Last week, we talked all about meal planning and shopping. This week, we’re going to actually talk about prepping your meals and why that’s important. I’ll also give you a few tips and tricks that I’ve found work pretty well.
Let’s get started, shall we?
There are a couple ways to meal prep. Some people like to take a day to chop, prep, and cook for a whole week. Some people choose to prep the next day’s meals the day before. It’s really your preference. Personally, I do a mix of both. I might make a giant salad on Sunday to eat throughout the week, or cut up some fruit and veggies that I can easily grab each day. I might also make a pot of hard boiled eggs for some quick protein. I don’t tend to cook a whole bunch of chicken breasts all at once, or make a giant pot of rice. However, I suggest trying both – see which ones work best for you. I get bored with food easily, which is another reason why I don’t prep a whole bunch of chicken breasts or rice and broccoli all at once. I like variety.
As a sidebar, invest in some good containers to keep your food in. I literally have an entire drawer full of plastic containers (which is never organized – just ask my husband) but it makes it nice because I have so many, I don’t need to worry about washing daily! I also have a few different sizes, depending on what I need. Amazon has some great options for containers, but you can always find some at the dollar store, Target, Wal-Mart, wherever. I also recommend investing in a few ice packs and a nice sized lunch box, especially if you don’t have a fridge at work (or, the fridge at work is a mini-fridge shared by like, 25 people…).
So, however you decide to do it – just do it. Sometimes I switch up what days I have my lunches planned, so I prep the night before and put everything in my lunch box in the fridge. That way in the morning I literally just grab and go.
Another amazing kitchen gadget is the Crock Pot. It can make SO many different things, and feed my husband and I for at least a few days. Every now and then, I spend a few hours in the kitchen chopping up meat and veggies. Then, I throw them into a plastic bag and write what else needs to go in for that recipe, like chicken stock, spices, etc. You can always take something like that out of the freezer and toss it in totally frozen into the Crock Pot and it will be ready when you get home – just make sure to add a little more cook time to it. This is also a great idea if you don’t mind eating the same thing a few times a week – make something on Sunday, portion it out, and you’re good to go all week!
Keeping snacks at work is a great idea, so you’re not tempted to run to the vending machine or run out to grab something if you’re hungry. I have a mix of salty and sweet at work, that way I know I can always grab something if I’m in a particular mood. I also bring yogurt and a cheese stick daily, just in case! And yes, I have a couple emergency squares of chocolate. Sometimes, you just need dark chocolate so you don’t stab people.
Share with me: what are your other tricks to making meal prep a little less painful?