For something that’s supposed to save you time and money, healthy meal prep can seem a little intimidating. Lucky for you, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to help you get started! Why meal prep? Let’s talk about the benefits:
The first thing you’ll need for healthy meal prep is to-go containers! You’ll probably want a variety of sizes and types based on the type of meals that you’re making. Portioned containers are perfect for lunches, while mason jars are great for layered salads or overnight oats. You can then get small plastic containers for dressings, dips, or small snack items.
You’ll want plenty of Ziploc bags to help portion items for super easy healthy meal prep. Use them to store chopped veggies, portioned spices, etc. If you’re looking for a more environmentally friendly option, try reusable silicon bags to store your portions.
The best part of healthy meal prep is the food. Planning ahead is the key to successful meal prep. Before you head to the grocery store, decide what meals you’ll be prepping for each week, and try to choose recipes that overlap on ingredients. In general, you’ll want to include a protein, a veggie, a smart carb, and a healthy fat. Check out this infographic to get an idea of what these terms actually mean!
The trick to cooking clean and healthy meals that actually taste good is to use spices to add flavor to your food. Check out your local grocery store’s spice selection, or even try growing your own fresh spices at home! Spices like rosemary, basil, and garlic powder are versatile across a range of dishes, so they’re a great place to start your collection.
One of the easiest ways to save money while you healthy meal prep is to eat seasonally! You’ll be able to get fresher produce for less when you keep up with what foods are in season! Check out this guide from PopSugar to see what to expect year-round.
A crockpot will be one of your most valuable tools for healthy meal prep. There are endless recipes out there that require minimal effort and a crockpot! Throw in your ingredients, set a timer, and you’ll have a ready-to-eat meal within hours. See some of our favorite crockpot recipes at the end of this post!
The biggest advantage to healthy meal prep is that it’s a huge time-saver and that means you’ll probably want to keep your meal-prepping time as short as possible! Make a game plan of all the ingredients you need to prepare for the week to make your meal prep go even quicker. Try cooking all of your veggies at once, or throw together salads while you wait for a meal to come out of the oven. By using batch preparation and cooking similar ingredients at the same time, you won’t want to spend your entire day in the kitchen.
One hack that will save you tons of time on meal-prep days is to cut up your veggies in advance. When you get home from the grocery store, prepare all of your produce and portion it out in plastic bags or containers. When it’s time to meal prep, you’ll be able to just throw in what you need without any hassle!
Avoid the trap of unhealthy snacking by preparing healthy snacks that you can just grab and eat without any prep. Here are some of our favorites:
I’m sure we’re all sick of hearing about it, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day! It’s essential to consume the right nutrients for your body to use throughout the day, so make sure you plan easy meals for the morning. Here are some of our favorites:
Avoid the drive-thru by preparing your lunches at the beginning of the week! Portioned containers are perfect for lunches as they keep each part of your meal separate. Try to bring include a water bottle with your lunch for all-day hydration!
Moms, we’ve got some groundbreaking news for you: dinner doesn’t have to be a chore! Meal prepping for dinner at the beginning of the week will save you hours throughout the week. Remember to include a protein, veggie, and a healthy carb and fat! Here are some of our favorite recipes!
With this guide, you’ll become a healthy meal prep expert in no time! Try out any of our suggested recipes, and head to Pinterest for tons more great ideas. Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite recipe that we should try out!
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