Meal prep can be an invaluable tool for anyone working to improve their diet. If you’ve never done meal prep before, we’re here to guide you. We even have a recipe to help you get started!
Meal prep is exactly what it sounds like: meal preparation that you do ahead of time. It can be as simple as cutting up some vegetables and fruit to use later in the week or as complicated as putting together full meals. Because some of the work will already be done, it will be much easier to stick with your healthy meals throughout the week!
- Pick a day and stick with it. A lot of people like to do the bulk of their meal prep on Sundays so they’re ready to start the week on a high note, but you can choose any day that works best with your schedule. You could also split it up and meal prep twice a week if you want. Just make sure that once you pick your meal prep day, you commit to it!
- To get the most out of your efforts, choose foods that will last a few days. For example, cooked chicken and ground beef are good for up to four days in the fridge, and hard-boiled eggs will last up to a week.
- Keep things simple. You don’t have to spend hours and hours doing meal prep to enjoy the benefits! Remember, anything you do ahead of time will help you during the week, so even a small amount of meal prep counts as a victory.
- Use the freezer. Having a few meals or ingredients prepped in the freezer can help you on hectic days. Cooked ground beef, turkey, or chicken can easily last up to six months in the freezer, which can then be reheated for an easy portion of protein!
- Embrace variety. Mixing things up will keep things interesting. For example, if you’re cooking four pieces of chicken, use different spices on each one. You’ll save the same amount of time, but you’ll have four unique meals!
Recipe: Easy Chicken and Quinoa
- 2-3 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 6 tbsp. olive oil
- 3 tbsp. red wine vinegar
- Juice from 2 limes
- 2 tsp. chili powder
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- Fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1 cup uncooked quinoa
- In a large resealable bag, combine olive oil, vinegar, lime juice, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
- Cut chicken into cubes and add to marinade. Toss to coat. Marinate for at least 2 hours and up to overnight.
- Preheat oven to 400º F. Place marinated chicken onto baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.
- While chicken is cooking, mix quinoa with two cups of water in a pot. Bring to a boil.
- Cover the quinoa, reduce heat to medium low, and let simmer until water has been absorbed—about 15-20 minutes. Take it off heat, let it cool, and fluff it with a fork.
- Divide chicken and quinoa into meal containers. Store for up to four days in the fridge.
We hope this guide to meal prep helps you get off to a great start. For more recipes and tips to transform your life, subscribe to the blog and check out our Facebook page!