Meal Prep 101: The Who, What, and How of Meal Prep
What’s up guys, Aubs In The Blog here to give you some fresh perspective on meal prep 101 with helpful tips and tricks. With summer finally coming to an end and fall routines beginning, now is a perfect time to get back on track with your health and wellness goals from inside the kitchen.
WHAT IS MEAL PREP?
You have probably heard the saying before, “failing to plan is planning to fail”. This couldn’t be any more true. Meal prep allows us to formulate a nutrition game plan so we can get through the week without worrying about what we are going to eat and cook. It’s less stressful and easier to be successful when you have something to follow and refer to rather than to fly by the seat of your pants.
Here are my personal meal prep basics to planning any meal:
- Choose a carbohydrate source
- Pick a protein source
- Select a healthy fat source
- Consider your seasonings/sauces/dressings/condiments
- Scratch the above and invest in a few pre-prepped meals listing all nutrition content
WHO IS MEAL PREP FOR?
Meal prep isn’t just for gym-goers and health enthusiasts, I believe it is something that anyone can integrate into their lives. Regardless of occupation, personal endeavors, or family life, meal prep can be beneficial to any lifestyle.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEAL PREP?
Take a moment to consider how much time you are putting into meal prep each day from the time you wake up to the time you fall asleep. Now consider how much time you aren’t putting into meal prep and instead opt for fast and unhealthy on-the-go options.
Now if I told you it only takes an hour or two to shop and cook for the whole week, would you roll your eyes in disbelief? It really can be that simple! Sacrificing a little bit of time on the weekend or a weeknight to dedicate to building out a plan and executing it in the kitchen will save you a lot of time during the busy work week.
- Save More Money
- Gain Confidence In Your Food Choices
- Stay On Track With Your Health
- Experience Food Variety
- Less Stress, More Enjoyment
- Hit Your Goals
MY MEAL PREP TIPS & TRICKS
Get Prepared – Plan, Plan, Plan
- First, pick the day of the week that allows you to set aside a few hours to shop, create and cook your meals without unnecessary distractions
- Next, create a menu for the entire week→this is where you will establish structure, I recommend using a spreadsheet for ease of organizing and visualization. Remember to include the days of the week and time of day (morning/afternoon/night), as well as any other details you see fit
- Then, take a shopping list of what you will need based off your menu →knowing what you have to buy will prevent over-shopping and overindulging into snacks, treats and sweets
- Double check your storage containers →make sure you have enough storage for your meal prep items. Opt for plastic and glass to keep foods fresh, and plastic zip-lock bags will allow you to freeze or pack smaller items when needed. Remember to check that your containers are microwave/dishwasher safe!
- Lastly, go shopping →grab your menu and your list, it’s time to hit the grocery store!
Frozen vs. Fresh
Did you know that fruits and veggies are generally snap frozen very soon after they are picked? A special machine is used to get the produce to -18 degrees Celsius in minutes. This technique locks in nutrients, meaning you can easily have equal or more vitamins in your frozen choices than its fresh counterparts. In addition, fiber content doesn’t deteriorate!
Save yourself time, money, and challenging portion decisions by buying packaged, microwavable choices from the frozen section. You can spend 15 minutes steaming your broccoli on the stovetop or bang it out in 4 minutes using the microwave. I don’t know about you but for me that 11 minute difference is a huge helper in getting other things done.
K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Silly
Cook smarter, not harder! Don’t overcomplicate things and create more hassle for yourself. When shopping, look for easy to cook items that are in bulk, pre-portioned and/or pre-cooked. Some of my favorite items include:
- Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice
- Barilla Ready Pasta
- Muuna Single-Serve Cottage Cheese Cups with Fruit On The Bottom
- Quaker Oats Instant Oatmeal Cups
- Sabra Singles Hummus
Invest in some different cooking tools to make meal prep versatile and fast:
- Combo air-fryer (its a toaster oven too!)
- Food scale with built in measuring cup
- Small indoor electric grill
Having trouble getting your meal prep setup? Interested in taking the next steps toward your dietary health? Our nutrition coaches at Jada Blitz Fitness are professionally experienced and educated in providing clients with the programming, know-how, and support to become successful. Contact us today at (716) 568-9057 to learn more or to schedule a free initial nutrition consultation.