6 Easy Meal Prep Tips for a Simpler & Healthier Week
Sep 06, 2017
We all have busy lives. Between work, play, and sweating it out at our favorite beer fitness events, there’s little time left to cook and enjoy healthy meals all week long.
That’s where meal prep comes in. Meal prep can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to mean hours in the kitchen. There are simple things you can do to help you eat more thoughtfully and save you time throughout the week.
Here are six meal prep tips to help make your week a little healthier.
1. Find Your Staple Foods.
You know those healthy foods that you could eat every day without getting tired of? Put them on your grocery list.
Meal prep doesn’t have to involve an extensive list of extravagant foods. All you have to do is pick your favorite healthy foods and make them work for you all week long. These staple foods should be versatile and easy to mix and match with multiple meals throughout the week.
A few examples of these staple foods might be:
- Lean protein (i.e. chicken, fish, eggs, and beans)
- Leafy greens (spinach, kale, spring mix, etc.)
- Seasonal fresh fruit (strawberries, grapefruit, bananas, etc.)
- Sweet potatoes
2. Make an Intentional Grocery List
Grocery lists are crucial to meal prep. It can mean the difference between buying what you need at the store and buying what you want (like chips and ice cream).
Take a few moments to think about your schedule for the week and decide what meals you’d like, including what ingredients you’ll need. How many nights will you be home for dinner or will you need to pack a lunch? You’ll be less likely to make impulse buys and buy too much food that will go to waste if you stick to your grocery list.
There are great downloadable grocery lists online that help planning your trip to the store a whole lot easier. For example, check out this template that includes a meal planner for the week and a grocery list organized by food category.
3. Use Your Whole Kitchen
Once you’re back from the grocery store and you’re ready to break out your Top Chef skills, remember to be strategic. This means using all parts of your kitchen at the same time. Sounds complicated, but it’s pretty simple. While you have your chicken baking in the oven, you can be chopping your fruits and veggies on the counter and cooking your quinoa on the stove. Using your entire kitchen will make the meal prep process quicker and more efficient.
Don’t forget that using all of your kitchen includes the microwave, too! There are plenty of ingredients you can pop in the microwave to help get you ready for the week even faster.
A few of these items might be:
- Frozen veggies that steam in the bag
- Microwavable rice
- Sweet potatoes
4. Invest in Tupperware
Meal prep can be hard, but having the right storage containers makes it easier. Invest in tupperware containers of all shapes and sizes. You’ll need it for things as small as nuts and dressings, and as large as salads and meats.
It’s a lot easier to meal prep when you have containers of the proper shape and size to put your prepared food in. It’s even better if you can store your food in grab-and-go size containers. You’ll be less likely to eat more than the recommended serving size if your food is already portioned out for you!
Food storage for meal prep is readily available online and in stores. Amazon has great storage sets for under $25, including:
- This 42-piece set that includes a shape and size for literally everything
- This 12-piece set that’s made for storing your produce
- This 10-day meal prep kit that includes 30 different pieces that are great for lunch, dinners, and snacks
- This set for all those simple sandwich lovers.
5. Skip the Sunday Scaries
Often times, meal prep is associated with hours spent in the kitchen on Sunday preparing food for the week. While the weekend may work for some people, it’s not a hard-and-fast rule.
If you don’t have the time to dedicate to planning and preparing all of your meals on the weekend, plan to double or triple a meal you cook during the week. You’re already doing the work, so you might as well make extra for the next day’s lunch or dinner.
Some meal prep ideas during the week include:
- Cooking an extra serving of your favorite lean protein with dinner and using it to make a salad for lunch the next day
- Making hard-boiled eggs for a snack throughout the week while your dinner is cooking in the oven
- Trying out a new recipe and doubling it to have leftovers for dinner the following night
6. Have Someone Else Do It For You
If meal prep isn’t your thing, no problem! There are plenty of services that take the guesswork out of meal prep by delivering prepared meals to your doorstep every week. Here at Work For Your Beer, we love The Good Kitchen. Their healthy and delicious pre-packaged meals come ready to enjoy after a few minutes in the microwave. We tested out their service ourselves and we promise, it’s that simple.
You can get three meals free with your first order when you use code WORKFORYOURBEER, so if you're thinking about trying out this heat-and-eat meal delivery service, now's the time!
What Are Your Favorite Meal Prep Tips?
We hope these tips help you live a healthier week and save you time meal prepping so you can spend more time working for your beer.
What are some of your best meal prep tips? Share them with us in the comments below or tag us on social media at @workforyourbeer.