned vegetables for my meal prep, however if you choose to use canned make sure that you use the no salt option otherwise it’s loaded with sodium.
The possibilities for foods are endless, here’s just an example of some of the foods I use.
White or Brown Rice
Lettuce (Of any kind)
After I decided what I’m going to make I decide how I’m going to cook the foods. See below for 6 meal examples.
Meal 1: Marinated grilled chicken breasts, grilled peppers and onions and baked potato
Meal 2: Baked turkey meatballs, diced sweet potato and steamed broccoli.
Meal 3: Roasted pork tenderloin, Brussels sprouts, and roasted new potatoes
Meal 4: Sautéed shrimp, white rice and asparagus
Meal 5: Baked fish, couscous and a lettuce salad or tomato salad (Note: Cold items will need to be in a separate container)
Meal 6: Taco Salad Ground Turkey, Lettuce and toppings
I usually pick 2 meal ideas and prep that for the week. Keep in mind, you can interchange the cooking methods. Let’s say it’s Sunday and you are all ready to meal prep grilled chicken and it’s pouring rain with no end in sight, just throw the chicken in a crockpot or bake in the oven. Just be ready to change it up if needed.
For me personally the food containers are so important I’ve bought several meal prep containers over the years. Just check out containers online there are tons of them. I prefer the 3 opening containers the best, personally.
If your goal with meal prepping is healthy eating and not just convenience I’d suggest getting a scale and weighing your food or measuring out what you eat. It’s very easy to just over fill an opening in a meal prep container. All the pictures featured on this post I did just that. I measured out the couscous and weighed the sweet potatoes and the chicken and so on.
I do really enjoy meal prepping. It makes life so much easier. It will take up some time on your Sunday depending on how complex you make your meals. However, you won’t regret it. The work days will come and you will love how easy it is go just grab your prepped meal and be on your way to work! One thing I can say is don’t over think it. It shouldn’t be stressful. So don’t stress! Just do what is easiest for you at that time. There have been plenty of times I’ve added chicken to the crockpot with salsa and then just baked sweet potatoes and used a frozen broccoli. That’s okay. It’s going to happen, life gets in the way sometimes and you can always tweak it to your lifestyle.
Stay tuned for some of my favorite recipes for my meal prep.
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