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Meal Prep Tips for Beginners

meal prep tips for beginners

Meal prep does not have to be difficult and it certainly does not need to take all day. I meal prep for an hour (at the most) on Sundays every week because I have a crazy busy work schedule, like most of you. Even though I have the luxury of working from home, I still find myself so busy I forget to eat sometimes - so the less thinking I have to do about "What on earth am I going to eat now?!" the better! So having meals that taste good and that are easy to prepare is imperative to staying on track with hitting my macro goals! Having meals already prepped & ready to go also prevents me from grabbing something convenient, which - let's be honest - are usually not the best options! A couple hours out of my Sunday is well worth the time & energy I spend in order to make my work week that much easier :)  If you are new to meal prep, here are my 5 tips to getting started!

Calculate your macros

  1. If you have no interest in tracking your macros (which I hope you do!!) then skip this tip & start at #2. If you need some guidance and coaching with tracking macros, I suggest getting my personalized macro program.

Don't overcomplicate it

  1. Think of the basic macronutrients: protein, carbs & fats and try to assemble meals that include foods from each macronutrient group. By no means does meal prep have to mean that you are following a bunch of 15 step recipes to cook for the week. So, keep it simple. Remember, simple does not have to mean boring or flavorless either. Here are some quick & easy protein, carb & fat sources to choose from.

  2. Protein: Foster Farms pre-cooked chicken strips , hard boiled eggs, cooked shrimp, greek yogurt (I love Oikos Triple Zero and Dannon Light N Fit), protein bars & shakes (my current faves are the Alaninu bars and Premier Protein Shakes), tuna packets, edamame, to name a few.

  3. Carbs: brown/white rice (many store sell individual servings of pre-cooked rice that you simply microwave for 60 seconds), tortillas, bagels, oats, sweet potato & baked potato (cook these in the microwave instead of baking to make this prep easy), veggies in a steam bag, rice cakes, to name a few.

4. Fats: almonds, oils (cook your protein in this to add fats to your meals), avocado, salad dressings, nut butters, to name a few. Once you select some favorites, then build your meals around those. Remember, each meal should include a protein, carb and a fat.

Here's a quick guide to give you some ideas also!

nutrition 101 macro cheatsheet

Utilize different kitchen gadgets to cut down on your time

There are SO many easy ways to cook meals that don’t require you to stand over your stove for hours. I use my crockpot and/or instapot A LOT to cook chicken and other meats. Throw some chicken breast in there with some seasonings, or salsa, maybe a little chicken stock and set it on low for 4-5 hours and it’s done. I mean, it doesn’t get easier than that. I also use the oven for a lot of my meals because I can throw in my protein (like salmon), a carb (potatoes) and some veggies (broccoli or green beans) and cook it altogether in one sheetpan. Another tool I use to help cut down on time (and dishes) is my rice cooker – best. invention. ever.

Cook in bulk

Cooking a bunch of stuff at once is what will save you the most time, no matter what it is you’re cooking. I do a lot of grilling in the summer, so I’ll put a ton of chicken or turkey burgers on the grill, along with a few ears of corn and foil wrapped baked potatoes and BOOM – there’s a meal. I also like to cook a little extra that I don’t include with my meal prep, just so I can have it ready to go on hand for dinners, etc.

Use containers & a bag that can store your Tupperware

I use an isolator fitness bag with different size containers so my prepared meals and snacks are already weighed out and ready to go. There are also several difference storage containers and Tupperware options available on Amazon. Even with working from home full time, I've found it to be such a time-saver to have a couple meals prepared in advance! The less thinking the better for me :)

I hope these tips helped you get started on your meal prep! Keep up with me on Instagram to get some tasty & fun recipes and other healthy tips!

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