HOW TO MEAL PREP
As a chef, I make my own bone broth, and steam my own veggies.
But guess what? You don’t have to.
I understand that cooking from scratch isn’t always an option.
But you can still start and end with whole foods.
Steaming broccoli seems ridiculous? Buy it frozen and reheat it in the microwave.
You didn’t marinade a chicken breast overnight? Grab one pre-cooked from Whole Foods.
Didn’t make your own salad dressing, don’t worry, olive oil will do.
Meals don’t need to be complicated.
Most of time I only have a few simple ingredients on my plate.
If you can remember the basic layout of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats – you are well on your way to a very healthy and balanced meal.
meal prep > meal plans
Meal planning is a massive effort.
Gathering recipes, altering it to fit your families needs or dietary restrictions, making a weekly schedule, a shopping list, and going grocery shopping – it gets overwhelming before you even start cooking.
Instead of selling my clients meal plans or trying to make them stick to a schedule – I try to teach them what to put on their plate.
So every time they feel a pang of hunger – they can look inside their fridge and throw together a perfectly balanced nourishing meal.
how I meal prep
Meal prep is very different than meal planning.
Meal prep consists of washing, cooking, and storing whole foods in your fridge. So at a moments notice, you can grab all the ingredients you need for a dish, and have them prepped and ready to go.
Any meal can be thrown together in a matter of minutes.
For example, some meal prepped protein sources would be: hard boiled eggs, cooked quinoa, roasted chicken breast, or pre-cooked ground beef.
How to meal prep vegetables? Buy them, wash them, chop them – put them in glass Tupperware in your fridge.
How about fat? Keep jars of nuts and seeds on hand, have cheese in the fridge, cold-pressed oils in the pantry, and butter out on the counter.
The point of meal prep is to have single ingredients prepped and ready to go.
Here are some of my favorite foods to have prepped ahead of time in each macronutrient category.
dark leafy greens
lots of chopped veggies
oils in pantry
How exactly can you make this happen?
Here is my tip.
Make your list, get something to eat, then go grocery shopping.
Pick a day where you know you can come back and get started on meal prep right away.
Don’t throw all your uncut produce in the fridge.
Because we all know what happens to kale when it’s put in the crisper drawer.
Play some music or turn on Netflix and lay all your produce out on the table.
Take everything out of their bags and commit to not putting it in the fridge until every last vegetable is washed and chopped.
Let’s do the steps together.
1. look at your loot
Get all those groceries into your house and lay them all out on the table. Put all the perishables in your fridge right away: meats, dairy products, and frozen food shouldn’t sit on your counter.
2. unwrap your vegetables
Take them out of the plastic wrap and toss it into recycling. Resist the urge to throw the produce in the fridge as the next two steps are a crucial part of meal prep.
3. wash it
I know this is annoying, but it’s a non-negotiable. Sprays, pesticides, and _____ can do damage to the fetus.
4. chop it up
I do meal prep 1-2 times per week, so I’m not worried about my peppers being cut up in my fridge. If I don’t cut up a head of cauliflower it’s unlikely that I’m going to take the time to slice up florets when I’m having a hummus craving. Pita crackers just won in a game of cravings. Cut your dang veggies.
5. seal the deal
The moment you cut up fruits and vegetables oxidation occurs. Your produce will slowly will denature thus loosing some of their vital nutrients. Sealing chopped veggies in air tight glass containers is a great way to keep them fresh for longer.
cooking your own proteins
Cooking your own protein isn’t as hard as it sounds, but if you aren’t in a position to do so, there are several pre-cooked options available for purchase.
Remember, they could have been cooked several days before you bought them at a grocery store.
Unfortunately when buying pre-cooked meat there are several unknowns. For instance, was there any cross contamination, how long were they cooked, and how long did they sit at room temperature before refrigeration?
If any meat or animal products smells off or looks slimy or discolored, I strongly recommend you do not eat it.
Usually I start cooking lentils, quinoa, and chicken before I start washing my produce. Once I have my proteins cooking on the stove I make my way back to my produce and start on that.
It doesn’t matter which parts of meal prep you do yourself and which parts you buy prepped for you.
The main point is to have your fridge full with single ingredients that are ready to be thrown together at a moments notice to make a healthy wholesome meal.