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Secrets for Easy Meal Prepping: No Sunday Scaries!

Secrets for Easy Meal Prepping: No Sunday Scaries!

Meal prepping can be the most exciting, or the most daunting, part of someone’s week. Instagram health nuts make the meal prepping process seem seamless, but in reality, we all know our kitchen will more than likely look like a war zone by the time we are done.

Although dedicating your Sunday afternoon to cooking (and cleaning up) your meals for the entire week sounds like a lot, the benefits greatly outweigh the trouble, especially during the cooler months. Winter is the time of year where most people have the “what’s one more bite?” mentality, which does not help the metabolism…at all. Meal prepping allows us to portion out exactly the right amount of food we need, which ultimately helps manage our hunger and metabolism. So, let’s get to prepping!

There are different ways to plan out your weekly meals depending on your goals are, but typical meal prep plans consists of 3 meals a day along with 2-3 snacks a day, which means you’ll be preparing 21 meals and 14 to 21 snacks.

Don’t let those double-digit numbers scare you!

If you cook in bulk, this whole process will be immensely easier. When you make your weekly grocery run, look for larger packages (i.e. organic grass fed chicken around 3 to 6 pounds or 3-pound bags of brown rice). Better yet, you can BYO bags and go zero waste; you’ll also save money!

To further your money saving spree, buy in-season produce since they cost less due to lower shipment fees. For winter, here are a few in-season produce items to check out for your next list:

  • Beets
  • Cabbage
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Escarole
  • Root vegetables
  • Apples
  • Mushrooms
  • Lettuce
  • Celery

Another huge meal-prepping benefit is healthy eating. Preparing your food ahead of time allows you to have total control over your diet, and eliminates any sort of temptation or questionable food choices you may make otherwise. Just think: it’s too tempting to come home from a long day of work and order a pizza instead of cooking. But, if you meal prep, you’ll already have that healthy meal ready to go instead of that alluring large pepperoni pizza.

But, what can be better than pizza?  

Balanced meals include carbs, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals to ensure your meal prepping is as nutritious as possible. A few examples of each category include:

  • Carb: brown rice, quinoa, whole grain breads and pastas, bananas, potatoes, oats
  • Protein: chicken, turkey, beans, lentils, eggs, nuts and seeds, Greek yogurt
  • Fat: avocado, fish, cheese, oils
  • Vitamins/Minerals: kale, spinach, broccoli, citrus fruits

Now that we know the basics, the meal possibilities are endless (and just as good as pizza)! One full day of healthy and balanced prepared meals can consist of:

  • Breakfast: avocado toast topped with spinach and a hard-boiled egg
  • Snack #1: an apple
  • Lunch: taco bowl consisting of lean ground turkey, brown rice, avocado, lettuce and tomatoes
  • Snack #2: Handful of almonds
  • Dinner: grilled chicken with sautéed (in olive oil) beets and kale over quinoa
  • Snack #3: banana with peanut butter

Overall, meal prepping will regulate your hunger and metabolism, keep food costs down, and allows you to eat a correctly portioned, healthy diet.

It can be difficult to discipline yourself when we want to hibernate, but your summer body will thank you later.

Photo by Ella Olsson on Unsplash

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Lindsey Czajkowski works as a Design Coordinator at the Free People home office. Her interest in fashion influenced her move to Philadelphia, but the delicious food scene, diversity, and opportunity within Philly is what made Lindsey immerse herself in the city. You’re likely to find Lindsey at work in the Navy Yard in South Philly, out to eat around Northern Liberties, or shopping in Center City or in a park trying to pet a strangers dog. View all posts by Lindsey Czajkowski
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