Now that you have mastered the basics of meal planning, lets get down to meal prepping! I like to think of meal prepping as the pep talk you give yourself before the big game or presentation at work. Just a few minutes hyping yourself up, getting psyched, and bringing your A-game. Meal prepping is similar – you are spending a few hours over the weekend to bring your A-game to the week ahead by hyping yourself up and getting psyched for all the healthy choices you make and money savings you’ll experience. Just like a pep talk has many different versions, there are many different ways to achieve your meal prepping goals. A lot depends on the competition, or in this case the week, ahead of you. Here are some of my favorite ways to meal prep and bring my A-game!
· Hard Boiled Eggs: I have found that the easiest way to make hard boiled eggs is to stick them in a muffin tin and bake them at 325 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I’ll then put them in an ice bath for ten minutes, peel and store them. These are great for grab and go protein or to add into your lunch salad. One of my fav ways to eat them is to chop up 2 or 3 and mix with a ripe avocado. Add some salt, pepper, and garlic seasoning or Everything but the Bagel seasoning and viola - healthy egg salad! You can even put it on toast for a spin on avocado toast – winning!
· Make a meal and divide it up for grab and go lunches: Pick one of your favorite recipes (could be a crockpot recipe or a skillet recipe), cook it up, and divide it into containers so you have a lunch option for the week. Double it up if you need to!
· Mason Jar Salads: Yall, this might be one of my all-time favs! Gather all of your salad ingredients and your large mason jars. You’ll need your fav veggies and proteins, fruits and nuts. Be sure to place them one ingredient at a time into your mason jar starting with the ingredients that are the most wet (e.g. tomatoes or cucumbers). Then layer the proteins (eggs, beans, bacon, etc.) and ending with your lettuce on top. Don’t forget to pack your salad dressing into a separate container!
· Prep your veggies: Need cauliflower rice for later in the week? Cook it while you are already in the kitchen putting the work in! Need to chop some broccoli or celery and carrots. Take the 5 minutes while that cauliflower rice is cooking then all you have to do when you need it is grab it out of the fridge.
· Overnight Oats: In need of a fast and easy breakfast? Overnight oats to the rescue! Grab a smaller mason jar and fill it with half a cup of gluten-free oats, any toppings you like (my fav is peanut butter, chia seeds, and flax seeds) then top it with some non-dairy milk. Let it sit overnight in the fridge. In the morning, pop it in the microwave for 45 sec – 1 min (or don’t – completely up to you) and you’re set with breakfast on the go! Don’t forget to check out Pinterest for lots of overnight oat ideas.
· Smoothie Bags: Need a quick snack or a little extra veggie injection – meal prep some smoothie bags! My favorite includes a handful of spinach, a banana, a few strawberries, and chia seeds. Put all of your ingredients in a freezer bag, label it and pop it into the freezer. When you are ready to have a smoothie empty your freezer bag into the blender, add a cup of warm water (this helps your fruit break up and blend), your favorite protein powder (optional and highly encouraged), and blend away. Don’t be shy in trying out new combinations of fruits and veggies – you can search Pinterest and get a TON of ideas.
· Cook some Proteins – Are you firing up the grill over the weekend? Defrost some chicken and put it on the grill with whatever else you are grilling. Same goes for salmon! You can then slice them up and include them in your mason jar salads, make a grilled chicken salad, or even eat them with some veggies for a balanced lunch!
You feeling ready to tackle meal prepping? There are a TON more ways to meal prep - all it takes is a little research and some trial and experimentation. You may find that some of these ideas work for some weeks but not for others. What matters though, is that you are consistently showing up and bringing your A-game to the week ahead.