Meal Prep 101

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Meal prep is my saving grace most weeks. Most days I move from home to work to meetings to workout and then by the time I get home and shower it's too late to make a full meal. If I relied on Postmates and take out (like I sometimes want to) I'd be wasting a ton of money and calories. Here's my step by step guide to meal prep and some tips I use!

1. Decide if you want to make meals for 3 days or 5 days. I recommend 3 because I personally don't like eating "leftovers" after 3 days. If you decide to prep for 5 days, make meals you can freeze so they stay extra fresh! Also decide if you're making all your meals for each day, or just breakfast through lunch (maybe you're going out to dinner some nights, etc.). 

2. Make a shopping list for all meals/snacks. Here's an example of my weekly meal prep: 

Breakfast: egg muffins and berries

Snack: apple slices and raw cashews

Lunch: ground turkey and zucchini enchiladas

Snack: protein shake with almond milk

Dinner: salmon and veggies (if I have salmon for dinner I usually make it the night of since it tastes more fresh and is so quick to make)

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3. Start with the recipe that takes the longest to you can pop it in the oven if you need to. In this case, I would start with the enchiladas and move to the egg muffins. While they're in the oven, I'd slice my fruits and veggies and measure out my berries and nuts. 

4. After everything is cooked, portion everything into containers (I love these glass ones).

5. Store in the fridge. Stack all breakfast containers on top of each other, lunch and dinner the same. Snacks usually store in reusable zip lock baggies or protein shakers. 

TIPS:

- Invest in a food scale to measure out portions. This doesn't mean you necessarily have to count calories, but it helps to know an estimate of how much protein, carbs and fat you're getting each day. This will help you stay on track. 

- Squeeze lemon juice on sliced fruit to keep it fresh. 

- Allow the food to cool in containers before putting the lids on and storing them in the refrigerator. 

- Multi task! You can bake meat like chicken and roast your veggies at the same time on one pan. 

- Use herbs and spices. This is an easy way to (literally) spice up your meals so you don't get bored. Plus, you avoid sugary sauces. 

- Don't want to eat dinner from a Tupperware? Prep your breakfast, lunch and snacks and have ingredients on hand to whip up your favorite healthy dinner when you get home. 

- Work with ingredients that overlap. For example, if I make egg muffins for breakfast with mushrooms, spinach, zucchini and bell pepper, I use some of those veggies in the enchiladas and as a side for my dinner. 

- Make grab and go a staple. The egg muffins I make are basically and omelette in muffin form so they're easy to grab and eat in the morning when I'm in a rush. They're also great as a snack during the day!