Let’s talk about meal prep! There are three things I always hear about meal prepping; it’s boring to eat the same food everyday, I don't have time to prep meals, and I don't know how to start. Well these are all understandable but I am here to tell you they are NOT true! Meal prepping is easy when you have the correct plan in place and you don’t need to eat the same thing everyday! The three important things you need to remember and do are: Plan, Purchase, and Prepare. Once you have mastered these three tasks you will be an expert in no time!
I have been meal prepping since 2014 and I have learned how to make it as simple as possible. I am a busy mom, wife, blogger, full-time teacher, and a full-time transformation coach. The last thing I have is time, but I make sure to always make time for my weekly meal preps! Meal prepping is extremely important for maintaining a healthy balanced lifestyle. Being prepared allows you to stay focused and on track with all your goals in life, not just physical & fitness goals.
So let’s get started. How do you meal prep successfully and in a timely manner?
Tip #1 - Plan
The first thing I have my clients do is write down the different types of foods that they love. Make a balanced list of fruits, vegetables, and meal ideas that they like. Also consider meals your family likes, so you may even be able to plan for them too! Once you have this list then you are going to plan.. this is my favourite part! I usually get an online flyer from my local grocery store to see what’s on sale. A lot of my meal prep ideas come from what’s on sale especially these days with the price of groceries!
Write out your weekly plan. I plan for Monday-Friday, Saturdays and Sundays I do not prep for, but I have healthy choices available that I can just grab (since I am usually home). Find your weekly planning schedule you can use to write out your meals, a shopping list and a sample meal prepping schedule HERE.
Tip #2 - Purchase
Once you write out your plan for the week, write out your grocery list. I always double check what I have in my fridge, freezer and pantry before writing. While I'm shopping I stick to the list!! That’s key! If you stock your fridge with good food, you will eat good food!
"If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail " – Benjamin Franklin
Tip #3 - Prepare
I prep Sunday mornings after my morning coffee! I have energy and I am ready to go! First thing to do is prep snacks, cut up all your fruit and vegetables and put them in individual containers for the week. Next, you are going to prepare your meals for the week. What I find helpful is if you do not like to eat the same meal daily, then find meals you can make in different ways (ex. quinoa is an easy one to make in many different ways). You take out all your ingredients and start to cook away! Again, sticking to foods you can make more than one meal with are always helpful!!! Once you have cooked your main meals you can place them in the containers for the week. Most meals last 4-5 days in the fridge with a properly sealed container. Store all the prepped food in the fridge!!
Tip #4 - Containers are key
Glass containers are the best choice and a must for anything that needs reheating!!! Plastic is not good for reheating, too many chemicals transfer to your food when you reheat in plastic! Fruits and uncooked veggies I will put in plastic containers, but again I do prefer glass. These are some of my favourite containers!!
Tip #5 - Some foods need daily attention
Cucumbers should be cut up the night before, they last about 1 day. Avocados always cut up when you are about to eat them. Most fresh veggies can last about 4-5 days cut up in a properly sealed container.
Fruits like berries, kiwi, grapes, mangos, watermelon, cantaloupe, and pineapple can be cut up and left in the fridge in a properly sealed container. I don’t recommend cutting up apples, bananas, and pears until you are ready to eat them. Again the key to long lasting food is a properly sealed container or jar.
Hope this gets you started
I hope this shows you just how easy meal prep can be, it just takes a bit of planning and you will be setting yourself up for success and an easier daily life.