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The Beginners Guide to Meal Prepping
- Are you too exhausted or way to busy to cook EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.? Are you a beginner at meal prepping? Trust me I get it… I didn’t have time before having a baby, and now I definitely don’t have time or energy.
- My journey with meal prepping started 7 years ago. I could’t afford to go grab lunch at work every day, plus I really wanted to try and eat healthy. Working 2 jobs with a commute and going to school… meal prep was my only option. Over the years I have come to perfect what works for me, and I spend less on eating out and I feel way better eating my own meals. Plus 9 times out of 10 my cooking tastes better. 😉
What is Meal Prepping?
- Meal Prepping is taking the time every week to prepare so many different meals in batches so you don’t have to cook everyday.
- Meal prepping is for everyone. No matter what your lifestyle may be, there is always a time in life where you may not be able to, or want to cook. This helps alleviate the problem of going out and spending money on food that is fast, convenient and overall unhealthy.
How to get started with Meal Prepping
Most important thing you need are storage containers. When I first started meal prepping (before I really got into health), I used plastic. Glass containers, and stainless steel containers are so much healthier for you, and these are what I have been using for the past 4-5 years.
Also, when first starting with meal prepping, I always recommend starting with simple meals. Pinterest is an AMAZING place to search for sooo many different recipes.
You can meal prep your breakfast, lunches, dinners and snacks. Everyone has different meal plans they follow, so you can totally customize it to your needs! But here is an idea of how I break down my meals:
- Protein (egg, meat, fish, nuts & seeds, beans)
- Vegetables (leafy greens, cruciferous, nightshades)
- Carbs (sweet potato, quinoa, rice, beans)
- Healthy Fat (avocado, hemp, flax, olive oil)
Tips for Success in Meal Prepping
Best way to succeed with this is, keeping things simple at first. Maybe start prepping at least one meal a day. Start with foods you enjoy. If you start making different things you have never tasted you may not like it or want to eat it.
MAKE LISTS! Trust me you won’t be able to remember it all. Make lists of what meals you are going to make and what you need to make it. Then most important, a grocery list!
If you aren’t a big veggie eater… try adding a fresh pressed juice with your meal.
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Items to Always Have Stocked
Everyone has their go to seasonings and condiments that keep on hand. As you first start, you may not have many…but it is always a good idea to start creating your little flavor box to help you with making your tasty meals.
My go to seasonings..
- salt and pepper
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- taco seasoning
- italian seasoning
- variety fresh herbs (rosemary, basil, parsley, cilantro, chives)
- coconut aminos
- olive oil/avocado oil/coconut oil
- braggs apple cider vinegar
…just to name a few
Common Questions/FAQ About Meal Prepping
- How long does the food last in the fridge?
- Depending on what the meal is, it can usually last about 4-5 days in an airtight container in the fridge! If it is a salad, there are different ways to make a salad in a mason jar to last longer. You can also freeze your meals to last longer and enjoy at a later time.
- Can I reheat my meals in the microwave?
- Sometimes you have no choice. Many work places only have microwaves, so yes you gotta do what ya gotta do! But stove/oven is always the best to reheat food.
- How do you find the time to meal prep?
- I literally have to schedule it in my week, then it helps me be more committed. Choose a day with a block of time to focus on getting what you need and start cooking. I personally use the weekends. Sunday we shop and usually cook or I will do it Monday.
- What if I can’t cook?
- It may take some practice, but finding easy recipes with minimal ingredients can really help you be successful. Something that will help you is a thermometer to always check when your meat is at the correct temp.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about Meal Prepping
Meal Prepping is so convenient and a much healthier way of eating rather than always going out. Once you make it a weekly routine, I promise it get’s easier as time goes. There are so many benefits like saving money on eating out, eating healthier, learning how to make different meals and pairing food. And if you’re a busy mama then meal prepping is a great way to get your little ones involved! They love to help.
What helpful tips do you have that make you successful at meal prepping? And what is your best meal that you prep?