There are a ton of benefits to prepping your meals in advance. The number one benefit is probably the fact that you won’t have to waste time thinking about what to eat every time you get hungry throughout the day. By having made your meals in advance, you’ll significantly lower the risk of you cheating on your diet, since you’ll already have meals ready that fit your nutritional plans.
It’s very easy to make a simple routine for yourself, a simple meal prep blueprint that you can follow no matter which foods you choose to use for the meal prep. After having meal prepped every second day more or less for years now, I’ve developed a clear-cut blueprint that I use for my meal prep sessions. Check it out below, use it or draw inspiration from it to create your very own meal prepping blueprint.
Which foods do you need
The first process of any meal prep is to figure out which foods to include in the prep. Depending on your type of diet, you’ll obviously need different types of food. If you follow a ketogenic (keto) diet, you’ll most likely be consuming a high-fat content, low carbohydrate (carbs) content and moderate or low protein content. In that regard, you’ll probably want to meal prep foods like fatty foods like avocado and nuts along with some protein like salmon, turkey or other types of meat. Myself, I follow a moderate carb, low fat and moderate to high protein diet. So, what I always start out with is picking my carbs, protein and fats for the meal prep. My favorite carb sources are rice, spelt, bulgur or sweet potato. Many people may not know spelt and bulgur, but they are both a great alternative to rice, and are, coincidentally, very similar to rice in the consistency. My favorite sources of protein are chicken breast, turkey, prawns and fish like tilapia or halibut. The reason why I like these types of meat, is simply that they are very easy to prepare, which makes my meal prep a lot less time-consuming. I usually chop it all up, which ensures that it cooks faster. In terms of fat, I like to keep my meal prep free of extra fats besides what comes from the oil and the meat. Instead, I like to get my fats from foods like peanut butter.
Which tools do you need
The reason that I prefer rice, spelt and bulgur for my meal prep is the fact that they can all be prepared in a rice cooker. Again, that saves a significant amount of time that I spend meal prepping. It is great, as you just set it and let it be until it’s finished cooking, which usually takes no more than 10-20 minutes. In that time, you can start preparing and cooking your protein. For efficient meal prepping, multitasking – is – key.
A lot of people use a pan or the oven to cook their meat, but there are a couple of reasons why you would want to avoid that and use a big pot instead. First of all, the oven and the pan tend to be two quite time-consuming pieces of meal prepping equipment. It takes time for the oven to heat up and the pan tends to cook the meat a lot slower. Second of all, the pot has a huge volume, which means that you can mix everything together in it (carbs, protein and fats).
The meal prep blueprint step by step
1) Start cooking your carbs in the rice cooker
2) Begin heating up the pot on your stove
3) While the pot is heating up, begin chopping up your protein
4) Once the pot has reached the desirable temperature, put in the meat and let it get cooked
5) Once the meat is cooked, season it with your choice of seasonings. I like to use Himalayan pink salt for its rich mineral content, along with a variety of spices (curry, paprika etc.)
6) At this point, your carbs should be ready from the rice cooker. Pour them in with the meat. If you have any veggies like peas, which I prefer, pour them in with the carbs and meat. Mix it and let it simmer for a couple of minutes to let the flavor induce.
7) Now it’s time to get your containers ready. I like to set mine up in a line and fill them up so that they all have somewhat of the same content in them. I prepare four containers for two days at a time. Two containers for each day, one for lunch and one for dinner. Since I follow flexible dieting, the meal prep is the only fixed meals of my day, whereas the rest of my meals are flexible according to my macros and overall calorie intake.
If you want to learn more about which foods you can use for meal prep and what they contain, or a more in-depth article on meal prep, check out these two links:
- Proteins, fats and carbs – which foods contain what? http://bodymindmanagement.com/body/nutrition/proteins-fats-and-carbs-which-foods-contain-what/
- Meal prep made simple http://bodymindmanagement.com/body/nutrition/meal-prep-made-simple/
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