Meal Prepping 101: How To Simply Get Started
Meal prepping has played a huge role in changing my relationship with food — more on that later — and I felt so lucky to get to share some of my favorite tips on The Jason Show.
Where do you land? Are you a meal prepping expert, do you fall right in the middle or are you someone who needs to add some meal prepping baby steps into your life? Overwhelmed? Just start where you are.
Here are the Scenarios
--You do no meal prepping...
Set aside one hour (outside of grocery shopping) to clean and cut up your produce. It likely won't take you an hour. Listen to a podcast, book on tape, watch Netflix. I set aside my cheesy reality TV shows to watch during meal prep.
Once you have developed a habit, start adding in meal development. Grill or bake chicken for easy salads. Make taco meat for burrito bowls. Start batch cooking -- chili is an easy way to start.
Baby Steps: Hit up the salad bar at your local grocery store. It isn't the most cost effective way to meal prep but if you are someone who is short on time, throwing money at the problem is a good way to go. If grocery shopping is your issue, look at a grocery delivery service to cut one thing off your list of things to do.
--You do some meal prepping...
Start adding in a staple that can used multiple ways during the week. Shredded chicken and pork are great options -- taco night, salad bars, morning omelettes.
Team up with a friend, co-worker or neighbor and do a meal swap. If you are someone who gets bored with meals easily, this is a fun, easy way to switch things up.
--You are a meal prepping expert...
Start stocking your freezer. Batch cooking is a great way to cut down on your weekly meal prep. Stocking your freezer is also a great way to prepare for life's hiccups -- life happens! Things come up. And the best intentions can be ruined. So having back-ups in your freezer are a great contingency plan.
Tips and Tricks
Start looking at meal prepping as a chore you have to accomplish on the weekend, the same way you would handle laundry or yard work.
Commit to a meal -- Pick one meal each week that you are OK with being the same. Breakfast and lunch tend to be the easiest. If you are someone who eats out a lot at work -- for social reasons -- commit to eating the same breakfast every morning and either prep it on the weekends or put it together the night before.
For meals you want to reheat, use glass containers.