Meal prep doesn’t have to be time consuming or hard. We’ve been consistently meal prepping since 2011 so I like to think we know a thing or two. 😉
We’ve said it before and will say it again – meal prep is the main reason we have been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle for over seven years! It’s that important!
We’ve shared our Ultimate Guide to Meal Prep which is a step-by-step guide to meal prepping but also wanted to share our top 5 tips for food prep. Follow our guide and these tips for your most successful meal prep yet!
5 TIPS TO MAKE MEAL PREP EASIER
KEEP IT SIMPLE
- While we all love a five-course home cooked meal, trying to do that during meal prep will lead to overwhelm.
- Pick a few easy things to prepare in advance and get started! Our staples are boiled eggs (learn how to cook them in the oven!), overnight oats, Crock-Pot® chili, salsa chicken, and quinoa or brown rice.
- Choose simple recipes with easy ingredients for food prep. Save the more complicated recipes for later.
- Do not limit yourself by thinking you have to eat eggs for breakfast and chicken and vegetables for lunch.
- Let’s be honest – we’ve all had pizza for breakfast but pizza isn’t a “breakfast” food! This proves that you can eat anything any time of day. Once you realize this, it will free you to experiment with new recipes and different times of eating.
- We love eating what most would consider breakfast foods for lunch or dinner. Our latest obsession to prep is boiled eggs combined with these Pecan Pie Overnight Oats for lunch.
COOK IN BULK
- Cooking in bulk is the main idea of food prep so this is a reminder to throw one extra chicken breast on the grill or in the Crock-Pot® when doing food prep. Not only does this apply to protein but also to your vegetable and carbohydrate side dishes. Roasting an entire pan of vegetables to divide out for the whole week is a great way to get in your daily recommended servings with very little cleanup!
UTILIZE DIFFERENCE APPLIANCES AND/OR COOKING METHODS
- If you have a grill, Crock-Pot®, and an oven – use all of these cooking methods to speed up your food prep process. It’s easy to knock out food prep when you have chili in the Crock-Pot®, chicken on the grill, and vegetables in the oven!
PORTION OUT MEALS AHEAD OF TIME
- Last, but not least, is to portion out meals ahead of time. This is probably the most important tip, especially if you are using meal prepping to lose weight! After cooking your food divide it out into servings and place into containers that you will can then take to work, school, or eat out of at home!
Our favorite plastic containers are TakeAlongs® Meal Prep Containers. We love them because they have a Quik Clik Seal lid that keeps the lid secure (a MAJOR plus in our book!), they have a microwave-safe base, are top-rack dishwasher safe, freezer safe, and BPA-free. These aren’t little meal prep containers that you might be used to, TakeAlongs® can hold 3.7 cups of food.
The divided base tray makes it easy to separate food that you don’t want to touch! It makes it easy to put the chicken in one side and quinoa in the other or eggs in one side and overnight oats in the other – what you put in it is up to you!
Remember, the most important thing you can do is just get started! Even if you only portion out Greek yogurt and granola for snacks you are still taking the first step and moving in the right direction!23