5 Lean-tastic Meal Prepping Tips
Sometimes life can get super busy and it can be hard to prepare fresh meals and snacks everyday. That’s when meal prepping comes in handy! When I say meal prepping, I am referring to preparing 5-7 days worth of healthy home cooked meals all in one day. Doing this can save you A LOT of time and makes it easier to eat healthy throughout the week. Meal prepping can seem like a daunting task, but it can be quite simple with the right techniques. Here are my 5 meal prep tips to help make your week LEAN!
1.Invest in the Right Containers
The containers you use are super important when meal prepping. Personally, I prefer glass containers as opposed to plastics ones. Plastic containers tend to hold on to food odours whereas glass containers (after going through the dishwasher) look and smell like new! Although the plastic containers are often less expensive, the smell retained in the plastic can eventually affect the taste of the food in the container, and you will end up having to replace them. Another benefit of glass is you can put it in the microwave! Although some plastic containers are microwave safe, the heat can deform the container over time. This can save you time so you don’t have to switch your food into a microwave safe bowl and have double the dishes to wash after!
2. Line your Containers with Paper Towel
This tip is helpful when you are prepping any sort of fresh produce, whether its a lean salad, or a healthy snack of carrot and celery sticks. Fresh produce tends to go bad quickly, but when meal prepping, we need the food to last in the containers for up to 5 days (fresh produce won’t last in containers any longer anyways). When lean prepping, moisture will begin to build in the containers which is what causes the produce to go bad. This is when paper towel comes handy! If you line your containers with paper towel, it will help absorb some of that moisture, which helps your food stay fresher for longer!
3. Use Simple Ingredients and Lots of Spices
This trick is for those of you who enjoy changing things up on a regular basis! No one wants to eat the same meal everyday, then again, I doubt many people want to spend endless hours in the kitchen prepping different meals for each day of the week. A LEAN tip I like to use when I want to change things up, is using different spices & sauces with a simple base. So for example, a chicken breast can be super bland on its own, but there are so many different spice & sauce combinations you can use to change the flavour of the chicken and essentially make a new meal! You can cook 3 of your chicken breasts, whole, with one spice and sauce combination, and with your other 3 chicken breasts, you can slice them up and add them to a salad creating a whole new meal option! This method can work with any kind of meat, veggie, or grain. Another way to go about this method is pre-making 2-3 different healthy sauces or dressings for your food and use a different one each day.
4. Cook in Batches
When meal prepping, it is VERY beneficial to cook your food in batches. This tip can save you a lot of time and energy. You will spend less time in the kitchen because everything will be cooking at once, AND you will less dishes to clean after the fact! There are so many recipes that can be cooked in batches: Soups, meats, and veggies are all great options to try when batch cooking. You can Check out one of my batch recipes in one of my previous leancipe blog posts!
One of my FAVOURITE ways to batch cook is by using a slow cooker (Or the newer “pressure cooker” -- more on that later) Slow cookers are so easy to use and don’t require constant attention when cooking. You can even throw all the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning, and have it ready for when you get home from work! Check out the leancipe for my slow-cooked Chicken Tuscan Soup if your looking for a great slow cooked recipe to try!
5. Keep Snacks Simple and Easy
FINALLY, when meal prepping, it is also important to prep some lean snacks for your week, so you aren’t tempted to snack on anything unhealthy! Keeping snacks simple makes it easy for you to just grab something quick and go, without having to worry about getting hungry. We include a TON of healthy snack options in our Lean Meal Plans to ensure that our Squadies are snacking properly! Some healthy snack ideas include, yogurt & almond butter, veggies (carrot, celery, pepper sticks) with hummus, or a healthy bar (remember to read the label!). You can also try out my no bake protein ball recipe coming soon on the blog! No matter what you choose to prep for your snacks, make sure it’s easy to prepare and easy to eat on the go!
There you have it Squadies! 5 lean meal prepping tips! Look out for future blog posts for yummy and lean meal prepping ideas!
Have a leanmazing week!