When you are busy during the day, you may not have time to eat as healthily as you would like. This is where prepping your meals comes in! Prepping your meals allows you to have time to relax and eat while also providing your body with the healthy nutrients it needs to function optimally. By prepping your meals, you have more control over the food you are eating and the money you are spending.
Getting Started With Prepping Your Meals
- Invest in a well-insulated lunch bag to bring your lunch to places like work, meetings, parks, etc.
- Dedicate a specific day and time to prepping your meals. For example, I meal prep every Sunday at 4 pm.
- Set a goal. How many meals are you going to prep for the week? I prep at least 20 meals. Some for the freezer and some for lunch or breakfast. On busy days, I usually take a freezer meal out and pop it into the microwave for a few minutes for a quick dinner.
- Have everything precut and set aside for putting into meals or containers.
- Have all your spices ready for spicing. This helps you determine how your meals will taste throughout the week.
- Cook things like rice, quinoa, and lentils in bulk. Tip: Season bulk items after you place them into your meal prep containers instead of seasoning them while they’re in the pot. This way you can season other dishes that use the same bulk items in different ways to have a variety of tasty meals!
- Have labels for freezer meals unless you don’t mind getting a surprise meal each day!
Materials You May Need While Prepping Your Meals
- Reusable Compartment Meal Prep Containers with Lids (BPA-Free, dishwasher, freezer, and microwave safe.)
- Silpat Non-Stick Silicone Baking Mat for baking roasted veggies, etc.
- Good quality storage containers of various sizes for storing precut fruit, veggies, and extra leftovers for meal prepping.
- Reusable silicone food storage ziplock bags. (Good for the planet and will save you money in the long run.)
Kitchen Utensils and Gadgets That Will Help Make Prepping Your Meals Easier
(Note: These aren’t required but they are good to have on hand for extra help.)
- Medium-sized spoon for placing the food into your food prep containers. (I usually have one with holes for draining the liquid and one without holes.)
- Mini silicone spatula to get that last bit of dressing or mayo out of your containers.
- Kitchen sheers, a sharp knife, and a cutting board for cutting.
- Immersion blender, food processor, crock pot, rice cooker, air fryer, and an instant pot.
Bulk Food Items You Always Want to Make Sure You Have On Hand
- Rice and Quinoa. Preferably brown rice for nutrition. (I get a large bag of quinoa from Sam’s Club.)
- Beans and Legumes. Canned or dried. (I usually have a variety of canned beans. I use my beans as a topping for extra protein and nutrition unless I have a meal that calls for them. I drain them and skip cooking them since they’re getting freezed or stored in the fridge anyway.)
- Dried lentils. They’re cheap, easy to cook in bulk, and amazing to have on hand at all times.
- Vegetables and Fruit. Raw, cooked, canned, and even frozen. These all come in handy when food prepping. (I usually use the frozen ones as side dishes when putting meals in the freezer to save time on cooking.)
- Potatoes. Sweet potatoes are better, but regular potatoes are good too. (I usually dice my potatoes and pan-cook them before putting them in meal prep containers.)
- Onions, Peppers, and Carrots are great and versatile for lots of meals.
- Leafy Greens. The top leafy greens you should have on hand are kale, spinach, romaine, and lettuce. You can use these to add to meals and even prep side salads. If you’re trying to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure, The top leafy greens you should have on hand are kale, spinach, romaine, and lettuce. You can use these to add to meals and even prep side salads.
- Seeds and Nuts. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are all great seeds to have for adding a sprinkle of extra healthy omega-3 fatty acids to your food. Having a variety of nuts is also helpful to have to add extra protein to your meals. Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are all great seeds to have for adding a sprinkle of extra healthy omega-3 fatty acids to your food. Having a variety of nuts is also helpful to have to add extra protein to your meals.
- Tofu. It’s a good source of protein for plant-based and vegan diets and contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a valuable plant source of iron, calcium, and minerals. To most people, tofu can be pretty bland and have a gross taste. This is mostly because it hasn’t been prepared correctly, and this causes people to stay away from it. When prepped correctly — tofu can be an amazing, tasty and versatile addition to any meal. It’s a good source of protein for plant-based and vegan diets and contains all nine essential amino acids. It’s also a valuable plant source of iron, calcium, and minerals. To most people, tofu can be pretty bland and have a gross taste. This is mostly because it hasn’t been prepared correctly, and this causes people to stay away from it. When prepped correctly — tofu can be an amazing, tasty and versatile addition to any meal.
Food prep videos to help get you started
Do you know about Cronometer? It’s a free app that allows you to log your meals and track all your macro and micronutrients in order to cut your weight in half. Health professionals can also use CronometerPRO to help their clients track and manage their diets which is awesome if you’re working with a nutritionist or dietitian.
You might also like this post: Lowering Your Blood Pressure on a Plant-Based Diet
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