meal prep 101

Meal prepping is a term used to describe the process of preparing several days’ – or even a full week’s – worth of food in advance. These fully-prepared meals can quickly be reheated and eaten with minimal effort and energy. This allows people with busy lifestyles to enjoy home-cooked, healthy food on a daily basis.

If you are looking to get started meal-prepping, here’s what you need to know:

What You Will Need:

• Food – we’ll get into this later

• An ample amount of microwavable storage containers

• Access to basic kitchen equipment, such as a stove, pots, pans, refrigerator, etc.

• Measuring cups and spoons

• Food scale (optional)

How to Meal Prep: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Plan, plan, plan. Before you get started with your meal preparation conquest, you will need a plan. What meals will you be preparing? Some people only need lunch to bring to work; others may wish to prepare all three meals of the day. Decide which meals you wish to prepare, what recipes you want to follow (stick to simple recipes to make it easy on yourself), then make your shopping list accordingly.

Step 2: Hit the grocery store. Double check your shopping list, then check it again. Nothing is worse than having three pans on the stove and realizing you forgot a key ingredient. Once you have your list finalized, it’s time to hit the grocery store. Buy the freshest foods you can find, and don’t forget about the seasonings and spices!

Step 3: Cook your meals. This part is easier said than done. It is the most difficult and time-consuming part of the process, but if you stick to your plan and simple recipes, you will find it isn’t too challenging. The convenience of fast, tasty food for several days is worth the time you put into cooking it!

Step 4: Divide up your food into storage containers and refrigerate them. Once your meals are fully cooked, divide them up into equal portions and store them in the refrigerator. If you have prepared several days’ worth of food, you should only refrigerate what you plan on eating within three days. Freeze the rest and defrost as necessary in order to prevent the food from spoiling. You may also wish to label your containers so you know what is in them, including nutrition facts.

For more tips on meal prepping, including easy-to-follow recipes, check out this article from Fit Men Cook.

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