Ever since John and I decided to kick our butts into gear about our health and fitness, we’ve been really cracking down on nutrition. We used to have it set in our minds that “if we workout, it doesn’t matter what we eat”. After continuing to see no results from all the “hard” work we thought we were doing, we realized that it’s going to take more of a conscious effort than we thought.
Eating healthy seems like it SHOULD be a really easy thing to do. And it truly IS, but you really have to find what works best for you and stick with it. We used to go to the grocery store close to every night to get something to make for that evening. This always ended up to be bad because we would end up picking things that were quicker to eat because it was already later in the evening and we didn’t want to be eating dinner at 9 pm. Another bad part about it was that we would always buy something random and useless just because we were making a trip to the store. Basically, we were always wasting money just because we didn’t grocery shop “correctly”.
I’d always seen a lot of people that are into fitness that would post their weekly “meal prep”. I would think to myself “that’s crazy, there is no way I could do that!” Until one day, John and I decided to try. We’ve been doing it for a couple weeks now, so of course that doesn’t make us experts by any means, but I thought I would share some of the tips that I find useful when it comes to meal prepping.
First of all, I should probably clarify what meal prepping is. Basically, you make all or at least most of the meals that you are going to be eating for the week on Sunday. That way, you already have items portioned and ready to eat when each day rolls around and you don’t have to worry about choosing an unhealthy option because you have plenty of healthy options that you made for yourself!
Here are my tips:
- Make a meal plan: Generally on Friday or Saturday, I like to come up with meals that I want to eat for the week and write them down in my notebook. I try to stick with “simpler” or “easier” meals so I’m not trying to make a 7 course meal come Sunday. Some easy things are overnight oats for breakfast, hardboiled eggs or chopped up fruits and veggies for snacks, salads for lunches, and a protein and veggies for for dinner.
- Gather recipes + make a grocery list: First things first, I like to print off any new recipes that I will be using for the week. Typically the servings for those recipes need to be doubled because John and I will both be eating that meal a couple times that week. So I like to make sure that I account for that when I compile my grocery list.
- Get your groceries: Depending on our schedules, I usually like to get my groceries on Friday night or Saturday so that we can start right away on Sunday. The grocery list might seem long, and it might add up, but believe it or not, John and I have noticed that we’ve been saving a lot of money on our groceries!
- Prioritize your recipes: Once Sunday comes along, I like to prioritize my meals by finding the ones that will take the longest and starting those first. For an example, this Sunday one of our meals was spaghetti squash with turkey marinara. We started to bake the spaghetti squash first because it takes over and hour to be prepared. We also started baking the chicken (for another recipe) at the same time to get that out of the way. Once you have some of the main things baking, we generally starting making the rest of the recipes.
- Put everything together: Once everything is cooked, grab your tupperware and portion everything out! Based on the serving sizes of the recipes, I put all the ingredients into one container and label it for the day that I plan on eating it.
- Clean up: The first couple times you do meal prep, it might take quite a while and it will definitely use a lot of dishes and utensils but just think, you won’t be doing all those dishes during the week!
Those are usually the steps that I go through when I meal prep each week. For those that are interested, I will be posting a sample meal plan and grocery list for people to use for their meal prep next Sunday. I hope these were helpful! Feel free to comment any questions below and I will answer them in my next post!