Our Favorite Meal Prepping Tips
After working for 9 hours, getting stuck in traffic, going to yoga class and finally arriving back home, the last thing i'm thinking about is cooking! BUT, when you plan your week’s meals ahead of time, all you really need is 2-3 hours on your day off (Sunday afternoon?) to get everything ready! It is really fascinating to make healthy and delicious meals in no time and stop worrying about food preps the whole week.
Not only is it a HUGE time saver but it also saves you money and energy having to think about what to eat on a daily basis! Instead of spending so much money on eating out and delivery you can put a limited budget for groceries that can last all week long. It also teaches you portion control and fuels your body with nutritious meals which gives your body the boost it needs for being more active and hitting the gym.
So lets get down to prepping! I'm going to walk you through the 5 steps I follow to prepare my meals for the week.
1) Plan it out
On a weekly basis, plan what you want for breakfast, lunch & dinner. It only takes 5-10 minutes to think of a few recipes you'd like to have the following week hence saving you A LOT of time during your busy weekdays.
Breakfast: Baked oatmeal/chia seed pudding
Snack: Energy balls
Lunch: Chicken quinoa salad (recipe attached)
Snack: Fruit + almonds
Dinner: Salmon + avocado on toast
You can always join one of our online programs that plan out the food for the coming week, month or even 2 months! They come with grocery lists too ;)
Tip: choose recipes that have similar ingredients to make your life a little easier and avoid having a huge grocery list. For example: choose two main ingredients such as lentils and steak. For lunch you can make a steak sandwich, and lentil salad. As for dinner you can mix it up and make a steak salad and lentil soup.
2) Jot down your grocery list
Make a list of the ingredients you would need to make these meals. Then, check what you already have in your kitchen and write down the missing ingredients you need to buy. This will save you time at the grocery store and stops you from buying too many or too little ingredients.
Tips that will shrink your grocery shopping list, decrease the amount of cooking you need to do and reduce food waste:
- Pick no more than 3 options to have for each meal each week
- Choose foods that have common ingredients
- Include some very simple and easy options for weekdays and some more adventurous options for weekends
3) Go to the grocery store
Allocate a time for supermarket visits because when you have all ingredients at home it makes meal prepping 10 times much easier and faster.
Stay focused, go with that list you made and try not to skew and go for the things you don't really need.
4) Prepare the ingredients and store them
Scheduling meal prep in your week is the key to making it happen! Treat it like an important meeting that you can’t cancel. You don't need to spend your entire day in the kitchen to get it done. Even spending as little as 30 minutes planning and prepping meals will make it easier to eat well during the week.
- Using the example before of steak and lentils, start with cooking your proteins: grill the steak and cook the lentils.
- Prep the veggies: wash, peel, and chop the major veggies you will be using for the week and bake if you're eating them baked or keep them raw for a crunchy salad.
- Bring out your favorite food containers and start prepping for the main meal if its a salad it could be putting the bed of greens, the rest of your veggies like cherry tomato, pepper and onions then add the proteins (steak or lentil).
- Don't add the dressing, always prepare your dressing on the side and add it the same day to keep the salad fresh.
Whenever you're making something that could possibly be get soggy like a sandwich, just assemble the main ingredients in different containers and assemble it on the spot, it'll take you only a few moments to set up!
If you are trying to lose weight or trying portion control use measuring cups, spoons and scales to measure the food and divide them into containers for daily meals. This will help you reach your goals faster.
5) ENJOY the food!
Meal time should always be meal time. No distractions, no work, just you and your food and how proud of yourself you should be for meal prepping your way to a healthy and productive lifestyle.