A few people have asked me how I organize myself to ‘meal prep’.
Meal prep is tough work – it takes a lot of organization and a lot of time. I’ve figured out a few ways to make the process more efficient, so I waste less time cooking and more time… well, eating!
Here is the step-by-step process I use to prep my meals for the week:
1. Write a weekly meal plan.
I plan out exactly what I’m going to eat for all six meals of the day, for seven days of the week. I do this by breaking it into protein, fats, greens and carbs, so I know I’m meeting my nutrient requirements for each meal.
Note: I eat the same six meals every day for a week. You don’t have to do it this way, but I find it easier to plan for when every day is the same.
2. Grocery shopping
I calculate how much of each type of meat I’ll need to get me through that whole week. For instance if I eat 150g raw meat 5 times a day, then:
150g x 5 = 750g per day. 750g x 7 days = 5.25kg.
Note: I do this separately for each type of meat, this is just an example of how I calculate it.
I then go and buy all the meats (I get a variety of chicken breast, turkey, and salmon depending on what meals I’ve planned). The butcher looks at me like I’m crazy, but that’s ok. He doesn’t ask questions.
I follow the same process with my fats and veggies. I usually buy veggies for half the week and do another veggie shop mid-week so they stay fresh.
3. Label your bags
I buy plenty of little snap lock bags which I label with the day and the meal number e.g. ‘Monday 2’.
4. Prepare the meat
I cut all the meat up into 150g portions, weighing it as I go and putting it into the corresponding snap lock bag. I then freeze all of the meat except what I need for the next two days.
5. Cook for two to three days at a time
I do a big cook up usually every second day. Some people cook for 3 days, but I’m just cautious of leaving food in the fridge for too long so prefer to cook for 2. It’s important to cook a few days in advance, or you will end up cooking all the time and won’t have the meals ready if you’re going to be out all day.
Note: The only meal I don’t prepare is meal 1, which I cook in the morning each day.
6. Invest in a good carry bag (e.g. six pack bag)
Having a refrigerated carry bag is important so you can take your meals with you and be prepared wherever you go. If you aren’t prepared, and you get hungry when you’re out, you are likely to make bad choices.
Here is an example of how I plan out my meals to determine how much of everything I need. This is one day. I times the quantities by seven and there you have it – everything I need for the week!
|M1||3 Eggs||1tbsp Butter|
|M2||150g Chicken||Zucchini, Carrot||1tbsp Coconut Oil|
|M3||150g Turkey||Mixed Salad||¼ Avocado|
|M4||125g Salmon||Spinach||1tbsp Coconut Oil||150g pumpkin|
|M5||150g Chicken||Tomatoes, Capsicum, Kale||1tbsp Coconut Oil|
|M6||150g Chicken||1tbsp Coconut Oil|
The most important things are to keep it simple, quick and easy for yourself. I buy herbs and spices, lemon and limes so I can chuck these on as I’m cooking to add flavour without much fussing around. The harder you make it, the less likely you will be able to maintain it.