Hi all! The last couple of weekends I’ve been super diligent about meal prepping and I thought I’d share some tips. I truly believe that if you want to be successful in changing your diet, you need to be prepared. It’s HARD to change routines and habits, therefore it’s VERY easy to fall back into those unhealthy routines and habits the moment you’re unprepared (aka 3pm hunger strike, nothing to eat but chips and salsaaaaa).
I go in and out of meal prepping. I get into a good swing of things, and then I stop. I recently started again so I can keep track of what I’m eating, how it’s making me feel, etc. Now I realize how helpful it is and really look forward to continuing the routine. It might work for you, and it might not. But, it’s worth a try!
So here you are! Meal prep advice a la muah.
1. Before you even prep the food- prep a menu. I’m talking full on menu for the week. If you only eat three meals, great, plan them out. If you eat 3 meals and a snack, great, plan them out. Eat out a lot? Try to at least have breakfast and snacks written out.
2. Look through ads for sales. I actually do this simultaneously while planning a menu, so I can see what’s on sale and plan accordingly. If I want chicken and turkey for the week but see that pork shoulder is on sale, you best believe I’m switching out one of my proteins for carnitas! Same goes for fruit and veggies- I buy what looks good and is on sale. The other day I had zoodles on the menu but the zucchini was TINY, so I picked up a spaghetti squash instead. It helps spice things up, too, by trying new produce! If you’re like me and have food sensitivities, stick to what you know you can eat and keep variety in your life by making different dishes with those same veggies (more on that another time).
3. Buy in bulk- meat should definitely be purchased in bulk and what you’re not using right away can be frozen. I get mine from Sams Club or Costco. I also buy oats, rice, and nuts in bulk from Sprouts. Other items you might not think about picking up from bulk bins are Himalayan salt, nutritional yeast, dark chocolate chips, coconut flakes, spices, etc. I make granola weekly (to top smoothies, yogurt bowls, and snack on plain) and it uses ingredients all from the bulk bin. The money you save here can really add up!
4. When you get home, get organized immediately. For example, I chop the bottoms off the asparagus and celery and put them in mason jars with water. This helps keep them fresh for longer. I’ll chop veggies and bag them in individual portions for snacks and lunches. Kev gets fresh carrots, bell peppers or edamame. I do everything roasted since I don’t do well with raw veggies. I actually do pretty well with jicama though, so I’ve been snacking on that lately! Yum!
I made a meatloaf with the relish you see here and boy was it good! I actually omitted the bacon and cheese…and subbed ground turkey for the beef. Basically I got rid of the good stuff (I’m watching fat intake, though). It was still so delicious! Recipe link is below!
5. Make meal prep work for you! If that means it’s a Monday evening, fine. Sunday afternoon? Great. If you want this to stick, whether it’s for a couple weeks or a month, you’re going to have to make it fit into your life. “They” say that if you attach something you want to accomplish to something you already do, it becomes a habit more easily. For example, attach the act of flossing to brushing your teeth every night. If you already brush your teeth, if you can now floss at the same time, and BAM it becomes a habit. I already grocery shop on Sundays so why not meal prep right when I get home!? Which is what I do! After I’ve gotten organized, I chop veggies and roast them. While they’re roasting, I cook up my protein and portion everything out. I also take this time to prep smoothie bags for breakfast (ziplock baggies with all the fruit and veggies that go into my smoothies- just dump it into the blender with cashew/almond milk and blend) and I bake muffins for a grab and go snack/post-workout.
I can’t tell you how much easier it is during the week to have food prepped! It saves time and energy and saves me from making poor choices when I get home from work.
Some of my staples the last two weeks have been:
Lunch- turkey burgers or chicken with green beans and sweet potatoes- both roasted, some sort of a buddah bowl, or leftovers (easy!)
Snacks- roasted carrots and almond butter, protein bites, hard boiled eggs, turkey wrapped around a pickle slice (don’t knock it ’till you try it), or a handful of nuts
Dinner- zoodles and sauce (sometimes with meat, sometimes not), tacos (chicken or ground turkey), meatloaf with veggies, lettuce wraps, and homemade pizza (not a healthy version but so good- #balance amiright!? Pizza for life 🙌🏼)