MEAL PREP 101 FOR BEGINNERS
It all starts with the Two P's - Plan and Prep. To begin, pick one day a week as your "plan and prep" day. This will be the day you grocery shop and prep your weeks meals.
ASSESS YOUR EATING SITUATION:
Every week your eating situation may vary depending on work schedules, school activities and social life. Here are a few things to consider as you assess your eating situation.
QUANTITY OF MEALS:
Take a look at your happening next week, then write down how many meals you will need.
TIMING IS EVERYTHING:
Have you heard the approach cook once, eat twice? This is a great approach especially for a busy work week. Look out for slow cooker or make ahead recipes. These types of recipes can be consumed over a few days taking less time in the kitchen and more time in the gym.
WHAT'S YOUR FOOD MOOD?:
As the seasons change so do food cravings. Thinking about these things beforehand will make recipe selection process faster and meal times easier on everyone.
There is no right or wrong way to food prep:
Food prepping ahead of time is on your time and your way. There is no right or wrong way. It should fit your lifestyle and what works for you. You may find it easier to use a slow cooker or the grill. It is your preference on how to prepare your food. There may be mistakes but you will learn what works and what doesn't.
Even the smallest bit of food prep makes a difference.
Make the most of your time and accomplish what you can. Even the smallest food prep is better than no prep at all. Some weeks you may not have time to make all your dinners, but at least your lunches will be done and thats better than nothing. You have to start somewhere, so get going!
Now the fun part!
Once you know how many meals you'll need, it's time to find some healthy recipes and fill in your calendar for the week. Here are some meal prep ideas to get you started:
Each meal should have a Protein + Starch + Vegetable (healthy fats too)
- Chicken: Breasts boneless, skinless, Chicken thighs (optional)
- Ground Beef/turkey - 85% lean or higher
- Fish - Salmon, Tilapia, Shrimp
Vegetarian/Vegan Protein options:
- beans (black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, etc.) edamame, tofu, tempeh
Starch options: opt for whole grain, complex carbohydrates as your fuel!
- Sweet potato
- Brown rice
Rice Varities: Jasmine, Basmati, Wild Grain
- Green Beans
- Red, Yellow, Orange Peppers
- Bok Choy
- Spaghetti Squash
- Sugar Snap Peas
Do you have any meal prep tips? Share with us.