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How to Meal Prep Like a Champ



I am here to give you the 411 on how to meal prep as if it were an olympic sport. People think putting their leftovers in a Tupperware and going to work/school is meal prepping, but I am here to provide you with all of the tips and tricks of meal prepping like a champ.

In this blog, I am going to provide you all with the do's and don'ts of meal prep, what foods make good meal prep foods, and what foods to buy at the market each week. I'm going to be saving you money and time. So, let's get to it!

 
First off, why are we meal prepping in the first place?

The concept of meal prepping is preparing all the foods you'll eat for the following several days or week. Sure, people complain to me that they don't have time to meal prep every weekend, but they are also the same people to complain to me that they don't have any time to make food for themselves on the weekdays.

Sure, it will take a couple of hours on that one weekend day to prepare all of the food, but it will save you all of the rushing around in the morning before school or work to prepare your meals. Not only will you have your breakfast and lunches ready, but you'll also have dinner ready after a long day's worth of work. There will be no need to wait 45 minutes for an overpriced Uber Eats or to try to make a new meal from scratch.

You'll open your fridge, grab your meal prepped dinner and thank your Sunday self for preparing that dinner for you. Trust me, if you designate 1-2 hours on a Saturday or Sunday to prepare 5 days worth of meals, future you is going to want to kiss past you!


The Do's and Don'ts of Meal Prep

1. Buy sturdy, BPA free, glass or stainless steel, Tupperware that will not easily leak through a bag.

a. I suggest buying ones that are compartmentalized to separate your foods.

b. Go for Tupperware that is easily stackable in the fridge so they are able to fit easily.


2. Build balanced meals. Meal prepping makes eating nutritiously so much easier because it will encourage you to eat the meals you make over snacking on random foods during the day. So, when you're building your meals, focus on having a protein, fat, and carb in the mix.

a. You don't want to just put a bunch of veggies in there or a piece of steak. We want to build a full balanced meal in a box!


3. Properly store and reheat your prepped meals.

a. If you make a salad, do not add the dressing the day you prep it. Make the dressings on the side and pour it on the day of. If you pour it on the day you meal prepped it, it will become very soggy.

b. If you create a warm meal, do not reheat it more than once. On the day you prep all of the warm foods, evenly distribute all of the foods into each container and let them sit outside for a bit to cool down naturally. Then place them into the fridge.

i. Then, on the day you'd like to enjoy that meal, reheat it once. If you save the rest for later, avoid reheating it because you may be susceptible to food poisoning and we don't want that.


4. Make food that can last 4-5 days in the fridge without going bad.

a. Not all foods make good meal prepping foods and we are going to discuss this in the next segment.

 
What Foods Are Great For Meal Prepping?


Wait, not all foods are good for meal prepping?

Honestly, no. From years of experience, I learned that there are foods that last in the fridge better than others, they don't smell funny when you open up the Tupperware in the office, they won't make much of a mess, and they taste fresh up until the last day. So, I am here to provide you with my go-to ingredients to use for your future meal prepped foods. I am going to divide them by their food category.


1. Fruits:

a. Berries - blackberries, blueberries, strawberries (not precut), raspberries

b. Grapes

c. Cherries

d. Dates

e. Avocado - sliced the day of (I've tried every avocado hack and none really last more than a day)

f. Banana


2. Vegetables

a. Arugula - raw

b. Asparagus - baked

c. Bell peppers - raw

d. Bok choy - steamed

e. Broccoli - steamed

f. Carrots - raw

g. Cauliflower - steamed

h. Celery - raw

i. Cucumber - raw

j. Kale - massaged with olive oil, lemon, and salt

k. Lettuce

l. Potatoes - baked

m. Radish - raw

n. Spaghetti squash - cooked properly in the oven and insides are removed

o. Tomatoes - raw


3. Grains

a. Bread - not toasted

b. Oats

c. Rice

d. Barley

e. Quinoa

f. Bulgur

g. Pasta of some sort


4. Animal products:

a. Eggs - boiled (can be smelly, I only did this when I was eating in my car alone)

b. Cheese - sticks, not melted

c. Beef - steak, either pan seared or grilled

d. Chicken - baked, grilled, or pan seared. I suggest going for chicken breast because it's the leanest.

i. You can also buy a rotisserie chicken and de-bone it.

e. Turkey - deli meat or shredded prior

f. Salmon - grilled or baked

g. Shrimp - baked

5. Legumes:

a. Black beans

i. If canned - make sure you properly drained and washed them. You can eat them like so or sauté them in olive oil and salt for 5-8 minutes.

ii. If fresh - soak them over night, boil them, rinse, and use them as you like.

b. Cannellini beans (white kidney beans)

i. if canned - make sure you properly drained and washed them.

ii. If fresh - soak them over night, boil them, rinse, and use them as you like.

c. Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)

i. if canned - make sure you properly drained and washed them.

ii. If fresh - soak them over night, boil them, rinse, and use them as you like.

c. English peas

d. Edamame (deshelled)

i. These are great steamed or microwaved.

e. Fava beans

i. I'm talking about the Arab canned fava beans. You can boil these just like in the recipe I have on my page, but wait to add the olive oil and tahini until the day of.

f. Green lentils

i. Make sure to boil these through well

g. Red kidney beans

i. If canned - make sure you properly drained and washed them. You can eat them like so or sauté them in olive oil and salt for 5-8 minutes.

ii. If fresh - soak them over night, boil them, rinse, and use them as you like.

h. Snow peas

i. These are great steamed.

i. Sugar snap peas

i. These are great steamed.


6. Nuts and seeds of all kinds are great to add on top of your meals or on the side to snack on.


7. Vegan products like tofu and tempeh should be baked.


8. If you're going to add any crackers into the Tupperware, do it the day of because you don't want them sitting in the fridge to get stale and cold.

 
What Foods to Buy Each Week at the Market


Now, this is totally up to you and your preferences.

We all have different financial standpoints and taste in food. Also, some of you may be watching your macros so use my advice to your liking. However, I am going to help you navigate through your supermarket to tell you what you need.

From experience, I found that the most cost efficient and easy way to meal prep is to make the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day. Sure, it could get boring, but to ensure that you don't, try to switch up the meals every week. If you do oats for breakfast the first week, you can try to do a chia pudding for the next!

So, if you're someone that gets lost in the supermarket and doesn't know what to get to prepare meals, I got you. I'm going to divide the sections up in breakfast and lunch & dinner as one.


Breakfast:

1. Start with choosing one source of protein:

a. Eggs, breakfast sausage are two options

b. If you're a vegan - black beans make a great option

2. Next, let's choose two fruits:

a. Banana, berries of any kind, grapes, or cherries

3. Choose one carb base:

a. Sliced bread or bagel

b. Oats

c. Potatoes

d. Quinoa

e. Tortilla wrap

4. If veggies fit the mix:

a. Spinach

b. Arugula

c. Tomato

d. Bell pepper

e. Broccoli

5. Choose one source of healthy fat:

a. Avocado

b. Nuts of any kind: cashews, almonds, walnuts

Lunch & dinner:

1. Start with choosing two different sources of protein (one for lunch and one for dinner, unless you don't mind eating the same one twice):

a. Shrimp

b. Beef

c. Chicken

d. Turkey - deli meat or shredded prior

e. Salmon - grilled or baked

f. If you're a vegan - black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, edamame, tempeh, tofu, or fava beans

2. Choose one carb base:

a. Potatoes

b. Quinoa

c. Sliced bread

d. Tortilla wrap

e. Bulgur

f. Rice

g. Spaghetti squash

h. Pasta of some sort

3. Choose 2-4 veggies:

a. Arugula

b. Asparagus

c. Bell peppers

d. Bok choy

e. Broccoli

f. Carrots

g. Cauliflower

h. Celery

i. Cucumber

j. Kale

k. Lettuce

l. Radish

m. Tomatoes

5. Choose one source of healthy fat:

a. Avocado

b. Nuts of any kind: cashews, almonds, walnuts

c. Cheese: mozzarella sticks are my personal go to

d. Dark chocolate

6. IF you didn't have any fruit for breakfast:

a. Have a fruit on the side to enjoy


7. The extra things you would buy could be olive oil, lemons, herbs, maple syrup, dijon mustard, etc. These are going to be up to you!


Now here is the part YOU need to decide -->

There are different types of meal prepping

1. Making full meals ahead of time to have for the rest of the week

a. Each meal you have is a full meal you could order out.

b. It could be a tortilla wrap, sandwich, salad, nourish bowl, teriyaki bowl, etc.

2. Preparing all of the ingredients for the week of and creating them each day

a. Some people choose to wash all of their produce, cook the protein, and grains they're going to use that week, and chop the ingredients they know they'll use.

b. Then, the day of, they'll just put it all together in 5 minutes and go.

c. If they come back home after a long day, it would minimize the amount of time they would have to stand in the kitchen as well. All they would have to do is put the ingredients together.

* This is what I personally choose to do. I will prepare my chosen protein and grains of the week, and easily build salads and bowls in under 10 minutes the day of.*

3. Creating snack boxes and not full meals:

a. Many people go for this option. Instead of building a full meal, they will create individualized snack boxes with each macro they would need from a full meal.

b. So for example: their breakfast could be strawberries, some breakfast sausage, ½ avocado, and 1 slice of bread. Their lunch could be 4 deli turkey roll ups, 1 sliced cucumber, 5 almonds, a piece of dark chocolate, and 2 rice cakes.


It is up to YOU how you want to go about meal prepping, but I hope I've been helpful thus far. In the next week I will be creating multiple meal "preppable" recipes for you all for some inspo so stay tuned! Leave me a comment down below if you have ANY questions.


xoxo,

#averagearabgirl














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