Food Prep…The Nitty Gritty
by Nicole Darabi on Friday, October 30th, 2015

If you have started reading my blog and your head is spinning thinking “okay, all of these recipes in bulk are great, but where the heck do I start with this whole meal prep thing?” Never fear my food prepping scholars, I will give you an overview of what you’ll need to begin. This is a quick run-down to get you started as I will be going more in depth with future posts. Try not to get overwhelmed as you read this. Remember to take baby steps, and be kind to yourself as you learn the ropes of food prep. I started slow in the beginning and it felt clumsy for me too until I got the hang of it!

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Plan, plan, plan!
Needless to say: everyone that wants to get on the right track with their diet should seek advice from a nutritionist and get a meal plan that fits their specific needs.  How else are you going to know what your body needs if you don’t have a plan? You want to make your food work for you – not against you. It’s great if you have healthy ingredients in your shopping cart, but what you do with those ingredients is most important in executing your meal prep for the week. Even if you can’t see a nutritionist, I suggest writing down what meals you plan on making for the week so you have a clear and precise idea of what you’re shopping for written in black and white.  Keep it simple in the beginning….this will be a common theme throughout this blog. 😉
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Tools

  • Numero uno:  Containers!  You might call me a container hoarder… but I’m proud of it! When you plan on preparing all this wonderful food for the week, an important aspect of the plan is how are you going to contain it and organize it.  I recommend investing in good quality glass tupperware that you can reheat easily.  I’m personally not a fan of plastic but if you must, look for tupperwear that is BPA free.  One of my favorite container brands is Proglass with snap lids.  They can easily stack in your fridge and will fit nicely in your lunch bag.  (Proglass) http://www.bedbathandbeyond.com/store/product/pro-glass-10-piece-food-storage-set-with-easy-snap-lids/1042273608 (Don’t forget to use your 20% off coupons!)
  • Lunch bag:  Anyone who knows me personally, knows that I carry my cooler with me everywhere I go.  It may seem cumbersome but trust me, it will be your best friend. You’ll see! (Six pack bags) http://www.sixpackbags.com
  • Finally, I always have ziplock baggies (you can wash can and re-use to cut down on waste and $)
  • a food scale
  • measuring cups
  • basic pots & pans
  • my trusty Vitamix (a blender is just fine too)
  • baking tins
Grocery Shopping/Prep Day
Now that you’ve got your plan laid out and your tools ready, now what? Figure out a day to grocery shop and prep. I choose to do a large scale meal prep on Sundays after my morning workout followed by grocery shopping. Yeah, I still get up at the crack of dawn most Sundays – which my husband and cat protest. 😉 With my plan of action in hand, I head to the grocery store before the crazy crowd. I’m in and out in less than 30 min because I had a plan written down.  Like most, I hate having to go to the grocery store more than I have to! (I know I sound like broken record but you are most likely reading this blog because you want to know how I’ve simplified my life, right?)  Some of you will try to do the shopping trip without the written plan – I can’t express enough how much having it written down is key for me in keeping it simple and fast.
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Steps: Start small
Don’t get a head of yourself thinking you have to bust out 5-6 meals in one day just yet. Start small! If you suck at eating breakfast or lunch, try prepping just those meals for 3-4 days. Once you start getting the hang of timing your prep sessions (more on that later) try adding in another meal and maybe prep for 5 days instead of 4. Another great way to get a head start on the week is by cutting & bagging your veggies and fruits so they’re easily accessible in your fridge. Starting small will help keep you from feeling overwhelmed. I know you probably have anxiety reading this but I promise you, once you get comfortable, you’ll be pro before you know it and it will be second nature to you.

Give it a try and let me know your successes and flops. I’m here to help!

“Make yourself a priority. At the end of the day, you’re your longest commitment.”

Remember, it’s YOU vs. YOU!

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