EASY MEAL PREP STRATEGIES
Being prepared is half the battle and 90% of the key to success. Wether you’re trying to improve your health, your performance in a particular sport or lose weight, meal prep can make your life so much easier.
One secret to success in body transformation (weight loss, improved health and/or performance goals) is keeping it simple. Thinking less. Making fewer decisions. And letting your environment do much of the work for you.
If healthy food is around you and convenient, you’re more likely to eat it. If you have a trusted system for making healthy food available, you don’t have to decide to eat well… you just show up and do it. Our meal prep strategieswill help you keep it simple, healthy and delicious!
3 EASY MEAL PREP TIPS
One of the biggest issues is WHEN will you meal prep? If you’re like me, my days are busy so if I’m not organized and I haven’t made an effort to have healthy food around, when I get to dinner it’s a free for all (and not in a good way). Meal prep is a must in my household. There are 3 simple strategies to meal prep. You just have to figure out which option works best for you.
Daily Meal Prep – This one is super simple. You just need to make sure you have the food on hand. Use the daily meal prep strategy to get prepared in the morning for that day. You’ll have to grocery shop either one day per week or a few days each week to make sure you have all of your healthy ingredients on hand. Once mapped out what you want to eat for meals you’ve purchased your food, you can prepare for a few minutes each day. Use the morning to cut veggies, put together salads or sandwiches and pack up meals for that day. Or, you might want to use 10-15 minutes in the evening to meal prep for the next day. Either way, this becomes a daily habit, a daily ritual that you commit to being consistent with.
Two or Three Day Meal Prep – With this strategy, you’ll plan the meals you’d like to have either for the week or a few days and grocery shop for the items you need. You’ll meal prep on just two or three days out of the week for a few days at a time. This will take you a little bit longer than the daily meal prep but you’ll still only be using about an hour a few days per week to make your meals and portion them out. It’s especially great for those people who change their mind about what they like to eat. For me, what am craving on Monday will most likely change by Wednesday. It saves me time, money and I don’t waste food by utilizing this strategy. You just have to pick your days that make the most sense for meal prep. For me, Sunday and Wednesday are my days but that might not work for you based on your schedule and lifestyle.
Once a Week Meal Prep – With this option, you’ll plan meals, shop for your ingredients and then use one day to meal prep. Depending on how intricate your recipes are, this may take you 1 hour or it may take you 3 hours. The benefit though is that you’ll have a week’s worth of grab and go meals made and ready to go. No hassle, no guess work, one week of meal prep and you’re done.
MEAL PREP TIPS
However you choose to meal prep, set aside time to do the following:
PLAN AHEAD: Look ahead to your upcoming schedule and see what’s happening.What challenges or opportunities might pop up? Where might you need some special preparation in advance? What are the quiet and busy times? Etc.
MENU: Come up with a general menu for at least the next few days (or week if you’re meal prepping or shopping for an entire week). It doesn’t have to be anything in-depth. Just get a basic sense of what you might need to have on hand for the week ahead.
SHOPPING LIST: Build your shopping list from your menu. This will help you be as effective and efficient as possible when you tackle the store, and you’ll be less tempted to buy random (and unhelpful) things. Take a food inventory of items you have in stock and those you’re out of so you don’t forget anything.
DO THE SHOPPING: Hit the grocery store. Stock up on what you need for the week. Consider grabbing a few extra “just in case” emergency items as well, such as canned beans, frozen vegetables, or other easily-stored healthy options that you can use in a pinch.
PREP TIME: Once you’re back home, start prepping and cooking. Whip up a batch of lean protein — for example, by grilling or roasting several chicken breasts at once. Try some one-pot meals that can be easily cooked in a slow cooker, then divided into containers and frozen or refrigerated, such as soups, stews, curries, chili, etc. Wash and chop veggies.
MEAL PREP TOOLS TO HAVE ON HAND
The following meal prep tools are great to have on hand. They’ll make food prep and portioning out your meals easy.
Containers: You might need containers to pack your meals in. These are BPA Free meal prep containers. They’re easy to use and cost efficient. If you like glass meal prep containers, you might want to try these meal prep boxes.
Mason Jars: Mason jars are great containers for salads on the go, pastas and soups on the go and even for storing sauces and condiments. I keep a few different sizes of mason jars on hand all of the time.
Knives: Having a great quality set of knives can make every bit of difference for your cutting, chopping, slicing and more. Honestly, I didn’t have a good set of knives until I was about 39 years old. I couldn’t believe the ease of cutting and chopping when you have good materials.
Spiralizer: If you’re going low carb or gluten free having a spiralizer to make veggie pastas can help a ton.
Hope these tips help! Now go get to meal prepping!
If you need personalized help with meal prep, what to eat and how to eat in order to reach your goals, check out our Health and Wellness Coaching. Ready for a full body tune up? Join us for a fitness retreat to jumpstart your healthy habits!
Best In Health & Wellness,
Margot + The Vita Vie Retreat Team