I have read and heard about meal prepping at least a dozen times but I’ve never actually tried it. Sure, I’ve made a big batch of one food to eat throughout the week but I had never tried prepping a full week’s worth of meals (besides dinner) until this past week. The result was absolutely amazing.
Here’s the deal:
I don’t know what happened over the summer but I got lazy and unmotivated. My clothes started feeling tighter and it wasn’t because I had built some beautiful muscle. My body just seemed to start “swelling”. I knew I had to buckle down on eating better because my workouts have been going just fine.
I’m sure you know how frustrating it can be to workout only to not get the results you want. It’s generally because you realize your eating is off track and that is exactly what has been going on with me lately. Bad eating will cancel out a great workout every single time.
I don’t want to be doing Insanity for no reason! Hahaha. After some thought, I decided to go back to the 21 Day Fix Eating Plan. It’s the simplest form of meal planning I’ve come across and I’m all about doing what works for you.
My meal prep strategy is definitely geared more towards beginners because that’s what I am. I am brand new to meal prepping. I will be outlining each step I take below. Feel free to pick and choose what you think might work for you. (This meal prep strategy of mine works for any meal plan that you come up with – it doesn’t have to be The Fix!)
One thing about me:
- I usually eat the same 2 to 3 breakfasts, lunches and snacks
Eating the same or similar meals makes it VERY easy to meal prep and it’s cheaper too because you aren’t having to buy as many different ingredients!
My Meal Prep Strategy & Tips
Before doing anything I figure out my meals for the entire week. Again, this is easy because I’m so repetitive and I like to keep things simple. I plan dinners each week but I do not prep them. I go for super easy breakfasts, lunches and snacks and save dinners to have a bit more fun with!
Also, I create a grocery list of the things I need for all the meals I have planned and I only buy those things! This saves money and prevents my kitchen from getting overstuffed with food. It overwhelms me! Is that weird?
Once I’ve gone grocery shopping and unloaded all the goodness that is food, here’s what I do next:
Step one: Wash all produce. I use a solution of vinegar and water and let everything sit in the sink for about 30 minutes or so. Works really well!
Step one and a half: I cook any meat I’ll be having while the produce is soaking. This past week I cooked up a full bag of chicken tenderloin and baked a sheet of bacon.
Step two: I cut up all veggies that need cutting. I prefer to eat most veggies raw so I don’t cook anything at this point.
Step three: I put each of my meals (breakfast, lunch and two snacks) in their own container. I just grabbed some different sizes from Target. This makes it SO EASY to grab and eat!
Step four: I put everything into the refrigerator. :)
WARNING: Depending upon what types of foods you prep, you may or may not be able to prep for this many days in advance. Things like seafood will not keep as long as chicken or turkey.
1. The top shelf is generally reserved for milk, greek yogurt and eggs.
2. The next shelf down has my bacon, extra veggies I cut up, extra chicken and a package of country style pork ribs (which we’re having tonight for Roger’s birthday so I need to get those in the crockpot!), some leftover homemade tomato soup the kids made and some leftover cake from my little sister’s Sweet 16 party last weekend. :)
3. The third shelf down is where all the goodies are at! This has my breakfasts for the week (greek yogurt, fruit and slivered almonds) along with my fruit and veggie snacks. Behind the containers is some homemade salsa from my mother-in-law. So good!
4. On the bottom shelf we have a bowl of apples (I like them cold) and my lunches (chicken salad with veggies).
*In the drawers we keep the deli meats and cheeses, my gluten-free bread and wraps and romaine lettuce.
And there you have it!
This is the exact meal prep that I did this past week and it worked out amazingly well. I actually shopped and prepped on Monday morning of this week and it’s been so easy to stick to my meal plan this way. Overall it took about 3 hours of prep (including washing, cooking, cutting, storing, etc.) plus about one hour to get to Aldi and back. I think it’ll go a little quicker next time but it was still worth every second because I haven’t had to prep anything all week with the exception of dinners!
Ok, time to go get my workout done! I start week 4 of Insanity today! Hoping it goes better than week 3 did. :) As soon as I get to the halfway point in another week and a half or so, I’ll be doing an update video with my progress! I threw away my scale so I have no idea how my weight has changed but I don’t care either. It’s all about measurements and photos for me from now on.
Enjoy your weekend!