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Quick and Easy Meal Prep

If you're like me, there is never enough time in the day and the last thing you want to do is meal prep. I've also never been a fan of meal prepping for the entire week because let's be real here, by Friday that food is NOT good. I don't believe in scarfing down nasty food just to meet your goals. I prefer to make a few meals for two or three days and make our dinners fresh at night. I have a few tips and food choices for quick and easy meal prep with a busy schedule.
1.) Use a George Foreman Grill instead of baking or pan frying. Baking is time consuming and pan frying can be fattening. The George Foreman Grill is made to cook the fat off the meat you are grilling and it does it fairly quickly by cooking both sides at once. I love the flavor of the meat you get from cooking on this grill. It can also be used for veggies! You can purchase the size of grill you need if you're cooking for one or more than one.


2.) Purchase frozen veggies. Nothing is more annoying than having produce go bad days after you buy it. It's always cheaper to buy in bulk but not worth it if you don't use all of your veggies up quickly. With frozen veggies you can buy large amounts, they last for awhile, and you can easily pull out the amount you need to cook. Then I like to cook them in a light drizzle of olive oil or steam them. I would recommend reading the labels on the veggies you buy to make sure you aren't getting veggies with any extra ingredients that you don't want.
3.) Divide meat before you freeze it. If you buy a package of lean beef, chicken, or fish and freeze it all together then usually you have to thaw it out all together and cook it or lose it. I prefer to purchase the tilapia that is already separated and ready to freeze or the frozen bags of chicken that are easy to pull apart so I can cook a few at a time vs. the entire package. If I know I'm going to be in a real hurry then I'll even buy the pre-cooked and pre-cut chicken to add to a salad or packaged tuna. However, this usually is more expensive and can have a lot of sodium (if that's something you're worried about).
4.) Pack easy snacks. I never pack snacks that I have to make because I just need something easy to grab like Kind bars, rice cakes, fruit, yogurt, etc. Just read your labels!! Also, take in consideration what you will be doing that day. I'm out and about a lot and in the summer I don't want to keep yogurt in a hot car even if it's in a cool lunch box.
Image result for kind bars
5.) Use the minute rice or heat up your sweet potatoes in the microwave. The potatoes are something I prefer to cook only the night before because they will get soggy. However, the rice can be made in bulk. I think the rice and potatoes taste just the same in the microwave as they do any other way. Make sure you add plenty of water to your rice and add some more halfway through the cook time. For the potatoes make sure you stab some holes in it with a fork and rotate it halfway through cooking. This is the quickest way for me to prepare my carbs!
6.) Keep dressings separate. Nothing is more disgusting to me than soggy food so if you plan on adding any liquids to your meals, make sure they are separate so you can add them when it's time to eat. Otherwise you risk a nasty meal!
7.) Make sure you have plenty of tupperware that is microwaveable. If you're constantly having to wash the same tupperware then you're just wasting more time! Have enough to get through the week and then throw them in the dishwasher (or hand wash) when you have time. I like to have plenty of sizes of tupperware too so I'm not taking up too much space when packing or don't have enough room for my food. Walmart has good packages of various tupperware sizes that cost about $10. Also, make sure you get good enough quality tupperware so that it doesn't leak!! You can opt for glass too if you have plastic concerns.
8.) Sometimes a good sandwich and carrots do the trick. Simple, and makes me feel like a kid again, sandwich items and baby carrots last awhile and I can just throw them in a bag and go. I still try to keep any mustard, mayo, etc. separate and add to my sandwich later on or it's soggy even within a few hours.
9.) Make sure you think about your daily plans in order to meal prep accordingly. It's pointless to meal prep something that needs microwaved if you may or may not have access to a microwave that day. Meal prep according to your schedule, where you'll be, etc. That way you're always prepared with a meal instead of getting stuck eating out when you spent the time meal prepping.
10.) Broaden your food horizons. Don't always stick to the same meals because you know they're easy to make and healthy. Sometimes you need variety and there's tons of other meals you can prep and take with you. Besides what I mentioned, I enjoy a serving of pasta with turkey meatballs and olive oil, tuna salad (using light mayo) and veggies, and grilled chicken tacos (keep your tortillas and condiments separate to avoid getting soggy). This isn't following any specific diet! Just eating things with nutrients that I also enjoy.
Hopefully these simple tricks will help you to be more prepared, have a little more free time, and actually have a meal that tastes good! If you're interested in any meal prep recipes then please let me know and I'll post some. That's all for now!

katie lynn

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