MEAL PREP HACKS!
During Fit In 42 we constantly teach our Fit In 42ers strategies for overcoming the daily challenge that they face each and every day throughout their lives . We stress the importance of meal prep, a strategy that we feel it is one of the most important habits you can adopt to get to your goals both physically and mentally. These are just a few of the tips and tricks we have our students do to ensure they get amazing results!!!
1. Hard Boil Eggs ( in the oven)
Hard boiled eggs are like the original meal prep protein source. They are easy to take on the go or to add to salads. They are also great to have as a stand alone.
Here’s what you do:
1. Put your eggs in a muffin tin. You don’t need to put any water in the tins or anything. Just set them in there. If you want to, you can also stand them upright using mini muffin tins.
2. Put the pan in the oven and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
3. Remove and put the eggs in a bucket of ice water for at least 10 minutes.
The only tricky part about this method is that the cooking time will vary from oven to oven. So, if your oven runs hot, you may need to cook them at 325. However, for my oven, if I cook them at 325 for 30 minutes, they don’t cook all the way. So I cook mine for 30-32 minutes at 350 degrees. So, it may take a couple test batches, but let me tell you, after a little trial and error, this method is AMAZING. So easy and they’ll cook perfectly every time!
Just a word of advice. Do a SMALL test batch until you figure out your oven temp. Don’t, say, test 18 eggs all at once if you’re not sure what temperature to use…not that I did that or anything. Luckily, eggs are cheap! The eggs might get some brown spots as they bake:
2. FREEZE YOUR SMOOTHIES IN MUFFIN TINS
Yes, make your smoothies ahead of time, then pour into muffin tins and freeze. This will let you have quick and easy to make smoothies every morning. Check out this recipe
3. Chop or Spiral Veggies in Advance
Too hangry to make dinner at the end of a long day? Cut veggies in bulk ahead of time to avoid wasting precious minutes chopping on busy weeknights. Zucchini noodles (“zoodles”) and butternut squash noodles will stay fresh in the fridge for 3-5 days, and chopped vegetables like carrots, onion and pepper will last a week when refrigerated properly in a sealed plastic bag or tupperware.
4. Roast different vegetables with same cooking time.
Roasting vegetables is a great way to bring out their natural sweetness, but waiting 30 to 40 minutes for each pan of nutrient-rich goodness to cook can be time-consuming. To prep a large batch of veggies, try pairing them based on roasting time. Fast-cooking vegetables that can bake in the same pan include asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes; slow-roasting vegetables include carrots, cauliflower, onions, potatoes and parsnips.
5. Make portions crystal clear.
Guard against overeating by portioning your nuts, pretzels, veggies or favorite nibbles into plastic baggies or portable jars. It’s easy to mindlessly munch when you’ve got an entire bag sitting in front of you, but having just enough ready to go for lunch or a snack will keep you from going overboard.
6. Bag up smoothie ingredients.
Ever put a little of this, a little of that in your blender and end up with a super-sized smoothie? Save yourself from unnecessary calories by pre-assembling and freezing the ingredients. By measuring out your berries, yogurt (frozen in an ice cube tray) and greens ahead of time, your shake will be perfectly portioned, every time.
7. Skewer meats for quick portions.
Kabobs aren’t just for street meat. Weighing your chicken (or salmon or beef) and putting it on wooden skewers can help you control how much you’re eating in one sitting. (Four ounces of chicken has approximately 36 grams of protein, and six ounces of salmon has 34 grams of protein.) Cook up a batch and save some skewers for the rest of the week. If you’re using wooden ones, remember to soak them in water so they won’t catch fire in your grill or oven.
8. Pre-assemble jarred lunch salads.
Think salad from home is a no-go because it always gets soggy? Think again. Using a glass jar will save your veggies from getting mucky before lunchtime. Put your dressing at the bottom of the jar, layering sturdier vegetables like peppers and beets, and then saving the leafy greens for the top. Put a paper towel square at the top to absorb moisture if you’re storing the salad for multiple days.
9. Use Freezer Bags For Storage
When you start meal prepping for the week, space in the fridge quickly disappears. Room is at a premium. Put foods that won’t be smashed (or you don’t care if they do) in freezer bags to save space.
10. Cook a ton of vegetables on meal prep day.
If you are prepping a protein, say like buffalo chicken, it’s nice to have some already cooked veggies to put the protein over. Make one or two freezer bags of veggies, already cooked and seasoned, and add a fist size serving to every meal that doesn’t already have vegetables mixed in.
11. Buy Your Own To Go Containers
If you are finding your car or office filling up with tupperware, or will be traveling, invest in some high quality togo containers. They are cheap and reusable, but they can also be thrown away if needed.
12. LABEL EVERYTHING
Your fridge will soon be filling up with all sorts of containers that you are using to store your healthy eats. Don’t let them go bad, but also, don’t eat expired food. Use a marker or crayon to label. Put; WHAT IT IS, as well as the DATE YOU MADE IT.
13. Cook one thing and use it for multiples.
Cook and shredded a chicken on Sunday. On Monday, use it for shredded chicken salads. On Tuesday, add it to some zucchini noodles and sauce. On Wednesday, put it over some veggies and add BBQ sauce. On Thursday, mix it with some eggs for chicken omelettes. Sometimes meal prep might only mean prepping the ingredients that take the most time to cook.
14 The Pre-Made Chicken
If you don’t have time to buy some lean protein, head to Whole foods, Safeway or Linardi’s and buy their rotisserie chicken. When you get home proceed to pull all the meet off the carcass and put into a Tupperware bowl. Use two forks to shred it. Now you have a quick and easy protein to add to any meal.
15. Plan To Cheat
The mistake most often made is people want to be perfect, and they are…for about a weak, and then they binge. Plan to cheat and eat out or have a drink but only %10 of the time. Use a chart like the one above to track how much you cheat vs eat good. It will help you see where your problems are. Then you can improve them week over week.
These 15 strategies alone can go along way in ensuring your able to eat healthy even during the most busiest times of your life.