Food Prep for Anti-Meal Preppers
I HATED the idea of meal prepping for the week. I didn't want to be locked into what I could and couldn't eat. I wanted freedom of choice! This is America!
Turns out meal prepping isn't so bad.
It has become a really great and beneficial habit. I never thought I would like doing it until I gave it a shot. Food prep can be extremely helpful for the average person looking to lose some weight and get back into shape. Remember, failing to plan is planning to fail.
A few hours in the kitchen on a Sunday afternoon can make a world of difference in regards to your health goals. Having premade meals makes eating a healthy meal simple and fast. It is also a smart move financially. You will know exactly how much food you need and nothing every goes to waste.
My problem before I started doing this was wasting food. I would stock up at the grocery store and then choose to cook something fast like scrambled eggs, or pick something up on my way home (burrito bowl from local Mexican joint, Las Olas) and then never cook all the healthy food I bought because I forgot to defrost it, or didn’t feel like waiting 40 minutes for the chicken breasts to cook because it was late.
I’m going to outline how I plan for my meals each week, and how this system can set you up for success.
This usually takes 2 hours or less of total cooking and cleaning time on a Sunday afternoon.
Gain super smoothie
I’ll usually make one every morning. Sometimes I’ll make two at a time and store the extra in the fridge until the next morning. Takes less than 5 minutes to put together. Most of the time, I'll skip breakfast. Crazy, I know. More on that here:
Mini egg muffins
These are fantastic, something my girlfriend found on Pinterest. They are super easy to make and great to the go. I eat them for lunch everyday, but they can definitely be used as breakfast too.
1. Spray a muffin sheet with cooking spray – I like the coconut oil spray.
2. Place a few croutons in each. Helps hold them together.
3. Wisk together eggs – We use a dozens eggs, one egg per muffin for you macro trackers out there.
4. Add in a third ingredient. This week we used ground beef because it’s what we had in the freezer. You can sub it for anything – bacon, ground turkey, kale, spinach etc. One- half pound seems to be the perfect amount. (Make sure you cook it first)
5. Pour egg mixture into muffin sheet and add as much of the third ingredient as you want.
6. Let it sit in the fridge for about an hour
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 16-18 minutes
8. Load up with Frank's Red Hot Sauce and enjoy.
After cooling, I put two in a plastic baggie and I have lunches for the week. I usually will eat them with an apple and some peanut butter.
We keep dinner boring. Same thing every night, Monday-Thursday. Consistency means we won’t cheat and we will stick to the healthy fuel already prepared. Here’s what’s on the menu this week - chicken breasts, jasmine rice and broccoli.
We buy the biggest package of chicken breasts the grocery store sells, then cook them all at once on Sunday. To keep it fresh and new, I like to mix up the spices and herbs that goes on the chicken. My favorite go-to – salt, pepper, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. I like it with a little kick.
Bake at 350 for about 35 minutes or until internal temp is at 165 degrees.
Steam fresh bags of frozen broccoli. Super easy, super simple. Load it up with garlic and some olive oil (or butter…madness!), to make it taste better (bearable).
Other go to favorite for veggies is to sauté some kale or baby spinach with some olive oil. Leafy greens wilt when you cook them; it is a good way to sneak more veggies in without feeling like you’re eating too many.
Lastly the starch.
We go with sweet potatoes or jasmine rice. Sweet potatoes are nice because there’s so many great ways to prepare them. My favorite is to make fries. I’ll put the recipe up soon - it's very easy.
This week however, we went with rice. A little bit of rice can go a long way. If you need help on cooking rice, maybe head over to a food blog because I don’t think I can help you.
My girlfriend likes to track her macronutrients and calories. Her servings get divided up in to Tupperware and she knows exactly how much of everything she’s getting.
Me on the other hand, I wing it with serving sizes. If I trained really hard that day, I’ll eat a little more, if I didn’t do much, I’ll eat a little less.
Either way, all the food for the week is cooked and I don’t have to worry about it.
Working late becomes less of a stress because I know dinner is already prepared and I’m not temped at all to get take-out somewhere on my way home.
In closing, choose a breakfast you can prepare in under 5 minutes. Smoothie, scrambled eggs (if you’re good you can do it in fewer than 5 minutes. Eat them straight from the pan to cut down time on dishes), or hard boiled eggs- which are great on the go.
Lunch should be the same almost every day, consistency is key. Salads are another great option to take everyday. Dinner should be already made when you get home. Life is too hectic to wonder what to eat each and every night, especially when fitness is a priority. Cook some protein, it can be anything, chicken, steak, pork, fish and then eat it with a bunch of vegetables and maybe some complex carbohydrates like a sweet potato, russet potato or some rice.
If you’ve been struggling to get in your healthy meals, try meal prepping for a week. It is very cost-effective and will help you reach your goals!