Meal prepping 101: A beginners guide to prepping like a boss
I have been meal prepping for about 7 years now, not only because I love it but also it is something I have to do with my busy schedule. For those of you who don’t know I work full time as a board certified behavior analyst in which I drive all over town from client to clients homes. On top of it I commute over an hour to and from work, therefore meal prepping for me is essential. Meal prepping is a great way to save money, stay on track with your healthy lifestyle, and reduce waste in the kitchen.
What is meal prepping?
Meal prepping can mean a variety of things to each individual, but I would define it as preparing recipes, meals, or side items in order to be able to portion out easy grab and go meals for the busy workweek. You can either batch cook which includes actually preparing recipes and having meals set for the week. Or you could just prepare a buffet style of side items and mains to be able to throw together easy meals on the go. I like to do a variety of both during my meal preps to help me during the week. Generally I stick to meal prepping on Sunday’s for a few hours in which I create breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack ideas, for 3-4 days. This is wonderful because it means I have to do 0 cooking during my busy workweeks.
What are good items to meal prep?
- Cooked meat
- Cooked grains and pasta
- Roasted vegetables
- Baked goods
- Cooked beans
- Raw vegetables such as (carrots, celery, bell peppers, cabbage, kale)
- Salads with the dressing packed in a separate Tupperware on the side
- Condiments such as homemade pesto’s, dressing, BBQ sauce
- Egg muffins or frittatas
How long will my meal prep items last?
I typically will meal prep enough meals on Sunday for 3-4 days, I won’t consume anything past the 4th day. Which means either on Wednesday or Thursday night I will meal prep a few more meals to last me the remainder of the week. Here is a great reference for you all to see how long things should be kept based off the refrigeration guidelines of the FDA: httpss://www.fda.gov/media/74435/download
How should I start meal prepping?
Start off small, don’t try and do it all at once because you will become overwhelmed and it would not be something you would be able to maintain. Focus on picking maybe one recipe to create for the week. Whether that is for breakfast, lunch, or dinner make enough for 3-4 days. If eating the same thing everyday is not your jam, then focus on creating a buffet of side dishes. Do maybe a protein, healthy starch, and some veggies. Then you could mix and match throughout the week creating a variety of meals.
DON’T overcomplicate it! Make it fun, stick to the basics, and do what you can.
What do I need for meal prepping?
- Glass Tupperware for storing your meals
- Good quality spices
- Stasher Bags for placing sandwiches or fresh fruit and veggies in
- Thermo if you need to keep your food warm
- Healthy human life for taking your tea, smoothies, coffee on-the-go
- Travel fork and spoon
- List to be able to write down your plan
Meal prep ideas to start meal prepping today:
- Breakfast: Egg muffins
- Lunch: Mediterranean burger bowl with sweet potato fries
- Dinner: Instant pot/slow cooker Beef stew
- Snack: Strawberry shortcake blissballs
- Dessert: No bake stuffed snicker dates