Meal Prep 101
by Meredith Aycock
I have learned a lot in my nutrition journey over the past nine years. One thing I’ve learned is that there is no “magic formula” or secret hiding out there. Consistency is the key. For me, the most important part in staying consistent is MEAL PREP. Regardless of whether I am eating clean, Zone, Paleo, Whole 30, counting macros, doing meatless Mondays, or trying to eat greens at every meal, prepping my meals ensures success. There is so much truth in the quote, “You prepare to fail if you fail to prepare.” Here are some meal prep tips to keep your nutrition SIMPLE and SUSTAINABLE:
- Grocery shop once a week, maybe twice if you forgot something.
- Fill your cart with fruits and vegetables, meats, eggs, cheese, and other ingredients needed for recipes in the rest of the aisles.
- Eat your produce in order of expiration date. Berries expire quickly, so eat them first! Save apples, oranges, and grapes for later in the week.
- Bake your potatoes in bulk. (5-6 at a time.)
- When cooking/grilling meat for a recipe, such as tacos, go ahead and cook an extra 2-3 pounds for leftovers to eat throughout the week.
- When steaming broccoli or another veggie for dinner, steam another batch while you are eating since the water is already boiling. (Time saver!)
- Crockpot chicken breasts with salsa, or buffalo sauce, or sun-dried tomato dressing, or any other liquid ingredient to spice up your meat is a quick and simple 2 ingredient recipe.
- Store your protein, carb, and fat sources in separate containers. That way you can make all kinds of different combinations when it comes to mealtime.
- For me, breakfast is usually the same every day. Find something you love to eat so you don’t have to overthink it.
- Try new recipes when you have time! Don’t stress yourself out – have fun with it! Food is delicious and good for our bodies.
I know there are some people who simply do not like leftovers. My challenge to you would be: give it a try for ONE week. At the end of the week, are you breathing and well? Do you even remember all the meals you ate? If you answered yes to the first, and no to the second, you are capable of eating leftovers. 😊
Most of us don’t have the time to cook every single meal (much less, clean the dishes), and eating out every meal will make it more difficult to align with the fitness/nutrition/financial goals that so many of us have. So do yourself a favor and start implementing some of these tips and tricks to help you reach your goals!