5 Meal Prep Tips + My Go-To's

As much as I don't want to admit it, I am not the most put together person in the mornings. I'm normally up with plenty of time to get food and get ready, but I never seem to put my coffee down early enough to get my butt moving. I am not a prep full meals and eat multiples of the same thing person and that is a down fall I see quite often with other people.

Imagine taking 15-30 minutes and saving at least $50 if you are eating out once a day, that's $200 a month, and $2,400 a year... that. is. CRAZY!

So I have put together 5 tips to make meal prepping easy peasy so you aren't killing yourself to eat healthy food! Because health should be easy to come by not stressful and exhausting! 

5 Tips for Meal-Prepping

  1. Turn that music (or podcast) UP! - make it fun! meal prep can be SO BORING turn up some music and dance and move while you cook (get that at home exercise!) the time that you spend prepping won't be so boring and slow if you have some music playing. I like to plug in a podcast because time passes quickly and I love increasing my knowledge as I do things :) 
  2. Keep it simple! - keep it simple with a few veggies like brussel sprouts, butternut squash, zucchini, broccoli and more obviously. I normally pick 2-3 veggies so I can have quite a few with each meal. Next, some starch like rice, quinoa, or whole wheat pasta. Then I pick out some protein this can be leftover from dinner, or you can be lazy like me and get a rotisserie chicken from publix and shred all the meat! 
  3. Don't work so hard! - meal prepping shouldn't take 6 hours, heck, it shouldn't even take you two hours!! If you're a slow chopper than it may take you a little longer, but still it shouldn't take that long! It shouldn't be an all day thing that you are exhausted once your done. My method is to put the starch on the stove (brown rice, quinoa, etc), then start cutting my veggies: first I cut the ones I plan on cooking and then I would suggest cutting up veggies that won't go bad that you plan on using in dinners for the week and veggies that can be snacks (celery, carrots, peppers, cucumbers with hummus/taziki sauce... side note, I found SUCH a good cucumber feta dip that I can't get enough of... I'll post a picture below to it. it's SO GOOD!) You do not have to cook the veggies that you will use for dinner but this will cut at least 15-20 minutes off dinner prep! 
  4. Mix and Match! -  I always prefer to mix and match my foods that I prep. I don't like to eat the same meal over and over and over. So, I make multiple veggies, protein and starch so that I can mix and match. My favorite way to eat this is mixed greens, brussels, sweet potatoes, pulled chicken, a little bit of hummus and tessemaes ranch! 
  5. Change up the protein! - did you know that daily protein requirements are actually A LOT lower than we expect. Diet culture (aka, our culture and everything we hear from people not qualified to tell us) tells us that the more protein the better, but did you know that our daily requirements are no greater than 5.5 ounces per meal? thats only 16.5 ounces per day! (My Plate Standards for a 2,000 calorie diet) The average american women eats close to 56 per day... while 16.5 might seem low, keep in mind this is daily requirements on a general scale, there are ALWAYS differences based per person! -- Any ways! changing up your protein can mean a many different things! Add some protein filled whole grains (brown rice, lentils, beans, chickpeas... my favorite!) If you eat beef a lot add more chicken try new ways to eat that chicken. If your crunched on time, buy a rotisserie chicken shred all the meat and have it on hand for 4 or 5 days it's a great quick protein! Start meatless Mondays, it's an interesting concept but meat can honestly get boring... If your family is 100% against this like mine, just do breakfast and lunch this way to give yourself a little variety! 

I have included a couple of my favorite super simple meal prepped veggies and my favorite snacks. I hope you all enjoyed this post! It has been my favorite one to write so far!! :) 

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Butternut Squash and Brussel Sprouts

Ingredients

1 container of crinkle cut butternut squash (or 1 butternut squash cubed) 

1 bag/precut pack of brussel sprouts 

olive oil

salt/pepper/garlic powder 

Directions

  1. preheat oven to 350* and cover a baking tray with parchment 
  2. pour brussel sprouts and butternut squash on tray, drizzle olive oil, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder over both veggies, then season butternut squash with paprika as well. 
  3. bake for 25-30 minutes, check periodically to make sure that they are cooking and softening. Once soft (and I like mine a little crispy) remove and store in some tupperware :) 

I like to buy the precut brussel sprouts and butternut squash, honestly just because they are a pain to chop but I love them! I am willing to pay that extra dollar or so, if that isn't feasible than buy the regular ones or change out for other veggies :) 

My Favorite Snacks

I enjoy making my snacks full of veggies and fat, to keep me satisfied but not full so I can eat at my own meal. I usually like hummus and crackers or hummus and veggies. Also, POPCORN.. all day everyday with a pinch of salt!  Every once in awhile I will add in some sweets in like yogurt covered raisins!

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I hope you all enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! 

 

Resources: 

 https://www.choosemyplate.gov/MyPlate-Daily-Checklist