Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That: 8 Easy Ways to Meal Prep

Well; this one is short and sweet!  You barely have time to prep your meals, let alone read a long blog about it!   One of the biggest struggles for myself, as well as my clients is meal prepping. How to do it?  What are some short cuts?  What in the heck do I prep? These are some of the questions busy moms, students, and competitors deal with weekly when trying to figure out how to make meal prepping and healthy eating fit into their busy schedules.

Here are 8 ways to make Meal Prepping Easier:

  • Choose specific days and stick to them!  This is my number one rule when learning how to prep.  Pick two days, with an hour aside of your time and make it designated prep time.  My days are Sunday and Wednesday; and they’re in my schedule like the bible.  The reason for this is that you can normally prep your food for 3-4 days out and I try to hit the store on what I might be low on the day before my prep days.  The biggest reason we don’t stick to our diets is by being unprepared and being tempted by naughty treats on the go.  If you put prep in your schedule and stick to it, results will ALWAYS follow.
  • Buy in bulk.  This is a tough one.  Everone is different, every goal is different; which means the amount of awesomeness in your fridge will be different.  What I suggest is buying in bulk the staples too what should always be in your diet: Protein and veggies.  I cook for myself and my boyfriend and we go through a lot of protein!  I Costco my chicken (2 pounds), ground turkey (2 pounds), and my fish or beef (1 pound) normally a week.  I also buy our veggies in bulk and make sure they’re flash frozen.  For the smaller portions in your diet, such as fruits and fats; I tend to stick to buying 1 serving for every day I’m prepping. For example: 4 days prep is equal to 4 avocados and 4 bananas.  This is a great way to keep healthy food fresh without overbuying and having to throw out expensive, fresh produce.
  • Measure, Portion, Repeat.  So you went, planned, cooked, and conquered; now what the heck to do with it?  The answer is portion that goodness!  A general rule of thumb for measuring your food is to keep it into categories.  Protein servings for women should be 3-4 ounces, vegetables and greens should be around 1 cup, and fats and carbs (depending on your goals) should be at almost always 1/2-1 cup for carbs and 1 serving for fats; think 1/2 an avocado.  When you know your portions, then you can get creative with putting your meals together.
  • Multi-task!  You can email, wrangle kids, wash the car, and still catch your favorite show; but you can’t food prep?  No way!  Food prepping in busy schedules is all about multi-tasking.  Cook your turkey on the stove top, while your fish and chicken is baking in the oven and your sweet potatoes are in the microwave.  Catch my drift?  Multi-task!
  • Everything doesn’t have to be from scratch!  Most people think EVERYTHING has to be raw, fresh, and from scratch to be healthy; and that’s true but there are short cuts!  Buy flash frozen vegetables; they keep better and have the same nutritional content as steamed or baked.  Same thing goes for frozen fruits.  The more you can store the less time and money you will waste.
  • What you packin?  You’re on your way to being a food preppingmaster, so lets talk about your gear.  I pack my entire days food in my cooler, that way I have no excuses to run out.  I am personally in love with my 6-Pack fitness cooler, that can be found on amazon or; but any soft shell cooler will work just fine!  I used to only use Tupperware to store my meals; but I’ve found that they take up too much room in the fridge and my cooler, so I’ve recently switched to Ziploc baggies for storage convenience; don’t worry I recycle the “bag ‘oh chicken” baggies every week.  Ziploc bags also save time on cutting down the dishes.  Portion out your supplements as well (protein shake, BCA’s, etch) and carry a shaker; this helps when you’re on the go and not have to carry around tubs of supplements everywhere.
  • Keeping your Fit Life fresh.  My clients always ask how to switch things up?  I wish I had a profound, innovative answer to give them, but it’s actually hard.  My suggestions are condiments and pick a style.  For example:  You know you need protein, veggies, and a serving of carbs in your lunch?  Why not try ground turkey stir fry frozen veggies, and a whole wheat wrap together with some humus?  Take the same meal proportions and have Italian by making turkey meatballs, steamed broccoli, and some brown rice and diced tomatoes on top?  My point it if you know you’re macros and portions; get creative with your condiments and spices.
  • A family that preps together, stays together.  You run the world it seem; don’t shy away with asking for help!  In fact, the fam might even enjoy it!  I always suggest to my moms to get the family involved in food prep time.  The kids love to help measure and cook and it gives you quality time and the opportunity to teach healthy eating habits.  Also, but that man to work on the grill!  By grilling all of your proteins it will cut half of your prep time down and give you a new reason to kiss the cook!
So there you have it. 8 ways to make prep easier. Now keep calm and prep on!