I really wanted to call this post my “Top 10 meal prep tips for anyone too hungover on Sundays or peeps who ain’t got time for that” but the formatting was all off, so, I went with “working crowd” assuming you know what I meant. But let’s get to the point shall we? Meal prep- everyone talks about it like it’s for people who have nothing else to do on a Sunday, but in actuality- it’s all about your mindset. If you “can’t even” when it comes slicing and dicing some fruit and veggies for the week, but you’re totally down to bake some pumpkin muffins or throw a chili together to smell all day while you watch football, you’re cheating yourself out of all the meal-prep possibilities I’m about to share with you.
That being said- these tips aren’t going to keep you chained to the cutting board for hours, or make you brave Costco on a weekend (unless you’re into that gauntlet atmosphere like me). We all know it’s much more fun to prep with a glass of wine on Sunday night than over a rushed cup of coffee Monday morning, so pause Netflix and try some of these- you’ll thank me around Wednesday.
- Slice On Sundays- Once you’ve shopped for your berries, greens, sweet potatoes and bananas- find what needs to be sliced and diced- and do ittttttttt. I slice up strawberries and portion them out into smoothie bags and ramekins for breakfast. I’ll slice up my veggies to roast and bag the rest for snacks. I slice any old bananas and toss them into the freezer, (never waste an old banana ever again) and if I’m making a fruit medley- I slice and dice into a big bowl. I find that my fruit lasts me longer and I have more control over my portions when I slice it all up and ditch the suffocating packaging.
- Roast In Advance- Turn on the oven (425 F)- wash and dry sweet potatoes, slice off ends, wrap in foil, place in oven. Leave in there until you smell them (about an hour). Take out, slice, and store. Voila- prepped sweet potatoes for the week. You can sprinkle these with cinnamon for a cold snack or rewarm and pair with any protein of your choice for dinner. Or mash ’em. I won’t judge. Roast any veggies you know you should put in a salad, but just don’t want to eat raw. My favorites? Asparagus, carrots, even broccoli- these made amazing salad add ins and keep your salad feeling like a meal and less like rabbit food.
- Crockpot All The Meats- Brett and I have been doing this a lot- we’ll place as many chicken breasts as possible in the crockpot and top with a ranch packet and buffalo sauce. Cook on high for 4-5 hours or on low for longer. Once the chicken is done- shred it and save it for a week’s worth of shredded chicken that will make ANY meal very tasty. Yaaas.
- Bake Your Breakfast- Like a peanut butter chocolate chip protein breakfast muffin that you can grab right before you head out (checkout my recipe here) baking your breakfast on Sundays means you have no excuse to skip the first meal of the day. Plus a healthy baked breakfast can have the carbs, fats, and sugar you crave (in moderation) because you’ll have the rest of the day to burn them off.
- Portion Out Snacks- Since you’ve sliced and diced all your fresh fruit and veggies, bag them for on the go snacks! 5 baggies of veggies and hummus or apple and peanut butter means you have 5 healthy snacks ready for you to eat whenever. Or throw together a bag of fruit and toppings for a yogurt.
- Throw Some Chia In That B- Chia seeds, sprinkle them like sunshine! Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber and protein- you can put them in smoothies, sure- but did you ever think to throw them on top of your strawberries? In your muffins? On top of your avocado toast? You can even put them in water to make drinking the obscene amount were supposed to drink a day a little more fun. I know, I know, this seems to easy to count as meal prep- but it is.
- Invest in Variety- No one (especially not me) enjoys eating the same thing every day- and meal prep gets a bad reputation for being repetitive. So invest in variety. Don’t just roast broccoli and eat it for 5 days straight, roast carrots, brussel sprouts, green beans, asparagus, and make a medley! Or keep the green veggies for your salads, and add the colorful ones to your dinner plate. You really can roast anything (425 degrees is the magic number) with olive oil, salt and pepper. The same goes for fruit- make a breakfast fruit salad of bananas and berries. Freeze 3 baggies and save for smoothies, and portion out the fresh fruit the rest of the week. I like to have fruit for breakfast but I also enjoy fresh fruit topped with caramel coconut flakes and cacao nibs for dessert. Sprinkle fruit on top of yogurt, or throw in your water for flavor. Are we eating the same 5 or 6 fruits and veggies? Yes- but we’re eating them at different times in different ways, which keeps our menu interesting as well as healthy.
- SEASON- Seasoning is another hack for meal prep. My favorite seasonings are as follows: Garlic powder (literally anything tastes good with garlic) onion powder, salt and pepper (duh) and then if I’m cooking with a cuisine in mind- I season accordingly. Don’t forget about herbs! Oregano makes anything Italian, fresh basil can take plain tomatoes to a whole other level, and rosemary takes potatoes and turns them into a rustic side dish. Another favorite flavor of mine is balsamic- I have a balsamic glaze that I drizzle on top of tomatoes, or mix with olive oil, salt and pepper for a quick dressing. Like spice? Keep red pepper flake at hand. Hot sauce is awesome but it packs a ton of sodium and can overcome other flavors. Season my friends- and if you’re worried about taking the time to do so on a daily basis- do it on Sundays- during your meal prep. 🙂
- For The Forgetful- Meal prep doesn’t stop with food- pack your multivitamins and supplements in advance as well. If you have your probiotics right next to your breakfast baggy- you won’t forget to take them.
- Portion Out Your Protein- Protein is a main focus for me, so I have many ways I like to prep it so that I get enough during my week. I will scoop protein powder into my smoothie bags, include a scoop in my overnight oats or even try and incorporate it into my breakfast muffins, and I always try and have a week’s worth of lean meat (protein) cooked so that I have no excuse when it’s 6pm and I’m too hungry to wait for a chicken breast to bake. Plus- cooking protein is much easier for 1 when it’s done all at once.
Alright- I’m very curious if anyone has any other hacks I missed- so let me know in the comments below! Questions? Also let me know in the comments below!
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