You’ve heard it time and again, “abs are made in the kitchen.” This is true to a certain degree. Nutrition truly helps reveal the results of all your hard work in the gym, which is why meal prep is an important habit to cultivate.
I am all about the meal prep! Years ago, I started meal prepping out of necessity. I was broke, working at a non-profit during the day, studying for LSATs in the evenings, and living in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Boston. Eating out at restaurants was out of the question for my budget, so I always prepped my lunches ahead of time and cooked dinners at home.
(For easy meal prep tips on a budget, read this!)
Sure enough, meal prep became my #1 success habit for accelerating and maintaining my fitness goals. Nowadays, I let myself eat out once in a while, but I still practice my weekly meal prep ritual to stay on track with healthy food choices and enjoy my go-go-go lifestyle.
If you’re bored with your meal prep or not sure where to start, here are 6 ways to make it easier than ever!
Have a CrockPot handy
It’s crazy that I didn’t have a crockpot the first 8 years of my meal prep because now I can’t live without it! Crockpot meals (or InstaPot depending on what you prefer) will make your life a thousand times easier. You can make meals in bulk with minimal time investment, have plenty of leftovers for the week, or you can store some of it in the freezer for another week (I do this a lot with stews or meatball recipes). Of all the kitchen equipment to invest in, the Crockpot/Instapot is it!
Containers are a must
Speaking of kitchen equipment, you can’t do meal prep without containers to store all your food in. The key is to have containers of various sizes, even mini ones for storing salad dressing, berries, etc. I prefer glassware, but you can experiment with whatever type you like (personally, I hate the plastic kinds for anything I have to heat up). Also, I tend to reuse Ziplock bags a few times before recycling them. Good for you and the environment!
Get frozen veggies
I’m all for having fresh veggies on hand but it’s not always possible to stock up without some of it going bad. This is why buying some of veggies from the freezer aisle is so convenient. Once a month, I hit up my local Costco and purchase a giant bag of mixed vegetables, green beens and broccoli. Not only do I get some variety but it’s super easy to cook or steam the portions I need without letting anything go to waste.
Take your eggs to go
I eat eggs everyday for breakfast. I just love them. But I do get bored with the same omelet over and over, and I’m not really into eating a bunch of hard boiled eggs in the morning. When I know I’ll have a busy week, I like making egg muffins to grab and go with me. It shaves off a ton of time in my morning and it’s easy to make. You can grab a bunch of recipes off Pintrest for this one, and seriously, it’s so easy you’ll wonder why you haven’t whipped them up before.
Marinate, chop, and store
The hardest part of meal prep for me is prepping all the veggies and marinating the meats needed that week. This is why after my grocery store run, I wash all my fruits and veggies right away, store them in containers or ziplock bags, and do any necessary chopping. I may not be in full meal prep mode, but it does make things easier when I am ready to cook or want to throw some veggies into a smoothie with minimal effort. You can also use this time to marinate your lean proteins for later use. Just store in the fridge until go-time!
Protein balls, smoothies and shakes
Between clients, classes, and building Barbell Pilates I sometimes run out of time to sit down for a good meal. Having the ingredients ready for a quick protein smoothie, green shake or protein balls gives me a few snack options that I can take with me on the go. If you haven’t started incorporating any of these into your daily routine, I suggest starting with protein smoothies (your choice of protein powder + 1 cup unsweetened almond milk + 1/2 cup of your favorite frozen fruit + 1/2 cup of frozen banana thrown into a blender). It’s easy to whip up in the morning, super refreshing and of course, delivers major health perks!