Meal Prep Like a Pro
Updated: Apr 21
You're so busy Monday through Friday, and you don't always have time to make your own lunches.
You end up:
Throwing your healthy eating routine out the window;
Spending more money (trust me on this one); and,
Adding to the mounds of takeaway containers already in landfill.
If that isn't enough motivation for you to start making your own lunches everyday, then I don't think anything is going to convince you.
But, if you're dying to get your meal prep mojo into full swing, I have got your back!
You Only Need 4 Things...
Groceries for one recipe (try this one);
About an hour every Sunday afternoon/evening;
Good quality containers (my top picks are below);
Once you've determined the recipe, and purchased the groceries, it's time to get the party started...
Sunday is the obvious choice for meal prep, as it is the start of a typical work week. But you can meal prep on any day and for any reason - not just for lunches during your work week. We started meal prepping our dinners as well some week when we know we'll be too busy to cook.... game changer.
My husband and I like to meal prep our lunches because, although we work from home, we don't want to spend the time to make our lunch everyday. We also meal prep dinners by doubling the recipe when we do make dinner, and storing them in the fridge (aka intentional left-overs) because, let's be honest, some nights we just CBF cooking, plus we often work late. But instead of ordering takeout because we haven't planned ahead, we always have a couple of meal prep options in the fridge.
Another tip I can also give you is to make your meal prep meals fairly bland so that you can add different flavors on different days. So, you might cook rice, some shredded chicken and veggies, but don't add any sauces or spices. Then on the day you take your meal to work, you can throw in some Italian herbs and balsamic glaze, or perhaps you feel like asian flavors today, so you mix some soy sauce and sesame oil through your chicken, and top with some Siracha.
This is the key to not getting bored with meal prep!
So, Let's Talk Containers...
I have a love-hate relationship with plastic. I understand it is one of the most useful resources to have ever been created. But over the last century it's become cancer for the environment. It's also not the safest option for humans to be eating off, preparing food on, etc.
If you're not buying toxic-free plastics for things like your food and skin care, you are more than likely doing long-term damage to your health.
So, these days I try to avoid buying anything plastic wherever possible.
My Top 3 Plastic-Free Container Options:
1. Prep Naturals Glass Meal Prep Containers from Amazon for about $25USD/5 pack.
Glass containers are my favorite, because they can be cleaned spotlessly, they feel nicer to eat off, and they are 100% safe for food. However, I know they can be heavy to transport, especially if you have a laptop and books, etc. So try these instead:
2. Kelly Green Silicone Food Storage Containers from Amazon for $30/5 pack
Silicone is known as being safer and more environmentally friendly than plastic. Plastic containers can leech chemicals when heated, and we all know we have a big plastic problem. But, if you're not sold on these babies, check these out:
3. 100% Compostable Clamshell Containers Made of Sugar Cane Fibers - works out to be about to be about 0.27c per container on Amazon.
The thing about disposable containers is, you'll always need to buy more. So it's not going to be the most cost-effective way to meal prep - after about 6 months, the costs of these will overtake the cost of the first two options. You also can't store your meals in these compostable boxes in the fridge for days in advance, as the box will start to break down, so you'll need to store your meals in a large container in the fridge, and then make your containers up in the morning for that day. So, that might seem a little counterintuitive to a supposed time-saving hack.
Nonetheless, make sure you buy compostable or biodegradable if you prefer the disposable containers.
Remember to check out my easy meal prep recipes. I even take the work out of it even further for you and calculate the total approximate expenses so you can know ahead of time how much it will cost you in total.
I'd love to hear from my readers - do you have trouble with meal prep?