Meal Prepping is the act of preparing meals to keep you from eating donuts! Just kidding! Meal Prepping is simply setting up some time to prepare your meals for the week or a few days, ahead of time. Because you’ve prepared these meals at home, they are healthier and do not contain all these processed foods. Meal prepping helps keep you accountable. It helps you make better food choices because it keeps you from making excuses of choosing unhealthier options.
WHERE DO I START?
First off, do not get overwhelmed or make this harder on yourself! Start very simple, and quick, think basic. Get yourself some food containers that are microwaveable to put your food in once its cooked and ready to store (can be found on Amazon, HEB, dollar store). Also, choose a day out of the week that works best for you to cook and prepare everything (my preferred days are Sundays). For my food, I always use my plastic containers and for things like fruits or nuts, I use snack bags for storage.
WHAT DO I COOK AND HOW?
Start with foods you already know how to cook. Don’t know how? No worries! I’m not a cook either that’s why I cook very simple things. My go-to foods are white rice, chicken, and veggies. So simple! Any grocery store sells the microwaveable or steamable veggies and you throw them in the microwave. Another super easy way to cook veggies is in the oven. You simply bake them, set the oven to 350 and take them out when they are just right for you. I’m all about easy and not making a mess so I use cookie sheets and cover them with foil. I then spray PAM on the foil and put my veggies on top. My favorite greens are broccoli, asparagus, green beans, and zucchini. When I eat spinach its even easier, I simply get one of my meal containers that have already been prepped and I put the raw spinach on top and stick it in the microwave (spinach shrinks).
I also love the veggie mix that has carrots mixed in as well. White or brown rice is very easy to cook; you just boil it and BAM! I also spray pam in my rice and throw in some cilantro after its cooked.
As far as proteins go for my meats, I like to eat top sirloin, chicken, and ground/baked turkey. Ground turkey you simply cook on the stove in a pan with some PAM or olive oil spray. My top sirloin I also cook on the stove in a pan. The tastiest way to eat chicken and beef is when it is grilled mmm! However, I can’t grill so I only have this luxury when someone at home grills for me. But my go-to cooking ways are the stove or oven. Chicken can be grilled, baked, seared or even throw it in the crockpot! The crockpot works wonders because you can throw in the chicken and add your seasonings and it will cook in a few hours. It will be very juicy and falls apart!
SEPARATING AND STORING FOOD
To make things even you can use a scale to weigh your food after it is cooked to separate and put into containers. If your cooking for the whole family, you don’t need to put in small containers but you already have these things cooked and ready to go once you get home from work, etc. I typically weigh 5-6 oz. for meat and roughly 1 cup for my veggies. My rice I typically use a ½ cup or anywhere from 5-6 oz. (just depends what I want). When or if you choose to weigh things, you place your container on the scale when its off, then you turn on the scale and add the food. If you add other things to weigh in the same container, you turn the scale back off and then on again to measure. (If not you’re weighing that individual food incorrectly). You can keep your foods stored in the fridge anywhere from 5-6 days, after that you need to throw out.
***Remember, you do NOT need to prep a whole weeks worth of food, you can start with 3 days worth and as you get better, you can prep for a week. (Sometimes I don’t feel like cooking things for a whole week because I want to change it after a few days).
Remember, I like to keep it simple and quick. I use PAM for everything haha! On my cookie sheets, I always use PAM butter. For veggies and meats, my favorite seasonings of all are Tony Chachere (salt-free) and McCormick’s grill mates. When I cook chicken or turkey I like to use paprika, thyme, a little low sodium broth, and some Tonys or McCormicks.
After meals are cooked you can always put some hot sauce on top if you’re a hot sauce lover. Some favorites are Franks Red Hot Sauce, Louisiana, Cholula, and Sriracha.
There are MANY seasonings out there, don’t be afraid to experiment! Your food does not have to boring!