Part of my inspiration for starting Passportunities was fitness and health. I gained a significant amount of weight in a very short period of time in 2014 and I wasn’t living a lifestyle that made me happy so it was time for a change. I started doing the Bikini Body Guide by Kayla Itsines and also purchased the meal plan she had at the time. I started meal prepping for the week every Sunday (before my 5-day work week) and it’s made a huge difference in my health.
I love meal prepping for so many reasons:
1. It forces me to eat the healthy food I’ve prepared rather than ordering take-out.
2. Less dishes to do during the week. I wash my lunch containers at work and don’t need to wash pots every night! (cons of not having a dishwasher is needing to wash them by hand).
3. I’m not a big “snacker” but I snack less when food is ready-to-eat. I’m so bad for eating while making dinner if I’m hungry and then still eating a full dinner.
4. (Hopefully) less waste! I’m buying exactly what I know I’ll use in a week.
The start to a good week of meal prepping is planning your meals! If you’re one person or a family, sitting down and making a list of the foods you plan on eating for each meal saves a lot of time during the week. I love choosing new recipes from cookbooks I have picked up over the years or from Pinterest! Here are a few ideas for meals:
Breakfast: Overnight oats, egg muffins or smoothies keep really well in the fridge.
Lunch: Quinoa salad and rice wraps are so easy and nutritious
Dinner: Rice with a protein and vegetable, shepard’s pie or chili
Snacks: Fruit, veggies with hummus or roasted chickpeas
PRO TIP: check out your local grocer flyers to plan your meals around items that are on sale. I love picking up asparagus or a roast for the week when they’re on sale!
After choosing your meals and snacks for the week, write out your list of ingredients to pick up. It’s helpful to organize your items by sections in the grocery store: fruits and veggies; meats/protein; dairy; grains; and extras such as spices.
Next, you’ll have to pick up your ingredients! Head out to your local grocer and buy whatever you need.
PRO TIP: Use FLIPP to price check and bring reusable bags.
Personally, I prep all my ingredients and then combine them. I’ll put my meat in the oven, cook some quinoa and/or rice on the stove and chop all my vegetables and put them in bowls to measure out later. Once all my ingredients are prepped, I’ll start combining to make salads, chili, soup, etc.
It takes a little bit of trial and error to get your portions right and to not waste food but starting out the week with healthy food already prepared definitely helps
- Keep sauces or dressings on the side, especially for salads. Crunchy greens are much more enjoyable than soggy ones!
- Most items last about 3-5 days in the fridge. Be mindful about how long/fresh your ingredients will stay after cooking. You may need to prepare a few items halfway through the week.
- Make use of your freezer. I freeze fruit that is too ripe for me to eat for use in smoothies or to make sorbet later. Freezing spinach or kale before it goes bad (if you won’t eat it fresh) is another way to reduce waste – you can use it in smoothies too! Chopping vegetables for use in soups later is another way to take care of vegetables that you won’t use in time.
Do you meal prep? Do you have any advice or tips – comment below if you do!