You’ve been flirting with the idea of meal prepping (meal prep) for a while but still haven’t taken the first steps. That’s OK – this article and the video below will hopefully be the kick in the butt you need to get started. Learning how to meal prep just might be the thing you need to help you achieve your health and fitness goals. A common problem with people trying to live a healthier lifestyle is that they are constantly stressed wondering about their next meal. Let’s dive into meal prep, tips and how you can get started.
What is meal prepping (meal prep)?
In health and fitness, meal prep simply means preparing/mapping out your meals for a period of time. You can meal prep for a few days, weeks or even a month at a time. Preparing your meals in advance is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular. It allows you to save time in the kitchen by batch cooking large quantities of meals that you can store in your fridge or freezer. These ready-to-eat meals can be a huge time saver, especially if you are a busy individual that is often on the run.
How you can get started with meal prep
Like many things in life, you will benefit by starting with baby steps! Meal prep can be an intimidating process at first glance. You’ve likely seen friends/pictures of people that fill up Tupperware containers, stacking them in the fridge. Chances are those people also started off by meal prepping small quantities and worked their way up to large batches.
Step 1 – Pick a day of the week where you can dedicate 1-2 hours to preparing meals.
Step 2 – Start small – plan out 1-2 days worth of meals. What do you want to eat for breakfast? Plan out 1-2 days worth of breakfast options that you’ll enjoy. Then, move onto lunch/snack options before moving on to dinner.
Step 3 – When prepping your larger meals (lunch and dinner) focus on building your “perfect plate”, by dividing your meals into protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Protein – chicken, fish, egg, steak, tuna, bacon. Fats – nuts/seeds, avocado, coconut oil, etc. Carbohydrates – vegetables, brown rice, sweet potato, legumes, lentils, quinoa. These are some basic suggestions but feel free to incorporate the foods you love.
Step 4 – Start filling your containers, keeping portions sizes relatively similar. Before you know it, you’ll have 5-10 containers filled out which you can store in the fridge or freezer, depending on when you plan on eating that meal.
There is no right or wrong way to meal prep
If you don’t enjoy the process of meal prepping and batch cooking, you likely won’t continue to do it. If you make the process fun and enjoyable, the chances of you sticking with it will increase exponentially.
Luckily for you, I interviewed an expert chef in meal prep and batch cooking. Jennifer Wellsman, owner of Thyme to Dine, shares her best tips for meal prep that can save you lots of stress in the kitchen.
Here is a glimpse of our conversation:
3:30 – What is “meal prep” and it’s importance
4:00 – Tips on how to start meal prepping
5:40 – How Jennifer batch cooks meals
7:57 – How to add variety to your diet
10:40 – How to be efficient in the kitchen (time-saving tips)
17:30 – Quick, easy and healthy breakfast ideas
21:00 – Popular lunch options that taste delicious
24:45 – Healthy snacks you can enjoy on the run
What’s the biggest tip you took from this video? Do you have additional time-saving tips that others could benefit from? Comment below!