Hate coming home to an empty fridge? Or a fridge full of groceries that still haven't made themselves into a meal for you? Us too. Luckily, meal prepping isn't as overwhelming as you may think it is, especially when you have the right ingredients, and the right plan! Just like becoming a fitness aficionado, it takes time and practice to be a meal-prep pro. If you feel overwhelmed at the thought of preparing meals for your whole week, this article is for you!
Pick one meal that you can prepare on a Sunday that can last from Monday to Wednesday.
Do your colleagues all go out for lunch, and you don't want to feel left out? Start with breakfast!
Here are some easy breakfast options:
- Hard-boiled eggs with 1/2 avocado
- Chia seed pudding
- Overnight oats
- Frittata (15 minutes prep, 20 minutes cooking time)
- Protein smoothie.
On Wednesday night, you can change it up, or make two more!
Do this for a few weeks, then decide what worked, what didn't, and if you can make all of your breakfasts at the same time.
Cook your protein at the beginning of the week
Know you'll want tacos one night during the week? Cook up your ground beef on the weekend so you won't be left waiting for dinner during the week.
Here are a few ideas:
- Roast chicken breasts with just salt and pepper to add to various meals through the week, like salads, pasta, or a side of veggies and a grain (2 minutes prep, 20-30 minutes cooking time)
- Cook lean ground beef or ground chicken to to add to tacos or pasta sauces (1-minute prep, 5-10 minutes cooking time)
- Bake or steam salmon with lemon and dill. You can use this on salads, in wraps, or on sandwiches (2-minutes prep, 10 minutes cooking time).
Choose the easy way out when you can
Does the thought of cutting and washing lettuce or spinach for salads each week make your head spin? Luckily, most grocery stores have pre-cut and washed options available.
This makes adding veggies to every meal easy!
Need greens for a smoothie? Buy a large bag of spinach and throw it in the freezer to last weeks. Looking for a quick lunch option? Take a handful of your pre-cut salad and one of the protein choices you've prepped!
Pinterest is your best friend
If you're stuck for recipes, look to Pinterest for easy inspiration! Search for "Healthy Meal Prep" or "Easy Lunches". Have a specific diet? Just add the diet name to your search, like "Healthy Vegetarian Meal Prep" or "Easy Keto Lunches".
If you think you're ready for a the big-leagues, here is a list of things you can prepare at the beginning of the week to make sure you're set for all week long (this is for one person):
- 10 hard-boiled eggs (2 per weekday)
- 1 cauliflower, steamed or roasted
- 2 heads of broccoli, lightly steamed
- 1 bag of your favourite greens
- 3 jars of overnight oats (grab breakfast on-the-go 2 days, #treatyourself).
- 1 cup of dried quinoa, cooked
- 3 chicken breasts
- 1 lb ground turkey or lean ground beef
- 2 cans of chickpeas (to add to salads)
- 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced and roasted.
A few other grab-and-go items to have on-hand:
- Fruit like apples, pears and bananas
- Avocados to add to lunches
- Whole grain, or sourdough bread for easy breakfasts, or last-minute sandwiches
- Baby carrots, cucumber, and peppers for quick and low calorie snacks
- Plain Greek Yogurt (regular or dairy-free), for snacks, or quick breakfasts.