The year is almost over and that means a lot of people will be planning to do better in the new year with getting stronger, losing weight, or just trying to eat better and/or cut out fast food. Meal prepping is much easier than you think and it sets you up for success if trying to follow specific calorie/macro goals as well as takes out the stress from trying to decide on what to eat. I like to stand by 3 main rules for meal prepping:
1. Keep it simple.
2. Pick a day a week to prep everything.
3. Have LOTS of Tupperware.
The weekends are great for meal prepping, especially Sunday afternoons IMO. It’s my day to get ready for the new week coming up and I usually don’t have any obligations, work, or appointments that would make it harder for me to find time to book and bake my foods. It doesn’t have to be the weekend though! It could just be the day you get off work early or just a relaxing day during the week, but it is easier to stay consistent with meal prepping when you keep everything on the same day each week. One thing I’ve heard from friends is that they think meal prepping takes SO much time, but I have found that a couple hours or baking and cooking on one day saves you from spending even more time driving out to get fast food and possibly time spent trying to decide what food to get for lunch every day...or arguing with friends/family on what to get for everyone. Uuuugh! That used to be one of my biggest pet peeves!
Last, but not least, you need to make sure to have enough Tupperware or storage to keep your prepped meals for the week! I have found really nice ones on Amazon with two sections in each Tupperware (just search for “meal containers”), so that I can fit different foods in without worrying about them mixing if I don’t want them to. Of course, if you have a significant other also meal prepping with you, make sure you get enough for everyone to avoid the disaster of meal prepping and then finding that they have taken all the remaining containers already. Hahaha! Good containers should be a decent size without making you feel like they are too bulky to take to work or too small to actually be able to fit your entire meal in them. I have also found that little sauce cups (with the lid) is great for bringing salad dressings, peanut butter, and even simple condiments without needing to bring the entire bottle with you. Easy to rinse out as well if you like to recycle and reuse items.
Meal prepping shouldn’t be as difficult as some people make it out to be! A good seasoning/spice goes a long way without needing to make an extravagant recipe with 20 different ingredients and it will also save some time in the kitchen as well. I promise that if you try it and keep going, meal prepping will become second nature and you will wonder why you didn’t start sooner! When everyone else is stressing and spending time trying to decide on what to eat and where to go for lunch or dinner day in and day out, you will already have everything done and appreciate being able to eat the food that YOU made. Feel proud of yourself and take your nutrition into your own hands!
Cooking your own food at home is very rewarding in the fact that you can pick your own seasonings and spices as well as know EXACTLY what went into your food, which should be important for everyone, not just bodybuilders or people that workout. You can finally try that recipe that you saw on FB or IG or maybe save time in the kitchen by keeping it simple. A lot of ingredients can mean amazing flavor, but if you’re like me...I’d rather keep it simple to cut down on how much I have to buy and also to save on time in the kitchen. My favorite go-to’s are just baked chicken breasts in the oven with a nice dash of spices from Penzey’s (my favorite spice shop in the St. Louis area!), ground beef cooked on the stove top with Jamaican jerk seasoning, sweet potato cubes/fries baked in the oven with BBQ or steak seasonings sprinkled on top, and finally freshly cooked rice in our modest rice cooker. Easy proteins and carbs for me that I know digest well in my body!