10 Tips for Meal Prepping Your Week
Consistently maintaining a healthy balanced diet can be tough, especially for busy individuals that are constantly on the go. If no proper preparation is considered, we often resort to meal choices that are unhealthy. With meal prepping, you can whip up your meals in advance, and not only save money but ensure you are eating wholesome foods. Here are some tips to help you pull off a successful meal prep, and become the master of your diet.
Make a plan
Come up with a list of your favorite healthy foods and choose a few simple recipes for each that can be quickly prepared and purchased in bulk quantities. A good template to follow is to pick one protein, one source of carbohydrates, and one fruit/veggie. This keeps your meals simple to cook while still allowing for you to get your needed nutrients.
Invest in quality food storage containers
These are a lifesaver when it comes to organizing your weekly meal preps. They are easy to stack and store neatly and are relatively cheap. Be sure to choose containers that are BPA-free. You can find also find some killer deals on food storage containers specifically for meal prepping on eBay.
Wash and prep fruits & vegetables
Meal prepping fruit and vegetables can be tricky since it can quickly spoil if not done properly. If you’re buying fresh produce, be sure to wash and slice it up right when you get it, then place it in an airtight container and put it in the fridge so it keeps throughout your week. If any of your produce seems to be getting too ripe, don’t throw it away! Throw fruits in the blender and make a delicious smoothie. You can add veggies to broth and let it simmer for a delicious soup.
Pick several proteins, but keep it simple
One downside of meal prepping is getting tired of eating the same foods over and over again throughout the week. Select a few different proteins when you’re shopping, and alternate your days to keep a variety in the mix. To save time, bake or grill all of your meat at once. Then throw some of it in the freezer for a later date.
Cook grains ahead of time
Standing over the stove every day waiting for your grains to fully cook is a total waste of time, so be sure to cook them ahead of time. To make them last throughout the week, portion them into baggies and place them in the freezer. When time to eat, all you need to do is reheat them in the microwave, and you’re good to go. Plus, they’ll already be in portioned out bags making it easy to grab and put in your lunch when you’re on the go.
Roast all your veggies at once
If you have sturdier vegetables like potatoes, cook them for 40-50 minutes, then throw in your more delicate vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, and zucchini for the last 30 or so minutes. This will give you more variety when preparing your meals day by day.
Portion out healthy snacks
For your snacks, be sure to keep your portions to a minimum. Nuts, dried fruit, protein balls, and granola can all be great snacks to prep. Place them in small baggies or airtight containers to make sure they stay fresh. Portioning out your snacks can keep you from impulse eating, and keep your hunger to a minimum throughout the day.
Mason jar madness
These have become all the rage on hip posts found on Pinterest and Instagram, but they really do have some practicality to them. Usually about a dollar a jar, these can be a great container to fit an entire meal in, especially when it comes to salads. Plus, they look awesome. Here are some great recipes you can use.
Boiled eggs are the ultimate meal prep food, and are packed with essential amino acids and protein, making for an easy on-the-go snack. These are perfect for when you want to skip the grilled meats or fish one day, and want to switch it up a little bit.
Go wild with spices
Stock up on spices to mix up the flavors of your meals. This helps you stay on track with your meals, and allows you to control the flavor of your food without adding any unnecessary calories. Be careful not to use too much salt, as this forces the body to store extra water and can result in high blood pressure. Use other spices to bring out flavor like parsley, basil, oregano, chili powder, or tumeric.