No matter if you are a regular gym goer or just an occasional pre-summer visitor like myself, you are probably aware of the fact that only 20% of your results have to do with your workout efforts, while the remaining 80% of your fitness is dependent upon your nutrition. Eating healthy is not only crucial to our physical appearance, but it makes up the majority of our overall health as well, a fact we are all very familiar with, yet, for most of us the frustration comes as a result of not always being able to follow a steady healthy eating regimen. Fortunately, there is solution to all of our troubles, and it is called meal prep. Meal prep has been around for some time allowing athletes, fitness enthusiasts, families and children to stick to their healthy meals of choice, and not to get into a downward spiral of eating out and adding unnecessary calories.
Basic principles of meal prep
Make sure to set out the Tupperware according to the number of days you are going to meal prep for. Be careful with meat, as it usually goes bad after 2-3 days.
As carbs take the longest to cook, meal prep best practices show that it is best if you start cooking them first. This way, you will be able to prepare the rest of the food while it is cooked. Best choices for nutrient rich carbs include sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, and yams.
Vegetables provide most nutrients to your every meal. It is best if you steam them avoiding seasoning that are rich in sodium. You can experiment with different kinds of vegetables to find you most enjoyable combination. By now, the carbs should be cooked, so make sure to leave them to cool as you continue with protein.
You can prepare your proteins in a number of ways, you can bake, barbecue, pan fry, or broil lean meats such as chicken, ground turkey, fish and lean beef in order to provide your meals with healthy protein.
Finally, after everything is cooked and cooled it is time to put all of your ingredients together. You can measure the amount of each type of ingredient according to your nutritional needs.
10 Great meal prep recipe ideas
Time Saving Chicken Meal Prep
In order to add variety to your lean meat choices, try this brilliant idea of making three different flavored chicken dishes at the same time.
Hard boiled eggs in the oven
Time-saving idea for those of you who enjoy hard boiled eggs but lack time to prepare bigger servings. By preparing eggs in the oven, you can get a good dozen cooked in about 30 minutes while you prepare the rest of the food.
Freeze blended smoothies in muffin tins
Another great time-saving idea for smoothie lovers – prepare your favorite smoothies and freeze them in muffin tins. This way you can get a quick tasty breakfast in minutes, just by adding it to the blender.
Use spiralizer or simply chop your vegetables ahead of time, place them in Tupperware and keep in fridge for quick dinner.
Roasted veggies and Chicken Box
As meal prep is all about saving time and eating healthy, you can additionally cut meal prep time if you roast veggies that take the same time to prepare together. For example, put asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes in the same pan as they take about the same time to roast, whereas carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips take longer, so you can roast them together.
Instant oatmeal jars
Excellent breakfast idea that will help you prepare delicious and nutritious, energizing breakfast that will keep you full until lunch. Prepare jars of oatmeal, fresh fruit and add different flavors of choice and enjoy your healthy breakfast to go.
Amazing breakfast frittatas you can enjoy entire week. Prepared in advance, they can be good for an entire workweek.
Chocolate chip cookie dough protein balls
Rich protein snack that is easy to prepare and can last up to six days if kept in a fridge.
Grilled pesto salmon kebabs
Mix it up with protein rich kebabs that can provide protein addition for entire work week. You can either grill or bake them in your oven. If you are using wooden sticks, make sure to soak them in water before so they don’t catch fire.
Chopped Asian mason jar salad
Jarred lunch salads are a great way to enjoy your home made salads wherever you are. Make sure to place the dressing first, then add sturdier veggies like cucumbers or peppers. Put leafy greens or grains on top. Always put a paper towel on top to soak up the moisture if you plan to store it for a couple of days.
Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com
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