Meal Prep 101

Hi! Welcome to class!
Today’s topic is meal prep, soo lettuce go! [<- yall see what I did there!?]

I. What is meal prep & when to do it?

Meal prep is simply preparation of your food so that you can [more] easily make and get your meals together.  It consists of chopping veggies, knowing what to eat a day or few in advance, making your snacks/ meals ahead of time etc. The things you do for meal prep are usually the tedious and irritating tasks that makes you say forget it, imma just grab lunch from the store. Most often it is done during the weekends because you have more time (if you work M-F) to sit down and figure out what to eat & what to buy for your meals. You can get your chopping and storing  done and you can even cook meals/sides that will last throughout the week.

This is an…option.

II. What I do && how it’s helpful

When I search meal prep online I see pictures like the one above. Yes, that’s meal prep, but I honestly believe doing that type of meal prep is crazy and eventually you will get so undeniably sick of eating the same stuff everyday for lunch. However, many people do that type of prep, if that is what you want…more power to ya. That ain’t my style. I like different stuff everyday.  MY meal prep is mainly for snacks and lunch.

My ideas for prepping:

  • Boil eggs- breakfast, tuna, put in your salad, deviled eggs
  • Carrot Sticks- just to snack on like a bunny, eat with hummus, stir-fry, roasting
  • Peanut Butter Crackers- just an easy snack
  • Greens (kale, collards, lettuce)- clean them and let them dry.  Cut them up so your can make easy greens dishes.
  • Chop Veggies and store in containers – onions/mushrooms/broccoli/ peel the garlic
  • Bake a few sweet potatoes, they are so sweet yet healthy, they can be used as a side, a snack or (if you’re like my mom) breakfast.
  • Make a LARGE salad- take for lunch or snack or dinner.
  • Tuna- make some tuna salad for a change. You can top your salad, make a lunch wrap, crackers and tuna etc. It can be a good change!
  • A pot of rice- use for a burrito, your own fried rice, any rice dish really.
This is how it looks at 6am

Wednesday-This is how it looks at 6am

Wednesdays I go to a yoga class at 7am. I have class at 10 and another at 1 so  I don’t get home until past 4. I have to take breakfast & lunch and lemme tell yall: Trying to get stuff together 6AM  isn’t cool. This is what I did last week ->  Breakfast: Yogurt, Cereal bar, egg. Lunch: Sandwich, Apple, Snacks: Carrots, Peanut Butter crackers, fruit snacks & a leftovers from a quinoa dish.  Everything in bold was premade. In the AM I just had to pack and go.

III: Misc Meal Prep Answers!

  1. To preserve fruits & veggies for the week there a few things that will make your life easier. You can blanch the greens, they will last longer and by blanching you won’t lose lots of nutrients. If you clean and dry your lettuce and greens that will help with freshness. Put off washing berries until you are about to eat them. Certain fruits/veggies shouldn’t be placed next to one another. In my honest opinion, do your produce shopping weekly/every 10 days. You really don’t want those items sitting around for long periods of time. Here’s a few other resources that will help with keeping produce fresh. Site 1. Site 2. 
  2. You shouldn’t worry about getting sick or feeling ill towards the end of the week because of the food you prepped earlier. Most of the times, unless you are making your own bars or trail mix, you will eat the food in 5-6 days. It won’t go bad when you store properly. If you don’t have a fridge at work, I suggest investing in a nice lunch bag and an ice pack. The shelf life for most if not all foods is longer than a few days,  no worries about illnesses for meal prepping.
  3. Snack ideas for the academics, workers or both! I fall into the both category. I actually made a list of snacks so I can have variety. it’s on my wall..cleverly entitled SNACKS!  I haven’t made any chips, but kale, sweet potato, carrot or beet chips are great, I would probably buy a bag, personally. Other snack ideas: hummus, make your own pita chips. Make your own bean salsa- The salsa can be used for dipping or a burrito for lunch or breakfast. Nut butters (peanut, almond, cashew) for celery or apples. Trail mix. During my break I made these date bars, sweet, but healthy and they lasted a long time. They were good for breakfast, a snack or dessert! You can always take it back to your toddler days with applesauce, dry cereal & raisins.   You’ll run into snack ideas randomly. Have fun with it.

I’m sorry to say this, but…when you start doing meal prep, it takes some. . . . work. You have to think about your upcoming week and decide what you can do to make your life easier. I love sanging in the kitchen and prepping. It brings me so much joy… but that’s just me. It gets easier I PROMISE && it pays off in the long run, ultimately, you are choosing to do this so you’re not out here getting fast & unhealthy food ++ you will be spending less.

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