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 on 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 a 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 get into a downward spiral of eating out and adding unnecessary calories.
The basic principles of meal prep involve setting out Tupperware containers 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. Carbs take the longest to cook, so 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 the most nutrients to your every meal. It is best if you steam them, avoiding seasoning that is rich in sodium. You can experiment with different kinds of vegetables to find your 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, including baking, barbecuing, pan-frying, or broiling lean meats such as chicken, ground turkey, fish, and lean beef 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.
Meal prep is a great way to save time and make sure that you are eating healthy meals without being too hard on yourself. However, coming up with healthy and tasty meal prep ideas can be key to sticking to the plan.
Here are ten great meal prep recipe ideas to get you started:
1. 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.
2. Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven
A time-saving idea for those of you who enjoy hard-boiled eggs but lack time to prepare bigger servings.
3. Freeze Blended Smoothies in Muffin Tins
Another great time-saving idea for smoothie lovers – prepare your favorite smoothies and freeze them in muffin tins.
4. Spiral Veggies
Use a spiralizer or simply chop your vegetables ahead of time, place them in Tupperware, and keep them in the fridge for a quick dinner.
5. Roasted Veggies and Chicken Box
As meal prep is all about saving time and eating healthy, you can cut meal prep time if you roast veggies that take the same time to prepare together.
6. Instant Oatmeal Jars
An excellent breakfast idea that will help you prepare a delicious and nutritious, energizing breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.
7. Muffin-Cup Soufflés
Amazing breakfast frittatas you can enjoy the entire week. Prepared in advance, they can be good for an entire workweek.
8. Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Protein Balls
A rich protein snack that is easy to prepare and can last up to six days if kept in the fridge.
9. Grilled Pesto Salmon Kebabs
Mix it up with protein-rich kebabs that can provide a protein addition for the entire workweek.
10. Chopped Asian Mason Jar Salad
Jarred lunch salads are a great way to enjoy your homemade salads wherever you are.
Meal prep can be a game-changer when it comes to sticking to a healthy eating plan. The trick is to find the meal prep ideas that work for you, and the 10 recipe ideas listed above are just the tip of the iceberg. By taking the time to meal prep ahead of time, you will save yourself time, money, and frustration while making healthy choices that benefit your physical appearance and overall health.