If you're thinking about entering the meal prep game, then you came to the right place. Many people don't meal prep because they simply don't know how or feel as if they don't have the time. However, it's actually quite easy once you get used to it and saves you lots of time in the long run. When you meal prep like a pro, you only have to do the work once, and then have food to eat all week. We'll walk you through the steps to get you started.
The first step, just like anything else, is to plan ahead. Start by choosing a day to do your grocery shopping. We suggest Sundays because your meal prepping should always be on the same day or at least one day apart from the other so your food stays fresh the longest. Therefore if you choose Sunday and do it the day of, you'll be set for your work or school week! Then, you need to plan and think about what your nutritional goals are. Do you want to add more protein to your diets or go low in carbs? Do you really have no preference, but just really want to stay organized? You need to have some idea of what you're going to buy before you shop.
Once your planning is done, it's time to start grocery shopping. Determine what you want to eat that week and make yourself a grocery list. This will save you time once you are at the super market and save you money from impulse buying. When you are food shopping, you should keep the following formula in mind: 1 Protein + 1 Vegetable + 1 Healthy Carb. This is the typical combination for meal prepping. Below are more details of each if you're unsure of what to get or need ideas.
Proteins: Beef, chicken, turkey, fish, lamb, eggs, beans
Vegetables: Broccoli, carrots, lettuce, kale, spinach, onions, tomato
Carbs: Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, lentils, whole wheat pasta, plantain
Now it's time to prepare your food when you get home and start cooking. There are many ways and orders to do this. We suggest to start by seasoning your meat to your liking so it has time to soak in flavor. Then wash, cut, and steam your vegetables. You can also leave some raw if you prefer that. Finally, cook your meat in the oven and your carbs on the stove, and you're ready for meal prepping! You can use your smartwatch to set a timer.
Store & Label
Now the meal prepping can actually begin. Be sure to buy plastic containers that are reusable, microwavable, and dishwasher safe so you can use them time and time again. Then label them with a marker with either the contents inside of them or the day of the week if they're all the same. Remember, you can also put all your proteins, vegetables, and carbs into different containers. If all the food you bought was fresh and you prepare it immediately, then it shouldn't spoil so don't worry about that. Just be sure to eat it in 3-5 days, or freeze anything you're not going to eat in that time to save for a later date.