Meal prepping is a chore: a routine task that only works if you actually implement consistently. (Um, just like sweeping or cleaning your sheets.)
But, it’s also a main component to a healthy lifestyle, holding you accountable to the high standard of health and happiness you deserve — so I’d say it’s a worthy use of your time.
Everyone has their own motivation for meal prepping. Whether yours is to streamline your schedule for more time with friends and family, lose/gain a few pounds, or to alleviate stress– the following tips will help you prep like the boss you are.
1) Have a plan
If you’re *not* someone who likes to have the same meals each day, take 10 minutes before heading to the grocery store to write down some meal inspirations and their corresponding ingredients. This easy-to-skip step makes for a more focused (and less stressed) visit to the store– and a structured prepping process so no food is wasted. Map out how much of each ingredient you’ll need to purchase to feed yourself for the week, unless you’re OK with heading back to the grocery store.
2) Do groceries
Well this is a ridiculous one, I know. But I see it all the time, especially in the city where groceries stores may not be easy to get to. If you don’t actually have healthy food available, how do you expect to meal prep? You can’t. Buying in bulk makes for cheaper costs per meal, coordinate amongst your meal inspirations (see step 1) to use a bulk ingredient across numerous meals.
3) Know what you like & make it
Successful meal prep is all about the implementation. You can’t theoretically prep the meals, then theoretically eat those meals to reach your goals. You have to commit– and you’re more likely to be consistent if you actually like the food you pack. Who cares if you bring an ultra healthy super kale salad.. if you’re not going to actually eat it.
If you personally enjoy chicken (sub ‘lentils, chickpeas, beans’.. for our plant-loving friends!) and rice… prep chicken and rice. I can eat the same thing most days, I prefer convenience over variety. To mix it up slightly without much extra effort, rotate 2 or 3 sides to add to your daily staples.
4) Pre-cut your veggies
This is the part of meal preparation that I hate the most, but (must admit) that I find it the most beneficial. You can easily chop 5 peppers, a head of broccoli, carrots and celery in under 10 minutes. If each of these items are sufficiently stored in the refrigerator (use glass jars or containers), you always have healthy options available. I refer to my pre-chopped vegetables for quick salads (toss on a bed of greens), easy veggie bowls (lightly sauté or roast them them) or as dippers for my guacamole (raw sticks).
4) consider Frozen foods
I’m a busy man, I LOVE buying frozen veggies. I buy bags on bags of riced cauliflower, stir fry vegetables, smoothie greens and brussels sprouts. Frozen vegetables can contain the same nutrient content as your fresh vegetables if they were packaged immediately after being harvested. Be sure the frozen vegetables you’re purchasing contain ONLY vegetables– no added cheese, preservatives or coloring.
5) Make meal prep enjoyable
The only thing in the way of enjoying the prepping process is you; decide to make it fun. Involve your significant other, friend, or even dog and make it a ritual. I like to blast music, listen to podcasts or play reruns of my favorite guilty pleasure show. (While you’re working with the knife make sure you’re paying attention and do not chop off a finger.)