Why You Should Prep Your Meals
Meal prepping—making meals ahead of time—is a surefire way to keep yourself on track during the week. Devoted meal preppers set aside time to batch out simple and healthy snacks and meals for the week, making it less likely they’ll slip up and order that large pizza at 6 p.m. on Tuesday night. Meal prepping keeps you on track for smart eating choices, saves you time and money, and cuts down on food waste. Win-win-win.
Meal Prep 101 – Tips and Hacks
Plan ahead. Sit down on Saturday a.m. and plan your meals for the week. Get smart and look at where dinner the night before can be used as lunchtime leftovers the next day. Be sure to double your evening recipes when you want to use up the leftovers the following day. Then head to the grocery store!
- Make it easy by planning a protein, starch and veggie for each meal (don’t forget snacks!)
- Hang your menu somewhere you’ll see often (like the fridge door)
- Buy in bulk when you can and take advantage of pre-cut veggies if you’re short on time
Prep, prep, prep. Sundays are often a great choice for your prep time—depending on your schedule. Find the time that works best for you and set aside a couple hours. Clear off a space in your kitchen, get your tools ready, make sure you have good storage containers (glass is preferred) and get to work!
- Wash, peel, chop and store all your veggies for the week (chop herbs right before use)
- Roast any side veggies for the week (you can toss them in olive or coconut oil)
- Meats can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 days; freeze anything you won’t use in that timeframe and cook anything else you will use (or opt for rotisserie at the store)
- Cook your grains; most grains last 2-3 days in the fridge so freeze what you won’t use in time
- Put the meals you’ll be taking to go into individual containers—label them for ease
- Leave dinner ingredients separate so you can assemble them right before the meal
Fav Foods for Meal Prep
Here’s a quick list of easy foods that meal preppers often include on their list.
- Quinoa (some stores have quality frozen packs!)
- Hardboiled eggs
- Overnight oats (search Pinterest or the web for great recipes)
- Raw veggies and hummus
- Grilled chicken
- Baked sweet potatoes or squash
- Roasted veggies