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HOW DO I MEAL PREP!?
For obvious reasons, planning is key when it comes to meal prepping. Keeping things organized will make for the quickest and easiest prep. First things first, decide on what your nutritional goals are. Your meal prep is going to be significantly different if you’re an 18 year old girl trying to get healthy vs. a 32 year old guy trying to get in those gains.
Decide on your meals for the week before you hit the grocery store so that you know exactly what you need. Things can start to taste ‘bleh’ if you’re eating the same meal every single day of the week. A good way to start is to create a combination of 1 Carb + 1 Protein + 1 Green. You can obviously alter this if you’re on a low carb kick and whatnot. Here are some general ideas:
Where do I start?
Once you’ve decided on your meals for the week and have bought all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to cook. I cook in the following order: meats, carbs, veggies.
I like to get all the meat out of the way first. Your oven is your best friend. It’s the cleanest and quickest way to get your meat cooked. It’s going to get super time consuming and messy if you cook everything on the stove. For the meal prep in the photo that I posted, I roasted two whole chickens (ate some for dinner that night) and made mini meatballs out of lean ground beef (also baked). The meat takes a while to cook which leaves you with time to get other things done.
If you’re going with quinoa, brown rice, pasta, or any other carb that needs to be boiled then that should be step 2. Set timers or write down times so you know how long everything has been cooking. Try to keep this chaos as organized as possible! If you’re cooking up some sweet potato, now is the time to clean, peel, and chop. Get it chopped, seasoned and on a baking tray so that you can pop it in the oven once the meat is done.
Clean, cut, and season your veggies. If you’re going to cook them on the stove, do it now! If you’re going to roast them, prep them so that they’re ready to go in the oven once the meat is out. FYI – I prep ALL my veggies for the week on Sunday night. That’s why there’s containers of carrots and whatnot. If you keep everything washed and cut, it literally takes a few minutes to put a meal together. A salad or stirfry will be quick, easy, and best of all…. you’ll have ZERO mess. It’s also great for when you’re looking for something to munch on. If your veggies are clean and cut, you’re more likely to eat them.
How many people is this for?
This is 3 days worth of lunches for 4 people + 1 week worth of granola bars for 4 + 1 week worth of washed and cut veggies for salads, stirfrys, and munching. The cut veggies are primarily used for dinners and salads. It’s quick and easy to prepare meals when all your ingredients are prepped and it’s just a matter of tossing them in.
How do you store everything? / Where did you get your containers?
I use food containers that I bought from a local restaurant supply shop. They are reusable, microwave and dishwasher safe, and BPA free.
How do you store it in the fridge?
See picture below. I know the first three columns are lunches for M,T, & W. The last two have veggies in them and are labeled.
How do you store your veggies?
I store them in plastic containers. The key is to ensure that they are completely dry before you store them. If you store them wet, they will surely spoil much faster. Veggies with a higher water content like bell peppers will not store as long as something like beets. But they should last you 5 days without a problem.
How long does it take?
To prepare everything pictured, it takes about 2 hours on Sunday. My mid-week meal prep on Wednesday takes about 45 minutes since the bulk of the prep is done on Sunday.
What do I do on Wednesday?
Good question. This meals in the picture will last M-W. On Wednesday, I’ll prep meals for T-F but because the majority of the prep was done on Sunday, it’s much faster with minimal clean up. I’ll usually cook up some more meat and roast some of the veggies that I washed and cut on Sunday. Quinoa and brown rice will stay good in the fridge until Friday so if you cook up a big batch on Sunday, it’s just a matter of portioning it in containers on Wednesday. Alternately, you could also cook up a new batch on Wednesday. Quinoa is my carb of choice and only takes 15 minutes to cook. I prefer to cook a new batch but there’s no harm in cooking a larger batch on Sunday.
I didn’t calculate exact macros but these meals are probably around 300 calories per container.
So a bit of a disclaimer: I don’t really use recipes. I look at recipes to get ideas and then just work with what I have. I’ve done my best to get them in recipe form!
GARLIC GREEN BEANS
SPICY SWEET POTATO
CHOCOLATE CHIP GRANOLA BARS
Meal Prep Bag: If you are looking for a meal management bag click here. This will allow you to take your food to work, gym or just out and about.