All About Meal Prep

Food prep has such a bad rap. I think a lot of people assume people who prep their meals must stand over the stove all weekend and have zero social life. [Ok maybe that describes me a little but that’s beside the point…] Truth is, meal prep is actual perfect for lazy people. If you’re looking for a way to eat delicious, foods without lifting a finger after a long day of work, let’s dive in and learn All About Meal Prep.

Food Prep 1

Before I get into the nitty gritty, let’s talk about WHY. Why food prep? Why spend precious weekend time peeling carrots and spinning lettuce? Meal prep, WHY do I love thee? Let me count the ways…

  1. Having pre-made meals saves SO much money. I won’t pretend I don’t sometimes get suckered into going out to lunch, [Alchemy, I’m looking at you.] but sticking to my prepped lunches, snacks, and dinners saves serious moolah. Imagine if the only money you spent on food all week was at the grocery store on Sunday…
  2. Prepped food = healthy food. I don’t care if you’re vegan, paleo, low-carb, purple, organic, dyslexic, or whatever label you want to give yourself. Bottom line is, if you’re making food at home, with real, fresh ingredients, it is going to be healthier than anything you can get at a drive through or in a plastic microwaveable tray.
  3. Kitchen parties! If you don’t blast music and dance around the kitchen while prepping food, you’re not doing it right. Being healthy doesn’t have to be boring!
  4. Bland foods are a thing of the past! You get to choose your flavors when you cook your own food. Garlic lover? Double the amount! Hate cilantro? We can’t be friends. I mean… Leave it out! Point is, you call the shots when prepping your own food.
  5. Eat better, feel better! By skipping fast food and packaged meals, you’ll skip out on sodium, refined sugar, grease/oil, and nasty additives & preservatives. Your tummy will be happy, immune system will work like it should, and you’ll feel better all over!
  6. Eat better, LOOK better! Ok so you’re eating flavorful food, it’s healthier, you’re less tempted to snack, and a healthy dinner is ready to be devoured when you get home. With a game plan like that, excess weight will be heading for the hills and you’re high school jeans will slide back on like its the 90’s [80’s? 70’s?] all over again.

Enough about why. You get it. Meal prep is great. But how?! Where does one even begin?! Below is a list of some ideas of things to prep for the week. Let me be clear, I do not [repeat, DO NOT] do all of these things every Sunday. I just want to give you a wide variety of options to choose from.

Pick a few ideas from the list below. Start slow. Maybe just do one or two this week. Do a few more things next week. Once you get into a routine, you’ll find you can knock a huge amount of meal prep out in an hour or two.

Breakfast

Smoothie bags (I make 4-5)

  • Add all smoothie ingredients except liquid to baggie and freeze

Overnight oats (I make 1-2)

  • Add in flavorings to mix it up

Energy bites

Food Prep 4
Lunch

Wash/ dry greens for salads

Chop veggies (cucumber, tomatoes, carrots)

Prep items to top salad or fill wraps/ sandwiches

Make dressings/ sauces

Dinner

Protein

  • Press tofu
  • Marinate tofu/ meat (BBQ, Asian, etc.)

Chop veggies (sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower)

  • To be roasted and eaten as a side or cooked into a recipe like a stir fry, soup, or salad

Cook grains- brown rice, quinoa, bulgur

  • Drain & freeze in 2-cup portions in baggies for use anytime!

Cook beans- chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans

  • Drain & freeze in 2-cup portions in baggies for use anytime!

Make sauce/ dressings

Assemble casseroles/bakes

Snacks

Chop carrots/ celery/ cucumbers

Make hummus (Pro tip: MAKE THIS!)

Wash apples/ fruit

Measure baggies of nuts, trail mix, or other snacks (portion control!)

Food Prep 2

Are you totally inspired yet? Are your wheals just turning with all of the possibilities??! Are you so excited to come home from work on Monday, pop dinner in the oven, and sit on your bum until it’s time to dig in??!??! I hope so! I hope these ideas get you started on a path to easier, healthier weeknight meals.

If you are hungry for more on this topic, below are some of the blogs I look to on the regular for food prep, meal planning, and menu ideas!

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