11 Feb MEAL PREP GUIDE
This meal prep guide will help you get on top of your nutrition and goals.
You already know that your nutrition plays a HUGE role in achieving your health and fitness goals, eating healthy, “clean,” wholefood meals will speed up your results exponentially. But if you’re like most busy people, you don’t have countless hours to spend in the kitchen each day.
The good news is, you don’t have to!
This guide will help show you how you can prepare and store healthy meals without spending an entire weekend in the kitchen doing “meal prep”
I’ll show you how to plan, cook, prep and store your food so that you always have a healthy meal ready-to-go.
There are two basic approaches to meal planning:
1)Spend your Sunday (or other any other time you have a few hours of free time) preparing
and storing your meals for the coming week.
2)Spreading your meal prep over the course of the week, so it becomes a continual process.
You can follow EITHER approach using this guide!
That being said, the second option works best for most people because it doesn’t
require spending hours in the kitchen. It also is more flexible than the single-prep
method. Basically, whenever you cook a meal, cook a double batch of whatever
you’re making and put the extra food in the fridge or freezer for later.
No matter which you choose, if meal prepping is new to you, I recommend
starting with baby steps… and plan and prepare just a few meals ahead of time.
Don’t expect to prep an entire week’s worth of meals your first time out – chances are
you’ll end up feeling burned out by the time you’re done!
Create Your Plan
Grab a piece of paper or worksheet and spend a few minutes creating a weekly meal plan.
Writing out your meals will help you stay on-track, save you money at the shop
and free up valuable time.
Also, keep in mind that even if you’re following a single-cook method, you’ll likely have to go to the grocery store midweek for fresh ingredients and/or cook a couple meals to make it through to the weekend.
Write out the next 5 to 7 days of meals, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks for each day.
Plan meals that let you double up on ingredients to save money. For instance, if you’re roasting a chicken, you can make a chicken stir-fry or toss some chicken in a salad or wrap.
Before heading to the shop, make sure you have a list of everything you need, including the amount and the recipe you are buying it for.
TIP: keep a running shopping list.
How To Store Your Meals
After you’ve done all the hard work of shopping, chopping and cooking, you have a decision to make when it comes to keeping your meals: to refrigerate, or to freeze?
If you don’t plan on eating your prepped meals in the next couple of days, the best bet is to prepare it for freezing. It’s better to put your food in the freezer sooner than later, which ensures you are storing a fresher meal.
If you plan to store your food in the refrigerator:
Portion out your meals in whatever way makes you happy. You can pre-portion your meals into single servings, or keep it family-style in a bigger container.
Put it in the refrigerator within an hour of cooking for ultimate food safety.
HOW TO PREP YOUR FOOD FOR FREEZING
1)Cool your food before freezing.
2) Portion out the meals. You can do this in individual containers for each meal you plan to eat, or in larger containers with multiple servings – it’s up to you.
Use the smallest container possible while still being able to securely close it (air is NOT your friend when you freeze items!).
3) You can freeze meals in moisture-proof freezer bags, which lets you get rid of as much air as possible before zipping the bag closed.
4) Label your container so you know what’s in it, the date it was cooked and frozen, plus any nutrition info you want to include.
5) Avoid overcrowding your freezer so your food freezes ASAP. If it freezes too slowly, it will form large crystals and turn mushy.
6) Thaw your food in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking.