Meal Prep 101

 

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So I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking me how to meal prep…. therefore! I’m going to show you how easy it is, the trick is to do it all at once.

Meal Prepping is a great way to stay on track, especially when you are low on time and just want to grab something fast. Our first instinct is to go to fast food or something simple when were in a rush right? … So this way, you’ll already have it made and set to go so therefore your diet and all the hard work you’ve already put in with trying to eat clean and workout doesn’t go down the drain.

So what it basically is, is preparing everything you’re going to eat for either that week or more (depending on how much you cook). I like to do my meal preps about every week or even twice a week depending on what days I have off work.  In a nutshell- its cooking in bulk and eating left overs….

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First things first though, you’re going to need a good variety of Tupperware.

Then, you may be asking…. “but what do I cook???”

Well pretty much anything that your diet calls for… My meal preps usually consist of these things:

– LEAN PROTEIN ( chicken,  catfish, tuna, tilapia, salmon, shrimp, beef (shoot for the leanest you can find) , turkey, game meat(deer, elk) protein powders … eggs and egg whites would be good too. Hard boil them, it will make it easier too. )

– VEGGIES ( pretty much all is accepted. I like salads with different green blends, mixed veggies (frozen or fresh) zucchini, squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, asparagus…. you get the drift…)

– COMPLEX CARBS – Yams, sweet potatoes, brown and wild rice, quinoa, couscous, Oats, Whole wheat bread, beans.

– FATS (almonds, cashews, pistachios, avocado, coconut, walnuts, peanut and almond butters, flax, chia, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and oils and oil based dressings. )

– FRUIT – obviously you don’t have to “cook” these..  (pretty much any, Berries, apples, banana, peach, pear, orange, strawberries …etc. )

DAIRY- I don’t eat dairy for the most part, it makes me sick… every once in a while Ill have a Quest bar which has Whey protein isolate in it and I seem to do fine. If your going to add dairy, pick these! ( Low fat mozzarella, low fat cottage cheese, Greek yogurt (shoot for plain and add your own goodies!), low-fat milk and creamers for coffee and whatnot  )

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Now that we’ve got the basis of whats pretty much “healthy” and whatnot, how much do you cook? ? ?

Well that all depends on how many days your prepping for. You can do an entire week or a few days. Up to you. Best part of this way of eating (notice I didn’t say diet) is that you DONT STARVE and your constantly eating to rev up that metabolism to ultimately .. lose weight or gain muscle. You ideally want to eat every 3 to 4 hours so that makes about 5-6 meals a day. Now these meals .. since there are more than your average three, are going to be smaller in size, but that’s ok because every 3 hours your going to eat more.

Here is a basic every day meal plan for me currently.

Meal 1: Oats with 1 banana

(this is the time I workout usually)

Meal2: Protein Shake with a piece of fruit

Meal 3: 4oz grilled chicken, 1 cup brown rice and 1 cup mixed veggies

Meal4: 4 oz fish, Big salad with as much veggies as I want. 2 tbsp. oil based dressing  (you can add in a complex carb here if you’d like )

Meal5 : 4 oz turkey, 1 cup veggies (add carb if wanted)

M6: Protein Shake

SO in example I really only need to “prep” 3 meals per day. The oats and shakes take like 2 minutes for me to make on the spot … So when prepping keep in mind how much you actually need to make. Now I’m not saying to follow THIS plan, this is just an example .. Do what you want, make it fun, add in some fricken cottage cheese ( man I miss that stuff haha) and make it YOUR meal plan and make the food towards Your Goals!!

So basically cook like your having a party or barbeque haha. Light up the grill and grill up some chicken and turkey burgers, meanwhile while that’s going, cut up salad and veggies and also have either some rice on the stove or a few sweet potatoes in the oven. Its really quite simple, just start cooking and see how it ends up. Use different spices so things don’t always taste the same or seem bland. (I like Mrs Dash a lot because its salt-free yay!)

Put it all in Tupperware and you can even mark what day they are for on the containers if you want. The more organized you are the easier it gets. Preps usually only take me an hour (that’s 4% of my day) .. You have time, just find or make the time =)

Also, get creative, find new recipes and learn to have fun with it =)

HAPPY PREPPING!

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ps. I do a lot more “prepping” and what not on my instagram! FOLLOW ME! @amanda_fit_

 

 

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Saving more money at Grocery Store!

  1. Make a grocery list and stick to it! Even if something is calling your name… even if its on a good deal. Even though those chips you love are on sale … You don’t need them and they are NOT on your list! Don’t get them. sticking to your list can help with your diet and sticking to it and it can also help you save money!
  2. Plan your list around your meals for that week.. If you plan out your meals and what your planning to make for the whole week, you wont be tempted to buy the extra stuff…. planning is key if you haven’t noticed. I have this awesome app on my phone, it works as a grocery list planner and a meal planner so I know and can stay on track .. . I’m sure there are plenty of free ones online too if you Google search them too. . . =) The app I use is called Food on the table and its a little yellow icon.
  3. Look at your adds! I love Sprouts farmers market for produce, second choice Kings…. but things like cereal can be cheaper at Wal-Mart or Kings apposed to Sprouts.. So when you get to shopping, take a look at the prices and note where things tend to be cheaper for certain stuff… (with my app it shows me deals that are going on it local stores around me)
  4. Generic stuff is usually cheaper than the brand name stuff… most of its the same try it out.
  5. Use cash instead of your card, I know when I use my card I pay less attention to what I’m spending. Where as if I bring 80 bucks with me only to the store Ill make sure I only spend that much. Or also (I know King Soopers has it.. not sure out some of the other ones) They have a credit card for their store, the more you use it, the more point  and so on and so forth then you get free foods and coupons on things you buy regularly.
  6. Sure the pre-packaged items are cute and already in the smaller proportions sizes you should be eating… but chances are they are more expensive than if you were to buy the non pre-packaged stuff. So instead buy the whole package ad the small “snack size” plastic baggies and make your own “snacks”. The serving size is on the back of the bag- if it says 17 pretzels, put 17 pretzels in each bag.
  7. Some grocery stores will give you credit towards the store if you re-use your plastic bags or bring re-useable bags with you to the store.
  8. Cuopons.com or clip coupons… every dollar counts. Also a lot of stores lets you “load” coupons onto your frequent shopper card online so when you get to the store they automatically come out when you pay.
  9. Watch your sales…. stores are really good at advertising things to make them “look” like they are on sale when usually they aren’t really that great of a deal (example: Gatorade, 10 for $10… well besides that , if there isn’t a deal, they usually are $1 anyways… so really 10 for $10 isn’t a deal at all. )
  10. Don’t shop hungry, and try to shop without your kids, then they wont be begging for things that 1. you don’t need and aren’t on your list (because you made a list.. right?!) and 2. it just goes a lot faster haha.