My Version Of Meal Prepping
Hey guys! So, it seems as if meal prep nowadays has this label of being time consuming, expensive, confusing, and just something that is really difficult to do. I'm here to tell you that as a matter of fact... it's not! It's actually rather easy to do.
I could just give you a few pretty tips, but that's something that you could google and find blog after blog after blog on. I am however going to show you how I personally "meal prep" and I might throw a tip or two in the mix somewhere, but you'll have to keep reading to find out. ;)
In the photo above, you'll see some grilled chicken breast and a pot of freshly cooked jasmine rice. I know what you're thinking.. "Ashleigh, that looks plain, dry, flavorless and gross. This is why I hate meal prepping." Well, you're wrong. The chicken is actually pretty tender and juicy (sorry for the weird adjectives. They make me cringe, too.)
Chicken and rice isn't ALL I eat, but I do eat a lot of it. It's really easy to grill up a bunch of chicken breast and store it in the fridge. Same for the rice. It literally takes 15 min to make this rice and then you're set for however many meals it'll last you for. I personally use it for lunch and dinner along with vegetables because I love it so much. If I'm at home, I'll make the vegetables (usually squash) fresh. If I have to take my meals with me when I'm not home, I just have to cook the squash ahead of time and put it all together in some tupperware.
For vegetables.. those can also be cooked in bulk, but if you like fresh cooked vegetables and you're already at home, you might as well just cook them fresh. If you are bringing meals with you to have for later, you'll just have to deal with cooking it ahead of time in whatever seasoning or marinade your heart desires.
Other starchy carbs that you can cook in bulk are potatoes or quinoa. Don't cook so much that you're afraid it might go bad in the fridge. I'd say make enough to last 3-4 days and that'll be the most fresh kept in the fridge. Then when you're at home thinking "ugh. I'm so tired and I don't feel like making food.", BOOM! Just open the fridge and everything is right there for you. You just have to heat it up!
Things to make chicken, rice (or another starch), and vegetables taste better
- BBQ sauce
- hot sauce
- mustard (put stevia in it if you want some sweet mustard without the carbs)
- teriyaki sauce
- coconut oil (some people like this)
- chipotle aoli
- there's probably more but I can't think of anymore
- oh yeah, seasoning
*takeaway* - Plain food doesn't have to taste bad.. that is why sauces and spices were created!
Now, if you don't mind eating some of the same things everyday and you're someone that wants ALL of your meals prepped ahead of time and you don't care whether it's fresh or not, then prepping might take a little more time. You'll also need some tupperware. To keep things organized for each meal, you'll probably want to think of three things -
Carb source (vegetable and starch)
Protein - chicken, turkey, beef, steak, pork, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, sausage, eggs.
Vegetable - squash, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, spinach, carrots, asparagus.
Starch - rice, potatoes, quinoa, oats, couscous.
Fat - avocado, oils, nuts, nut butter.
Well balanced meals are important. The only meal that you should disregard the fats is around your workout time because those are slower digesting and we don't want to be slowly digesting things around workouts. Carbs and protein need to be digested quickly before and after for optimal absorption and recovery. (Ok sorry went down a rabbit hole)
If you know you want one meal with chicken and rice, one meal with beef and quinoa, and one meal with turkey and potatoes, then make enough of each to last you x amount of days that you're preparing for. If you want it to be easier, maybe stick with one protein source for all three meals and just switch up the carb source. If you literally don't care about eating the same thing, cook in bulk for the two items that are constant. The vegetables could be made into a stir fry or just cooked alone with seasoning.
Ways To Store In the Fridge
- in meal-sized tupperware per meal
- everything separate in bulk-sized tupperware (what I do, shown in picture above)
I hope this helped someone in some way, shape, or form. Meal prep can be overwhelming especially with all of these meal prep blogs I've seen online. I think some people make it difficult just to look put together.. but it doesn't have to be that way! It can be simple and still be delicious.