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It can be hard to stick to your goals when you’re constantly running around and don’t have time to cook healthy meals. But this is not an excuse to hit the nearest fast food chain! Drive past that McDonalds and realize that everything will be okay. All you need to do is a little planning. This is where meal prep comes in!
Since I work fulltime Monday through Friday, but with varying hours, I need to prep 9 meals each week (5 lunches and 4 dinners). So I’m definitely used to cooking in large batches! I’m going to reveal with you four simple steps to make meal prepping a breeze! And then at the end I’ll even include some of my bonus tips that I’ve learned over the years!
STEP ONE: PLAN
Sit down and plan plan plan! Decide what you are going to eat for each meal that week. Make sure you have a good ratio of healthy carbs, fats, and proteins. I usually stick to a source of lean protein, a carb, and veggies. I can eat the same meal everyday and not get bored, so my meal prep is usually pretty simple. But feel free to be creative and give yourself a little variety each day. If you can’t eat the same meal multiple times, consider finding different recipes that include the same base ingredients. This way you can cook up a large batch of grilled chicken or brown rice and use it for different meals throughout the week.
STEP TWO: MAKE A LIST
Now it’s time to organize a grocery shopping list. Look around and see what you already have in your kitchen and then write down what you need to buy at the store. Once you have your list ready, it’s time to shop!
TRY THIS – How cute are these grocery list notepads?! They can make organizing your list a breeze so you don’t waste anytime wandering around the store!
STEP THREE: COOK
Once you’re done shopping, it’s time to cook! I usually prep my lean meats first since they take the longest. For example, I season the raw chicken and bake it in the oven while I prep the rest. While the chicken is cooking, I would then get my carbs going. Some weeks I keep it simple and just make brown rice, and other weeks I roast sweet potatoes. Once the carbs are cooking, I then choose a veggie and cook a giant pot of it all at once.
STEP FOUR: SEPARATE & STORE
Once all of your food is cooked, it’s time to portion it out. You want to make sure that you have good tupperware that is dishwasher and microwave safe, plus I like mine to all be uniform in size and shape (it makes storing them a lot easier!). Here’s an example of some great meal prepping Tupperware. Scoop even portions of your protein, carbs, and veggies into each tupperware and them store them in the fridge. Most meals will stay fresh in the fridge for about 5 days. If eating meals that are 5 days old makes you nervous, feel free to prep for half of the week, and then prep again mid-week!
Those are the basic 4 steps anybody should take when attempting to meal prep! But if you want to take it a step further, here are some bonus tips for you!
- Start making a stockpile of your favorite, “meal prep friendly” recipes. I personally love Pinterest for this. Check out my Pinterest account and steal some of my favorite meal prep recipes!
- If you will be meal prepping salads, make sure to read my blog post on how to keep them fresh all week long HERE (nobody likes soggy salad!)
- Invest in some high quality Tupperware. I recommend getting ones that are uniform in size and shape so that they are easier to store. You also want to make sure that they are dishwasher, microwave, and freezer safe!
- Try prepping your snacks too! This is a lot easier than prepping meals. I like to buy things like nuts, cheese sticks, fruit, and yogurt so that I can easily grab them in the morning.
And that’s it! Take a nice deep breath and give yourself a pat on the back! Now you can relax this week knowing you already have healthy meals prepared!
If you want to take this all a step further and start balancing your macronutrient intake, then check out some of my macro coaching programs! My Macro Magic e-course will teach you all of the basics of macro tracking in just 14 days! However if you need more one-on-one help, then check out my personalized Macro Coaching programs!
*This post contains affiliate links, however all of my thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.