How to Start Meal Prepping


Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

How to start meal prepping: meal prep for beginners can feel daunting, but in fact, clean eating cooking in advance is the best thing you’ll ever do for yourself. Meal prepping healthy meals has been part of my routine for six months, and it’s been instrumental in helping me live a better lifestyle. If you’ve been considering implementing meal prep, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out how to start meal prepping!

You know how some people are just born with a love for cooking? 

Instincts for what spices to add to what dish, and a passion for creating delicious meals? 

Yeah, I’m not one of them — cooking has always been something I’ve done out of necessity rather than pleasure, but if I’m being honest, that’s starting to shift. Meal prepping allows me to create healthy and delicious meals once, and enjoy them over and over. Cooking also feels a lot less tedious when I don’t have to make three separate meals a day (and cooking for one is the WORST.) 

Meal prep generally requires the same amount of time as I would spend cooking one meal, but provides 3-6, depending on the food and portion size. That’s the beauty of it — you can entirely adjust how you meal prep based on how much food you want, how many people you’re prepping for, and how long you want them food to last.

How to Start Meal Prepping

Photo by Gareth Hubbard on Unsplash

What You Need

Before meal prepping, I highly recommend getting storage boxes. These ones are similar to the ones I use (closest I could find!), and I absolutely love them. They’re compact, easy to store, microwaveable, and fit well in any fridge or freezer. 

I usually head to Pinterest first to decide what I want to make. If you’re looking for easy, healthy, meal prep recipes, check out these boards & follow me on Pinterest!

As a general rule of thumb, try to pick meals that are different from each other and that you like enough to eat multiple times a week. For example, I recently meal prepped a batch of butter chicken and rice for my lunches, and made salmon with asparagus for dinner. 

Once you’ve picked one or two recipes, make a grocery list and head to the store. Consider how many servings you’d like to make and how long the leftovers will keep! If I can, I’ll often buy double what I plan on making right away and freeze or store half, especially if it’s on sale, because sometimes buying in bulk is cheaper (helloooo Costco), and then I have it on hand the next time I want to make some.

Butter chicken and rice is one of my go-to meals, so I always get lots of sauce and keep extra chicken in the freezer. The rice takes little to no effort, so it’s great to have available for a last minute meal prep session.

Recipe Ideas

My current list of meal prep recipes I’m dying to try includes:

What to Do

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

When you’re done cooking, divide up the food into your meal prep boxes! If there’s particular foods I’d like to stay in separate containers, I keep them in larger boxes until the day of, and then put them both in a meal prep box on my way out the door. 

On average, I probably spend 2-3 hours doing meal prep (during which I’ve got The Office in the background), and by the time I’m done, I’ve got dinner and lunch for the next week. Knocking out such a huge task gives you a feeling of accomplishment, success, and saves you SO much time. If you can, invite a friend over to join you and meal prep together. Not only is it a great chance to catch up and hang out, but the job will feel much easier and you’ll have knocked out two birds with one stone. I’m a bit of a productivity junkie, so not gonna lie, that part thrills me a bit.

Meal prepping can be done by anyone, anywhere, with a couple hours and a bit of freezer room. Cooking for a family of 8? Meal prep. Starving creative (????????‍♀️) cooking for one? Meal prep. 

If you’re looking for ways to simplify healthy living and add more time to your schedule, this may be it. A simple shift in routine, but one that may allow you to invest more time and freedom in other things, all at the same time helping you eat well and feel good about what you’re putting into your body.

What are your favourite meals, and could they be made in advance? Let me know – I always need more inspiration!

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