Meal Prep 101
When you realize that meal prepped meals are essentially just leftovers...
I was pretty disappointed when I realized this, seeing as I've hated leftovers pretty much my whole life. But it's the easiest way to stay on track when your too busy to cook all of the time. So I'll share with you what works for me, what doesn't, and how I overcame my leftover phobia with tasty meals all week long.
First things first, you need containers. My roommate and I have a running joke that our kitchen only consists of tupperware and it is either always in the fridge, or always in the dishwasher. I suggest a variety of different sizes because your snacks and your meals probably don't need the same size. I love using glass tupperware but it's more expensive than plastic. I have a few glass containers and reserve them for food that I am going to be microwaving (we can have the plastics talk another day).
Okay lets get to the fun stuff: the food
Generally I never meal prep breakfast because I love making eggs in the morning or whipping up a quick shake if I'm running late.
If you do want to meal prep breakfast, oatmeal is easy and so are these egg muffins.
I usually have a salad. I'll add whatever veggies I have on hand (cucumbers, peppers, carrots, leftover roasted veggies, whatever you want - you can put different veggies in each too so you don't get bored), hard boiled egg, beans (usually garbanzo) and whatever else I have that might be good in a salad. Add tofu, chicken, or whatever protein if you want to take it up a notch.
Here's my pro-tip: use a bagged salad mix, throw the dressing away and make your own! Those dressings are usually full of not so great for you ingredients. I like the Taylor Farmssalads, they are organic and come with fun ingredients like pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, crutons, etc.
Here's the recipe for the dressing I make that takes all of one minute to prepare: olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, a little minced garlic, salt, and pepper! Toss is a baby container and shake it up.
Here's the basics of it - protein, veggies, carbs/beans
Protein: whatever floats your boat - tofu, chicken, steak, etc.
Veggies: whatever veggies are in season or are easy and don't require a lot of hard labor to prep. If it takes you too long to prep the veggies, you'll never want to meal prep again. You can saute, roast, steam, whatever you want!
Carbs/beans: I generally try to eat low carb so I'll usually throw some sort of bean (black, kidney, cannelini) in the mix. But you do quinoa or brown rice or both beans and rice if you want.
If all of that sounds terrible, maybe make a soup in a crockpot that you can have a few nights/week. Or maybe make freezer crock pot ready meals and throw it in before you leave the house in the morining (huge fan of crock pots over here).
Fruit - I love all kinds of fruit, but it's fun to buy what is in season and keep it varied.
Lara bars - these bars are so tasty and usually only have two or three ingredients, and nothing that you can't pronounce. *See in pic above*
Veggies/Chips and hummus
I've recently been obsessed with plantain chips. Pro-tip: when you buy a bag of chips or anythig like that, pre-portion them into little ziploc bags so you don't accidentally eat the entire bag.... (may or may not be speaking from personal experinece)
Rice crackers + almond butter + chia seeds = heaven
Protein shakes - can't really go wrong there.
Chia seed pudding
As you can see, meal prep doesn't have to be boring, you can make it however you like it! Tired of chicken, rice, and veggies? Make a stir fry instead! Same ingredients - different dish. If you need recipe ideas, I highly recommend you check out Pinterest.
You also don't have to start out making everything for the week, start just making lunches and a few snacks. Or maybe just make dinners since you know you are too tired to cook when you get home from work/school. Start where you are comfortable and experiment from there!
Disclaimer: I am not a physician or a health care practitioner. This site is not meant to provide medical or health advice of any kind. Do not misconstrue any information that you read here as medical recommendation, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided here on this site is intended to serve as a communication of my experiences and to share articles and public material pertaining to health that I come across. It should in no way be interpreted as medical advice of any kind.