3 Ways To Meal Prep

Ya’ll. The first thing we gotta make clear here before we go into the post:

Meal-prepping does not make you healthier/happier/more desireable. Meal-prepping is a choice, and it is NOT a diet. If you want to plan out some stuff, so your week is a little bit less stressful, then ALL THE PRAISE HANDS TO THAT but…let’s not focus on meal-prepping as a “fitness goal” or “lifestyle”.

I meal-prep some weeks because it helps me to avoid “hanger”. A super real issue for me. Heehee 😉

If I leave my class at 1, sit in traffic for half an hour, and then run into the house to try to scramble something together for lunch, ya best bet I’m going be experiencing some hanger. The don’t-talk-to-me-until-I’m-4-fork-fulls-in-to-my-food hanger. No one likes that!

However, I don’t even know if you can call this meal-prepping or if I want to call it that because I really don’t align with what traditional meal-prepping promotes:

-rigidity

-expecting your body to do the same thing and want the same thing every day (#ScienceFiction people) 

-not allowing variety

-not allowing yourself to listen to cravings

No thanks, I’ll pass, nope, and heck to the no.

I know I seem like I feel pretty passionately about this, and that’s cuz I do, but anyway, I will step off my soap box and we can just have a fun chat about three ways you can meal-prep while allowing room for variety and your good ole human-natured cravings.

(By the way, not hating on you if you eat the same thing for lunch every day. If you don’t mind it, then no biggie! So long as your letting yourself have whatever salty, sweet, bready, doughy, cheesy, fruity treat you are craving, too!)

So…what three ways can you meal prep that are simple, quick, and FUN?!

Prep the Big 4

Also known as: protein, fat, carb, and then a fruit or a veg!

You can prep individual ingredients at the beginning of the week and just make sure you have one of each nutrient, so that you can throw everything together each morning to make a balanced meal that will satisfy you.

For example, you can cook some chicken or hard boil some eggs for protein, cook some brown rice or cauliflower rice for a carb, roast some brussel sprouts as your vegetable and then call it a day. (You could essentially make something similar to a sheet pan meal and just use all the elements as you wish.)

Then, you can throw all this stuff together to make grain bowls, salads, or use as toppings for wraps or sandwiches.

Pictured above, I have long grain brown rice and red lentil pasta for carb sources and then I roasted sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini, and brussel sprouts for veggies. I mixed these up in different variations for a week and never got bored or felt like I wasn’t satisfied with lunch.

my version of Naturally Ella’s green curry with chickpeas

Make 2 Meal Options You Really Love

I’ve done this a few times before for work lunches and it works swimmingly!

Rather than expect your body to crave the same thing for every meal, make two different meals for the week, so you can alternate!

Example:

Meal 1 to prep: pasta salad over veggies with side of fruit

Meal 2 to prep: homemade burrito bowl

Try and pick two meals that utilize some of the same ingredients, so you can spend less at the store and cut down on food waste. For this example, you could use the same veggies (let’s say spinach, tomatoes, and corn) for both the pasta salad and the burrito bowl. And by sticking to low-cost carb sources like pasta and rice, you won’t make too big a hole in your bank account when you shop for the meals.

Utilize Leftovers

Cooking this weekend? Purposely make extra to use in lunches this week!

For example, grilled burger patties can be used to top salads for the week. Also, pasta noodles can be used for pasta salads. And another option – any veggies you make can go in bowls, salads, and tacos! Just be alert and look for opportunities. And always box up any leftovers when dining out that you could nom on all over again 🙂

I hope this post was helpful! Let me know if you try any of these options out or what your favorite lunches are for work and/or school!

X,

Cristina

 

  • This post is definitely helpful! I’ve been wanting to meal prep for the longest time now but never really knew what to make, or didn’t want to be having the same meals every single day. I’ll definitely take some notes from this!

    Kendal // Life With Kendal

    • Cristina Mandujano

      Glad you found it helpful, Kendal! Let me know which method you try and how it works out for you. I’d love to know!