Preparing food for the week or for the next day is simple and an easy process once you get in the routine. The key is to have fun while you’re prepping. Grab a roommate, a husband, partner, girlfriend, dog, bird, turtle, SOMEBODY to have fun with you in the kitchen. Although you DO NOT have to spend a lot of time in the kitchen or have a lot of space, it can be so much fun experimenting with new spices, flavors, colors, and foods. I suggest to start small and simple if it gives you anxiety thinking about how long it’s going to take and add complexity as you get the hang of it and start enjoying the process.
There are a ton of benefits of food prep.
- Save time
- Easy to track (calories, macro nutrients, and micronutrients)
- Portion control
- Mandate fruit and veggie intake
- Guiltless snacks and meals
Andy and I prepare meals for the week on most Sundays. Really, the day of the week is up to you and when it fits in your schedule. We choose Sunday because that’s our day to chill out, be together, and have fun while we prep for our productive week ahead. We grill out, steam rice, cook vegetables, make soups, and prepare everything in portion controlled containers (not a requirement but comes in handy). It sounds like a lot of work right off the bat but like I mentioned before, once you get in the routine of it, you’ll actually save time and live a healthier lifestyle that gives you the energy you need to achieve your LIFE GOALS!
Grilled chicken (or perhaps a vegetarian or vegan protein source), rice (or another healthy starch like potatoes or sweet potatoes) and mixed vegetables is our “go-to” combo for lunches and dinners. We can mix and match whatever foods we feel like eating that week. You can also freeze some of your food prep so this week you can have something you enjoyed last week and next week you can enjoy a little of what you made this week. Make sense? I’ve learned that we like variety. If Andy and I eat the same meal for lunch two or three days in a row, we’re generally tired of it by the next day. That’s when it comes in handy to have a frozen, prepped, reheatable option so we don’t reach for something unhealthy just because we’re tired of the repeat meal.
We can takes these! YES! They are egg muffins (no carb/low carb) and very filling and low calorie. Perfect for on the go breakfast. It’s as easy as grabbing a Poptart out of the pantry but MUCH more healthful and will keep you FULL until lunch time rolls around. This means you can focus on your projects or tasks you need to complete before your lunch break instead of thinking about when you get to eat next and what you’re going to eat.
These are the egg muffins before they are removed from the tray. Easy and fast recipe.
Egg Muffin Recipe
- 1 Dozen Eggs (can use egg whites if desired)
- 16 oz lean ground turkey (I like 93/7 but you can go leaner or less lean depending on your macro needs or use meat substitute)
- 1/2 White Onion/ or 1/2 c chopped green onion (optional)
- 1 Can diced potatoes (or you can dice up a fresh russet potato)
- 1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
- spices to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- brown turkey or meat until done
- chop onion
- Drain diced potatoes (if using can) / or dice potatoes (if using fresh)
- crack all eggs into a large bowl and whisk
- add shredded cheese to egg and whisk
- Spray muffin pan with Pam cooking spray
- spoon turkey grounds, onion, and potatoes into muffin holes evenly
- pour egg mixture over turkey ground mixture and fill to the top of each pod without overflowing
- Pop in the oven for 20 minutes or until the middle is firm
NOTES: You can make this your own recipe. Obviously, no one is forcing you to chop onions and add them if you don’t like them. If you prefer quick and easy, just egg, meat, and cheese it. If you prefer the lowest calorie, use the leanest turkey, only use egg whites, and nix the cheese. If you prefer a kick in the taste buds, add some salt, pepper, garlic powder, and maybe some chili powder and chopped jalapeno. You do you, friend. Eat what you want, like it, and be full until lunch. Shaboom.
FOOD PREP FOR THE LAZY
Food prep doesn’t always involve creating elaborate meals and storing them in individual containers and stacking them neatly and colorfully in your refrigerator. There are many weeks that I find myself traveling to several cities and I’m too tired when I get home to food prep. So, for these times, I have “prepped” my freezer with easy heatable veggies. Let’s face it, a bag of mixed veggies is healthier than a frozen pizza. Throwing some mixed veggies in a bowl and popping into the microwave or into a pot on the stove is faster than pre-heating the oven and then cooking a pizza and is much healthier. The cool thing about frozen veggies is that they don’t really go bad – at least not for a while. So you can go to the store and stock-pile your freezer and be set for the month… or two…. or three. So next time you go to the store, stroll through the frozen veggie isle and pile up.
FOOD PREP FOR THE GARDNER
This is me in our garden harvesting radishes. One year we planted an entire row of radishes and they exploded. We had radishes growing out of our ears we had so many radishes. So, we added them to our meal prep as the main course, had them as roasted side dishes, and chopped them up small for salads and snuck them into some dishes as a flavor enhancer.
Growing your own food is a totally separate, awesome, topic but is a great addition for food prep. Fruits and veggies are already packed with micro-nutrients (little amazing vitamins that your body absorbs easily), so it’s important to eat as many as possible. The different colors of fruits and veggies indicate the types of micronutrients that are contained inside the fruit and vegetables. When you grow them yourself, you have control over the environment. You can avoid poisonous pesticides and filthy fertilizers. You can make your healthy meal even healthier.
All-in-all, food prep is a fantastic way to get the nutrients you need to look great, feel great, have energy, and save time. There are tons of resources out there to help get you started. Below is a list of products that I use frequently (at least once a month) to make food prep recipes and most of them come with their own little recipe books. I use them as a base once and then change the recipes based on my own specific tastes and nutrient needs. Check ’em out!
- The NutriBullet
- Vegetable Steamer
- Food Dehydrator
- Crock Pot
- Veggie Bullet