Skip to main content


A Beginner Guide to Meal Prep

In the fast-paced world we live in, balancing a healthy lifestyle with work, fitness, and social commitments can be challenging. One effective solution that has gained popularity in recent years is meal prepping. Not only does it empower individuals to take control of their nutrition, but it can also contribute to achieving health and fitness goals, all while saving money. In this article, we’ll explore the benefits and drawbacks of meal prepping, and then delve into a basic framework to get you started on your meal prep journey.

Why Should I Meal Prep?

  1. Time Efficiency: Meal prepping allows you to cook in batches, saving valuable time during the week. Spending a few hours on the weekend to prepare meals can free uptime for other activities and reduce the temptation to opt for unhealthy, convenient options.
  2. Nutritional Control: When you prepare your meals, you have complete control over the ingredients and portion sizes. This enables you to make healthier choices, monitor calorie intake, and ensure a well-balanced diet that aligns with your fitness goals.
  3. Cost Savings: Buying ingredients in bulk is often more economical than purchasing pre-packaged, ready-to-eat meals. Meal prepping helps minimize food waste by using ingredients efficiently, ultimately saving money in the long run.
  4. Consistency in Diet: Consistency is key in achieving health and fitness goals. Meal prepping ensures that you have nutritious meals readily available, reducing the likelihood of making impulsive food choices.

The Downsides of Meal Prepping:

  1. Initial Time Investment: While meal prepping saves time during the week, it requires a significant initial time investment over the weekend-planning recipes, grocery shopping, and cooking in bulk may be challenging for those with busy schedules.
  2. Limited Freshness: Some ingredients may lose freshness and nutritional value when stored for an extended period. It’s essential to choose recipes and ingredients that maintain their quality throughout the week.
  3. Lack of Variety: Eating the same meals repeatedly throughout the week can become monotonous, potentially leading to a loss of interest in maintaining a meal prepping routine. Finding ways to keep meals exciting and diverse is crucial for long-term adherence.

A Basic Framework for Meal Prepping

Whether you’re a professional constantly on the move, a student facing tight deadlines, or simply someone seeking to streamline daily routines, mastering the art of meal prep can be a game-changer. Let’s break down the process into basic steps, so you can dive into the world of meal preparation with confidence.

Step 1: Plan Your Menu

Start by deciding what meals you want to prepare for the week. Keep it simple andchoose recipes that are easy to make and enjoy reheated. Consider a balance of proteins,vegetables, and carbohydrates to ensure a well-rounded diet. Think about your schedule andchoose meals that align with your lifestyle.

Step 2: Make a Shopping List.

Once you’ve decided on your menu, create a shopping list with all the ingredients you’ll need. Stick to your list to avoid impulse purchases, and opt for fresh, whole foods whenever possible. This not only enhances the nutritional value of your meals but also contributes to amore satisfying eating experience.

Step 3: Set Aside Dedicated Prep Time

Choose a specific day and time for your meal prep. Having a dedicated slot in yourschedule ensures that you stay committed to the process. Start with a shorter time frame, suchas 1-2 hours, and gradually adjust based on your comfort and experience.

Step 4: Cook in Batches

To save time and energy, cook ingredients in batches. For example, roast a large batch of vegetables, grill chicken breasts, or prepare a big pot of rice or quinoa. This approach allows you to mix and match different components throughout the week, creating a variety of meals without spending hours in the kitchen daily.

Step 6: Keep it Simple with Seasonings

While simplicity is key, you can still add flavor to your meals by using a variety of herb sand spices. Create a simple seasoning mix or marinate proteins in advance to infuse your dishes with delicious flavors without the need for elaborate cooking techniques.

Step 7: Store

Once your meals are prepared, portion them into your containers and label each one with the date of preparation. This helps you keep track of freshness and ensures that you’re consuming your meals within a safe time frame.

This is a powerful tool for individuals striving to achieve their health and fitness goals while saving money. By understanding the pros and cons and adopting a strategic approach, you can simplify and diversify your meal prep routine, making it a sustainable and enjoyable part of your lifestyle. Take control of your nutrition, embrace variety, and set yourself on a path to success with meal prepping.

Workout Snacks

No, this is not a write-up on the best snacks to eat before or after a workout, but this is about integrating exercise into your day even if it is in little, snack-sized, or bite-sized windows of time. One, two, three, four, or five 5-15 minute bouts of exercise in a day is a vast improvement on nothing. In mathematics, any small amount of exercise is considered infinitely better than none.

So, I know work life, family life, social life, hobby life, etc. can take up a lot of time, but if I had to guess, there are certainly times in most everyone’s day for a set of something between tasks. Exercise is linked with improved mental health, improved energy, improved focus, and improved physical health as well. While maybe 30 mins, 45 mins, or even an hour of time would be ideal for a workout, I think fitting in a couple workout snacks throughout the day can often be the workout victory that we need as we can look back on the day and see we accomplished a lot for job, family, others, but also a nice bit for ourselves too.

You can even make “fun” little challenges of exercises, use the time to make a little progress towards a specific physical goal, maybe recruit a coworker or friend to join you, release a little stress, or just go out for a walk. Workout snacks come in all types so do the one that works best for you and your goals!

The New RICE

So, I am sure we have all heard of and/or implemented the recovery acronym of “RICE”,standing for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation for any type of injury, big or small. This, however, has come into some controversy over the years as some people think icing is not good, and some people were upset that things like exercise and activity were left out. The acronym has gone through many variations over the years-some examples being “PRICES”, “PRINCE”, “RICER”, “POLICE”-but the most current one that I have come across is “PEACE and LOVE”. While it is a longer acronym, it more comprehensively covers recovery and is backed by more current research.

The new acronym stands for Protect, Elevated, Avoid anti-inflammatories, Compress,Educate, Load, Optimism, Vascularization, Exercise. “PEACE” is intended to cover the more acute stage-usually about 3 days-of injury/recovery, while “LOVE” is following that initial stage. A few comments to be made on this is that it is a general guideline and is not 100% the way to go for all cases. It is wise to get in touch with a healthcare professional for any serious injury or even if you have questions on how to go about implementing recovery. The anti-inflammatories, I believe, is inclusive of ice as it slows the inflammation process, and that inflammatory process is the first stage in healing, so is vital to recovery. There are times when intermittent ice can help, so again, this is not for every situation, but is a reasonable guideline. And, lastly, it is important to load the body – meaning being cognizant of the load that the injured part of your body can hold, and gradually increasing it; exercise, and to be optimistic and hopeful in the healing and adaptive properties that our bodies possess.

This website uses cookies

This site uses cookies to provide more personalized content, social media features, and ads, and to analyze our traffic. We might share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising, and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. We will never sell your information or share it with unaffiliated entities.