A Beginner’s Guide to Meal Prep

Everything you need to know to up your meal prep game.

Meal prep is the bomb-dot-com, and here’s why. Whether you’re looking to start eating healthier, save a bit of money on your lunch, or save a TON of time throughout the week – meal prep is the perfect solution to help you out.

Pros:

  • Eat HEALTHY! Meal prepping allows you to plan your healthy meals ahead of time, meaning no take-out and instant noodles
  • Save $$$. Eating out less = more money in your pocket (which probably = more shoes for you!)
  • Spend less time cooking and doing dishes during the week (because who really wants to come home after a long day of work to THAT?)
  • Expand your cooking skill set!
  • Get creative in the kitchen and experiment with flavours and spices
  • …and sooo much more!

Cons: 

  • Repetitive and “leftover” food after a few days (and I’m going to counter that with a PRO! The beauty of meal prepping, is the flexibility. YOU get to decide what kinds of foods you want to eat, and when. Some people prep once a week, others prep 2-3 times a week. You make the decision that makes the con go away!)

So, if you’re interested in learning more about meal prep, and how you can start your very own lifestyle change today – follow the steps below, and you’ll be a meal prep guru in no time!

Step 1: Look ahead at your calendar

Before you start meal prepping, it’s important to look ahead at the upcoming week to see what days you’ll actually need to be making meals for. Maybe you’ve got dinner with a few friends on Tuesday, and a work lunch on Friday. Calendar out your week and block out the meals and days that you don’t need to prep for. This avoids wasted food and allows you to plan better for the week.

Add up the total number of breakfasts, snacks, lunches, and dinners that you’ll need, so you can proportion your food and allocate accordingly for the work week.

For example, in this case, I know I’ll be needing to prep only 3 breakfasts (because I want to eat fresh meals on Thursday and Friday morning!), 8 snacks (2 x per day), 4 lunches, and 3 dinners.

Step 2: Create your menu

The second (and hands down the most fun) step is to create your menu. What do you want to eat for the week?

There’s nothing like a quick search on Pinterest to get the inspo going – but of course, opt in for the healthy choices. Choose meals that’ll nourish you, energize you, and give you the right nutrients you need across your proteins, fats, and carbs. Our ultimate grocery list for clean eating will help you out if you need a little more inspiration!

Fill in your calendar, and voila! You’ve got your meal prep menu for the week.

Step 3: Go grocery shopping

Once you have your meal prep menu in place, you can easily create a list of the groceries and ingredients you’ll need for your meal prep. Be sure to pick up an adequate amount of each, to ensure you have enough for a week’s worth of meal prep.

WARNING: That chocolate bar was not on your meal prep plan! Stick to the list and you’ve got yourself a clean diet. 😉

Step 4: Cook, Bake, Fry, Prep

You can’t have meal prep without the pre-cooking! For this step, be sure to allocate 2-3 hours of your day – and I totally recommend a Sunday. Your best bet is to meal prep on the weekend, because the likeliness of you prepping during the week is only going to decrease.

Now, you’re going to be cooking and preparing almost a week’s worth of food, so get your multi-tasking hat on, and get ready to go! I’ll generally use the oven, slow cooker, and stove – all at once – so all of the parts of my prep are done and ready to go around the same time.

Remember: 2 hours in the kitchen on a Sunday, saves you plenty more hours during the week! 

Step 5: Store your food

Did you realllly #mealprep if you didn’t store it in containers and take an insta-worthy pic? Last but not least, this step is the most important!

Portion out your food according to your meal prep calendar in separate containers. Be sure to store your food properly in glass or plastic containers (if choosing plastic, be sure that they’re microwave-safe).

Come Monday, after a dreadful morning of fighting yourself to get out of bed – you have one less thing to worry about. Warm up your breakfast, grab your lunch to go, and give yourself a pat on the back knowing that dinner’s ready for you when you come home.

 

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