Last year I wrote a post with some meal prepping tips, and I still use them every single week. It’s crazy how much meal prepping has changed the way I approach my meals and how less stressed I am in the mornings when I’m getting ready for school. I just grab my food and go! Every day I have healthy, delicious food to eat and all it takes is a few hours on Sunday to get that. Can you see why I love meal prepping?
Here are a few tips to try if you have decided to tackle meal prepping for the first time, or you are trying to find easier methods to the madness! If you have any tips of your own, I’d love to hear them.
Master your basics
These are the tips I covered in my first post about meal prepping: decide what recipes you’re going to use, write out your grocery list, plan your time wisely, and stock up on tupperware for storage. Easy enough, right?
Muffin tins are your new best friends!
I love muffin tins because you can make portioned versions of your favorite recipes, they cook faster and it makes it easier to take your meals on-the-go. I usually use the muffin tins for breakfast foods, but they can be used for all kinds of other things too! These are some of my favorite recipes to make using muffin tins:
Carrot Cake Baked Oatmeal Muffins
Smoothie Cups (which I’m going to try this week!)
Hard Boiled Eggs
*Make sure you invest in some good quality tins or cupcake liners so you can avoid getting flakes of nonstick yuckiness in your food. That happened to me once and that muffin tin went straight to the trash. Gross!
Chop, chop, chop
I won’t lie… chopping veggies and fruit takes forever. But I prefer to chop it all at one time instead of when needed so that I can save time later. Especially if I decide to make a veggie scramble in the morning and am running low on time, or I’m feeling tired after work and don’t want to put forth the effort. Also, by having my produce chopped and ready, I can easily grab some for a snack instead of reaching for what I normally want, like chips or cookies!
Plan for protein
I love protein! I used to shy away from it (don’t ask me why, because I have no clue), but in the past couple of years I’ve come to embrace it. It helps keep me satisfied throughout my day, and I know it plays a part in recovering from intense workouts. I try to vary the types of protein I eat so I don’t get too tired of one or the other. I use a lot of protein powder when I bake, and I like to prep some hard-boiled eggs for snacks and a bunch of chicken to use on salads or in my dinner recipes (I used this recipe for rotisserie style chicken last week and it was SO good. Better than any rotisserie chicken I’ve ever bought at a store!). For dinners I like to vary the type of meat I use, between ground turkey, beef, fish (like salmon, shrimp or tilapia) and chicken. It keeps our meals interesting and makes my hubby happy.
Package up your lunches
This is something you can do at the beginning of the week, or the night before. If I use leftovers from dinner, I’ll go ahead and portion out some food while picking up the kitchen, but if I made something specific for lunch I usually package up five of them and keep them in the fridge, ready to put in my lunchbox. Lately I’ve been on a Mason Jar Salad kick, but I also like to have warm lunches of roasted or grilled veggies (that I prep on Sunday) with some sort of protein (like rotisserie chicken or chicken sausage). Isaac likes making a huge batch of chili or soup that he eats for lunch over the course of the week, along with some rice or cornbread muffins for some carbs.
Connect with others for ideas!
When I am needing some inspiration for my meal prep, I connect with others! I love searching “meal prep ideas” on Pinterest or #mealprep on Instagram. There are so many different ways to do it and recipes to try. That’s the beauty of the beast called meal prep.