What is meal prep?
Meal preparation (meal prep) is what can save each of us who doesn’t have much time to cook during the week. With a meal prep you can forget about eating unhealthy foods or about that crazy cravings.
This concept of “meal prep” is known and practiced especially by those who workout, for example, those who do fitness for pleasure or performance. Nutrition is very important, so this help them to stay constant in their goals.
Meal prep means that you have to spend like 1-2 hours and organize meals for several days, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You can either prepare more ideas for breakfast, lunch or dinner, depending on how busy is your program. For example, if you know you’re running out of time in the morning, you don’t have time to eat and all that can save you in that moment is a croissant or a pretzel taken before going to work/school/collage, then you should prepare more breakfasts for several days.
Don’t forget about the snacks, because they save you from the crazy hunger between the main meals. No more unhealthy snaking, choose healthy snacks: 20-30 gr. walnuts, peanuts, almonds; Fruits – 2 kiwi, 1 banana, 1 grapefruit, berries; Dairy yogurts (Greek yogurt 2%), kefir etc.
Before you start preparing your food, you have to have a plan. This plan includes the recipes you will make, but also the shopping list which you will take with you at the supermarket. And NO, that chocolate ice cream should not be in your shopping list! When you plan your recipes you have to consider a very important thing: the food you will prepare today must be good in 2 or 3 days from now too. Truth be told, I’ve never tried to prepare my meals in advance for more than 3 days, and as others do it for a week, I find it too much and I don’t think that food is just as fresh. There is also the solution to portion the food and freeze it, which I don’t agree with.
Now that I’ve explained you what it’s all about meal prep, let me show you how I prepared my meals in advance for three days!
As you can see in the picture below I have:
Vegetables: zucchini, frozen green beans, carrots, cucumber, tomatoes, sping onions, spinach and green lettuce. You can also choose according to your preferences: broccoli, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, eggplants, etc.
Fruits: this time I bought more bananas, but I also like kiwi and apples
Grains: (70 gr. quinoa, 100 gr. millet, 50 gr. oats). Normally I would have chosen whole brown rice, but I wanted to diversify a bit and I replaced it with quinoa and millet.
Nuts: almonds, walnuts (you can choose hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios)
Protein: eggs, chicken breast, 2 cans of tuna
⇒ I started by seasoning the chicken breast with salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, some olive oil, lemon juice and I let it marinate for 20 minutes. During this time I washed and cut the vegetables and boiled the quinoa (in 150 ml. water) and millet (in 200 ml. water).
⇒ I put the chicken breasts and the zucchini (seasoned with salt&pepper) in the oven for 25-30 minutes until the chicken breast was cooked. I let the carrots to boil for 10 minutes, then I added the green beans in the same pot and let to boil for another 7-8 minutes.
⇒ During this time I managed to prepare the oats (overnight porridge oats) in which I put: 50 gr. oats, 100 ml. milk, 1 banana and I also added some black currants. I mixed 2-3 times the composition and put it in the refrigerator. One breakfast is done. Also for breakfast I boiled and 3 eggs, which I didn’t peel off, I will remove their shell only when I eat them. These eggs will go perfect with some tomatoes, crakers with cream cheese or 1 avocado. For one more quick breakfast I also made a smoothie from a banana, a handful of spinach,cucumber and 1 orange.
⇒ I cut some vegetables for a salad, which I will eat for dinner with 1 can of tuna. I will open the can only when I’ll eat the salad. Only then I will also make a dressing from salt, pepper, olive oil and lemon juice.
⇒ The snacks I thought of are: almonds, walnuts or 1 banana
⇒ Now that all the ingredients have been cooked, all I have to do is to put them in casseroles. I will make different combinations so I won’t get bored with the same lunch or dinner. An idea of lunch which I’ve already eaten is: chicken breast, zucchini, 2 tablespoons of quinoa with carrots and green beans.
By preparing meals in advance, not only you save time for the rest of the day, but also help you to avoid eating unhealthy foods knowing that you have your next meal assured.
Have you tried to prepare meals for several days? Let me know in the comment section 🙂