It can be really difficult to eat healthy and nourish your body while trying to work through a busy schedule. For me personally, I find it difficult to stay on a healthy eating track while focussing on full-time school, working, and going to the gym consistently. That being said, a helpful and healthy eating strategy that I like to take part in, is meal prepping!
Before I get into what I like to do, I want to point out that there is no correct method to meal prep! Because everyone has different food preferences, diets, cooking abilities, and fitness goals, everyone’s weekly prepping is going to look a little different. I will preface this blog post by saying find what works for you! Personally, I meal prep because I don’t have much time in between classes to cook up a healthy meal. Alternatively, before work I am often crunching out assignments, yet my stomach is grumbling. Thus, I like to have a bunch of different things in my fridge that are ready to be whipped together quickly.
Imagine finishing a zoom meeting or coming home from a workout with little to no energy but needing to fuel your body somehow… Your options consist of spending a good 30-45 minutes (maybe even an hour) making something, or you’re going to resort to something frozen or premade out of the pantry. Although the second option seems easy, is it really going to do what your body needs from you? Here, I am not condoning restricting yourself, (I enjoy frozen foods and fast food as well) however, I am encouraging you to eat whole foods when you can. And prepping a variety of food makes this goal a lot easier!
Most of my prepping these days are for me to create nourish bowls and not necessarily other more interesting healthy recipes, however, you could totally plan those meals at the start of the week and prep for them as well. That’s said, this week I focus on telling and showing you what exactly and how I like to prep for the bowls. But be on the lookout for next week‘s blog post where I will talk more about how I combine these ingredients to create nourish bowls!
For starters, I prefer meal prepping on Sundays as that is usually the day I give myself the most “free time”. Moreover, this allows me to have everything prepped for a full school and work week ahead. With that said, I often allow myself to order in or eat out Friday evening’s and Saturdays, so, I usually plan for 5 days of eating, however, sometimes it lasts me more!
Some of the various things I like to prep include grains, vegetables, and proteins. Most of these items don’t require much prep. For some, I may need to chop, season, and bake, however, others may only require a boil or steam, or even just opening the can and rinsing.
- Quinoa and Rice – cook
- Yams, baby potatoes, and peppers (any colors) – chop, season*, and roast (usually I do them with all the same seasoning to make things easier)
- Broccoli and cauliflower – steam (sometimes I will roast these if I am feeling extra fancy)
- Cucumbers – chop (I like them small so I will cut them into circles and then in fours from there)
- Grape or cherry tomatoes – wash
- Canned corn, beans, and chickpeas – de-can and rinse (a lot of the time I will quickly season* and pan fry the chickpeas before making my bowls)
- Chicken – season and pan fry or bake
- Eggs – boil
Not bowl-related, but I have also recently discovered zucchini noodles, so, I like to spiralize those at the start of the week, so they are prepped for quick “pastas”.
*Seasoning usually includes garlic powder (or minced or fresh garlic), onion powder, seasoning salt, cayenne pepper or paprika, and pepper. They are also well coated in olive oil.*
Look here for a great meal prepping guide – all you need to know!
Some other benefits of meal prepping include saving money, saving time, and reducing stress. I can attest to all of them, as eating meals has made me very stressed out in the past, as I have been forced to eat unhealthily due to a lack of time.
Give meal prepping a try and stay tuned for next week’s post!
Signing off for now…