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Hey y’all! It’s starting to be a little bit chilly here in upstate New York and I have to say that I’m liking it! Just remind me I said that come middle of January when I have snow up to my eyeballs, ok? Seriously, this Texas girl is used to wearing flip-flops in December! I like to meal prep year around but right now as the air starts getting a little crisper, I feel like it’s one of the most important times for meal prepping.
First, it sure is nice when you don’t have to heat up your oven multiple times during the week making your house feel like a hot yoga studio. It’s already hot enough with the heat on!
Second, if you’re like me, hunger hits fast. I don’t want to admit this but I have been known to get a little “hangry” from time to time. I need something that is readily available for me to grab especially with taking children to so many activities this time of year! Meal prepping ahead of time ensures that I don’t grab something that I shouldn’t be eating and/or eating WAY TOO MUCH of it!
Third, most people have health and fitness goals they would like to reach and having the proper nutrition is half the battle. The phrase, “Abs are made in the kitchen,” is sadly the darn truth! I want to eat all the food but I also want all the abs! Heck, I’d settle for one ab!
Last but not least, summer bodies are made in the winter! Why not start now?! By the time summer comes around, you can show off what you worked so hard for months earlier and won’t be scrambling to find some miracle diet that will slim you down in 24 hours. Trust me, ahem, I can say this from experience.
Here are 5 tips to help you with meal prepping:
1. Plan Ahead
I feel like this might be a no-brainer but you NEED to plan on what foods you’re going to eat and meals of the day you’re going to prep when you make a menu. I love to look on Pinterest and see what kind of recipes I can add to my menu! Do you practice low-carb eating, vegan, vegetarian, etc? Do you need to prep for breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacks? For me it’s definitely lunches and snacks! I get so busy mid-day that it’s important for me to prep in advance! If you can’t prep every meal, prep some meals for when you’re the busiest!
2.Have the Right Containers
You can’t prep all of your food and not have containers to put it in! We have some that are different from our regular containers used for dinner left-overs as well as diced fruits and vegetables. We use these here and I really like them! They’re also microwave and dishwasher safe. Lazy girl win! They even come with a spork so you can take it with you to work or on the go. You can put salads, overnight oats, or fixin’s for protein smoothies for breakfast in jars (like these here) too. Dice up some veggies and fruits like carrots, celery, or grapes and portion them out in small ziplock bags to grab and go!
3.Combine and Conquer
Since you’ll likely be making quite a bit of food, why not cook your foods at the same time?! I like to put chicken with different seasonings together on the same sheet pan and different vegetables on a separate sheet pan and popping them in the oven. By putting them all in the oven together, it saves me time!
4.Take Short Cuts
Seriously. If there was ever a time in your life that somebody says it’s okay to take shortcuts, this is it. This is my go-to lazy girl/wanna be fit mom’s way. One of the ways I like to take shortcuts for meal prepping is by getting pre-seasoned meat at the grocery store. That way when I get home, I just pop it in the oven. There is minimal prep which is amazing!
The same goes for veggies. I love to get veggie’s like broccoli that steam in a bag. Pop that sucker in the microwave and boom! Part of your meal prep is done and you can spread that across multiple meals too! I try to steer clear of any that have sauces though. You can always add any additional flavor or seasonings after you cook them, that way YOU have control of what’s going into your body!
This last shortcut has to be a personal favorite of mine: Prepackaged salad mixes. You can typically find them in the produce section of the grocery store. I love these for the convenience as well as variety! Sometimes salads can get a bit boring but these help with that! If I have a little more variety, I’m much more likely to stick to a healthy lifestyle. Just make sure you look at the ingredients and nutrition label and see that there aren’t any ingredients that will hinder your goals.
5.Get You Some Gadgets
Having some gadgets on hand can help with meal prepping so much! I love having a food scale like this one. I am able to measure out how many ounces or grams of protein, carbs and vegetables that my husband and I would like as I’m putting it into the containers. No measuring cups needed! Less dishes = another lazy girl win! Also, another gadget that I like is an egg cooker. I received this one as a gift and it is awesome! It’s a great way to switch up protein or for snacks and they come out perfect every time. You aren’t peeling away yummy bits of your egg with your shell. I hate that!
These are some tips that have really helped me the last couple of years. If this lazy girl can do this, you can too! I’d like to think with a little meal prepping ahead of time, I can be lazy the rest of the week. Ain’t nobody got time for making fancy meals everyday! Do you have any meal prep tips to share?