Meal prepping has become synonymous with calorie counting, macro tracking and hitting that #proteinintake. In reality, all meal prep is, is quite literally, preparing your meals. Usually in advance. And usually in bulk.
Despite what you may have been led to believe; you do not need to know the nutrient breakdown of everything you put in a box for it to be #mealprep.
Like many of you, I often need to eat my lunch at my desk or on the run. I try to stay as active as possible but I often only have a short time to cram some food in my face, and dammit I want that food to be good.
Making my lunches (and sometimes breakfasts) ahead of time, lets me know that even when I eat in a rush, I’m still getting A. a good meal and B. something I actually like. It also stops you from buying ready made meals, which is ridic expensive ?!?!? and not great for the old hEalTh gOals.
I know, I know, eating the same thing every day is so bloody boring. So why are you doing it?
This is my process for prepping my lunches, each prepped meal is different and it can easily be adapted to your likes & wants. I usually do this on a Sunday at some point, and I make 5 at a time.
What you’ll need. (what I used for the picture is in green. Feel free to recreate mine if you wish)
- 2/3 types of grains/pulse you like (ie, rice, quinoa, cous cous, lentils, bulghur wheat etc ) = total dried weight around 200g quinoa, bulghur wheat & pearl barley
- 5 portions of protein of your choice (halloumi, eggs, chicken, tofu, beans etc) 6 x boiled eggs & 2 tins of tuna
- something green and leafy (rocket, salad leaves, spinach) 1-2 types rocket and mixed leaves
- 3-4 x colourful vegetables (raw or cooked) – tomatoes, sweetcorn, cucumber, sweet potato etc tomatoes, red pepper, yellow pepper, courgette (I roasted my veg. dont hate)
- something dippy (tzatziki, mayo) houmous – original
- any extras you like (olives, pickles) avocado, chickpeas
- something crunchy (croutons, nuts, apple) pumpkin seeds, almonds
It really helps with this process to get yourself ready. Cook your grains per packet instructions (if you’re using more than one type, you don’t need to use a multitude of pans, just stick them in one. I know they have different cook times, it’ll be fine. I promise). If you’re boiling eggs/grilling halloumi etc, do this now too. Chop your veg, whatever size you like. Get your other items out in front of you, otherwise you will forget to put them in. I guarantee you will forget. Also handy to put them away as/when you use them, so you know what’s gone in.
- Get your containers ready. I use large glass jars (environment reasons, also don’t like storing food in plastic but that’s another post….)
- Start with a base of grains, use either individually or mix them all together. I also like to add some Extra Virgin Olive Oil to my grains, it stops them sticking together, tastes amazing and is a beneficial fat, but it’s up to you. I would recommend some seasoning though, maybe some dried herbs/spices. dried basil, dried oregano, paprika, salt, black pepper & olive oil
- Next, add your leafy greens. If you have more than one type, try mixing up which goes in to which containers 3 x rocket and 2 x mixed leaves
- Now add some veggies, don’t put the same in each container, make each one different 1 x tomatoes & pepper, 1 x tomatoes, 1 x pepper & courgette, 1 x tomatoes & courgette, 1 x peppers
- Add your protein, as before, make them different. 3 x 2 boiled eggs, 2 x tin of tuna
- Add your extras, change it up with each container 2 x chickpeas 4 x avocado
- Top with your dippy substance I put houmous in all of mine because I love it and it will never to fail to excite me being in my lunch box, if you know you know
- Finally, add your something crunchy 3 x pumpkin seeds, 2 x chopped almonds
- If you want to finish it off with some dressing, feel free. I prefer to just mix it all together before I eat it (so it looks gross).
As you can see, by the end, each of your containers should be completely different. You don’t need to have loads and loads of ingredients for variation, just different combinations. Be random with your scattering. Try new ingredients. The more fun you have with it, the less bored you’ll get because you’ll never be having the same meal twice. It’s not good for your gut or your brain to have the same thing every day, it’s monotonous and dull. Go outside your comfort zone with your prepping.
Life’s too short to have the same thing for lunch.
Hope this helps! Please comment if you found it useful 🙂