A phrase that can make you feel excited or want to throw up your hands and give up. Meal preparation can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. One of the main reasons people give up on meal prepping is because they think it's too time consuming, when in reality you can prepare your meals for a full week in as little as one hour. If you have time to surf social media, watch a reality TV show, or get a manicure - you have time to meal prep.
I'm sharing my favorite ways to take the scary out of meal prep and replace it with success!
1) Keep it Simple - Write it Out
If you are just starting out with meal prepping, keep your ingredients simple. Protein, fat, fiber, and greens. From those, flesh out your meals. If you're like me and can eat the same thing for several days, even better. But, if not, you can get creative with a basic list. Here's some suggestions...
Protein: Salmon, Shrimp, Tilapia, Lean Beef, Bison, Turkey, Lentils
Fat: Avocado, Grass Fed Butter, Cashews/Almond
Fiber: Cauliflower Rice, Quinoa
Greens: Kale, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts
An assorted of spices, black pepper, and pink sea salt
Pick one or two proteins for the week and one or two of the others from the list.
From there, you can create meals like:
Salmon patties + Kale Salad
Cashew Shrimp Lettuce Wraps
Grilled Salmon + Brussels Sprouts
Spicy Shrimp Kabobs + Cauliflower Rice
Salmon Tacos + Guac
It doesn't have to be boring!
2) Plan Your Portions
You don't have to measure your food to the exact science, but you should know the basics of portion sizes. This great guide shows you how to use your hand to gauge portion sizes.
* Remember, this is just a guide - if you are intensely working out, trying to gain muscle mass, pregnant, etc. your dietary may be different and call for a more dense amount of food.
I LOVE these glass meal prep containers. I try to stay away from too much plastics and I love that these can be remicrowaved or put in the oven.
3) Don't Forget Breakfast
While you use this guide to plan for lunch/dinners, don't forget breakfast. A few examples of prepping breakfasts for the week:
Egg Bites (made in a muffin tin)
A Fab Four Smoothie
3) Prep - Time to Do the Work!
Once you have your meals listed out and have purchased your groceries, it's time to prep. This should take you less than 1 hour - yes, to meal prep for the entire week. While your meat is cooking, you have the opportunity to set out your meal prep containers, sautés or roast your veggies, and prepare your breakfast items.
Once your main components are finished, it's time to assemble. Once this is done, you can refrigerate (or even freeze if you made more than 1 week's worth) and you're done.
Meal prep is a commitment like any other - you must prepare and execute to see the success and the fruit of your labor. Remember to keep it simple and don't be scared to be creative!