Solutions to all of your meal prep problems
Problem: I always intend to meal prep...but it never happens!
Solution: Prep your meals IMMEDIATELY after returning from the grocery store. This is essential and I do this all the time!
Want hard boiled eggs each breakfast at work? Boil them before you put the carton in the fridge!
Want grapes as a fresh afternoon snack? Wash them, take them off the vine, and pack them into snack baggies or tupperware!
Problem: How do I store my foods?
Solution: Any way that works for you! I recommend getting a large set of plastic or glass tupperware. But if you think the dishes will block you from your health goals, maybe plastic bags and foil are the way you need to go.
Problem: My fridge is too small!
Solution: Here are some fantastic ways to save on fridge space for meal prep
Prep your dry ingredients only - this still saves on time, but not as much.
EX: Overnight oats.
Put the oats, cinnamon, chia seeds etc. into a jar/tupperware and put it into the pantry! The night before, take 1 out of the pantry to add your milk and yogurt and put it in the fridge!
Keep ingredients prepped together in bulk.
Remember those grapes? Wash them, remove the stems, but keep them in their original bag!
Dice red and green bell peppers? Keep them in 1 container together.
Problem: I don’t enjoy cooking and food prep.
Solution: Buy pre-cooked and prepped!
Proteins - rotisserie chickens, tuna packets or cans, smoked salmon, precooked shrimp
Produce - everything comes pre-chopped these days. Convenience comes at a cost, though.
Want to have delicious bowls for lunches all week?
Bases: Make all of the (brown) rice ahead of time - or use mixed greens! Toppings: Chop your veggies, drain your beans, slice your limes - whatever you want! Proteins: For food safety, it’s not the best idea to eat leftovers 5 days later. I usually follow the 3 day rule. That means Sunday’s meat prep can be eaten through Wednesday. And on Wednesday, you will need to make more if you plan on having bowls the next couple of days!
Make large portions for your dinner and meal prep is a breeze - cooking for two? Double or triple the recipe to end up with lots of leftovers. Cook one time, eat many times.
Some items do not last 5 days, so use your smarts here. Maybe you prep 80% of meals on Sunday and on Wednesday night, finish up and chop the last few things.
One last thing….meal prep can be for ANYONE not just bodybuilders eating chicken with rice and broccoli EVERY DAY. For me, meal prep is a way to save time and eat healthy. Save yourself the stress and hassle of worrying about your every meal, every day!
Your Dietitian Friend,