Fresh Start With Fresh Ingredients – How to Make Meal Prep Work for You

One way to assuage this headache is to meal prep! Preparing large portions of healthy food will last you for several days and minimize the hassle of cooking every night.

5 min read


Fresh Start With Fresh Ingredients – How to Make Meal Prep Work for You

For most people, one of the biggest stumbling blocks to health and fitness is finding a realistic nutrition plan that works. Fad diets come and go, and it can be difficult to stay abreast of the ever-changing world of food and nutrition.

One way to assuage this headache is to meal prep! Preparing large portions of healthy food will last you for several days and minimize the hassle of cooking every night. What’s more, it provides opportunities to choose “healthier” foods that are conducive to your health goals.

Admittedly, this can feel like a daunting task and many questions might be running through your head. How much food should you make? When should you make it? What foods are best? Will I get bored with my meals?

All valid. All are answered in this blog! Let’s get into it.


Conquer Your Meal Prep

Don’t let meal prep intimidation keep you from a healthy diet. Put your fears to rest and take control of what you eat! Here’s how.


1. Select Your “Big Cooking” Day

One of the easiest ways to make meal prep work for you is to designate one or two “big cooking” days per week. Most people pick Sunday, as more time is often available on the weekend. Find a day that works best for your schedule, put your chef hat on, and cook up your favorite foods.


2. Start With Familiar or Simple Recipes

If you have a few recipes that are already in your arsenal, start there! You can easily double, or even triple, a recipe and have leftovers to last you a few days. Alternatively, use easy recipes that only call for a handful of basic ingredients. No need to reinvent the wheel! Stick to the fundamentals and you’ll do just fine.


3. Plan Recipes With Similar Ingredients

Multiple dishes that call for chopped onion? Do your chopping all at once and portion it out for each recipe. This sets you up for easier assembly and cooking later on.


4. Multi-Tasking at Its Finest

If you are less than enthused about spending a large chunk of your Sunday meal prepping, pair it with a binge session of your favorite podcast or TV show. This helps the time go by quickly and also gives you space to listen to or watch something you enjoy.


Keeping Food Fresh

It goes without saying, nobody really WANTS to eat food made 7 days ago. For many, this can be a deterrent to meal prepping. Here are a few ways to ensure your food stays fresh and tasty!


Invest in Quality Storage Containers

Glass, airtight containers are best for keeping food fresh and microwave-safe. Labeling each container can be helpful here too, add the date you prepared your food so you can determine how many days after that you are comfortable eating the dish.


Meal Prep For Half The Week, Not The Full Week

Let’s be honest, eating chicken a week after it has been cooked sounds pretty unpleasant. Instead of meal prepping for the whole week, make enough food to last you until Tuesday or Wednesday night. Once you run out of meals, you can pick some easy weeknight meal prep to get you through the rest of the week (see some ideas below).


Choose Your Food Wisely

If you know you will be prepping for several days, your food choice matters. Delicate foods with high water content like cooked spinach, roasted vegetables, and seafood become pretty unappetizing after a day or two. Instead opt for starchy and crunchy veggies (like root vegetables, carrots, and Brussels sprouts) and lean proteins.


Make Use of Your Freezer

If you like to cook in larger batches, freeze your leftovers. This makes for an easy weeknight dinner or lunch and guarantees that your food stays fresh for longer. Frozen veggies and meats are also great options.


The Beauty in Simplicity

Making simple meals doesn’t mean you have to eat the same thing over and over. Making things simple for yourself means choosing uncomplicated, quick recipes that taste good too.


Simple Ingredients and Spices Can Make a Flavorful, Easy Dish

Something as easy as using a new spice blend with protein and veggies can give the same food a new flavor. If you typically grab rice for your carb, swap it out for quinoa, barley, or a grain medley. These options don’t take long and provide meal prep variety.


Easy to Grab & Go

Meals that don’t require a lot of moving parts to prepare are easy as a grab-and-go option. Running late to work and don’t want to buy lunch? Pack your simple and easy to assemble meal prep. You will be thanking yourself later!


Minimize Decision Fatigue

Half the battle of eating healthy food is planning out recipes and deciding what to make. It can be exhausting and time-consuming. Simplicity minimizes the burden of deciding what to do and how to do it. Give yourself more time and brain power by selecting the easiest option available.


Weeknight Meal Prep

Weeknight meal prep is a great way to ensure the food you’re eating is fresh while also giving you some variety. Have a few go-to simple options on hand to make this an easy process after a long work day. Here are some of our favorites!


Breakfast: Spiced Crockpot Steel Cut Oats

Spiced Crockpot Steel Cut Oats


  • 1 cup Steel cut oats
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 3 cups water
  • To taste: cinnamon, nutmeg, and clove


  • Mix all ingredients in a 6-8 quart crockpot.
  • Cook on low overnight, 6-8 hours.
  • Enjoy with desired mix-ins like banana, apple, pumpkin puree, or peanut butter.


Lunch: Mediterranean Pasta Salad

Mediterranean Pasta Salad


  • Italian Dressing
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • Cooked Pasta (Fusili or Bow-Tie work best here)
  • Spinach
  • Feta Cheese
  • Mason Jar


  • In a mason jar, layer ingredients in the following order: Dressing, tomatoes, olives, chickpeas, pasta, spinach, and feta cheese. This order prevents certain ingredients from getting too soggy.
  • When ready to eat, shake the jar to mix ingredients. Pour into a bowl and enjoy!


Snacks: Veggies Sticks & Hummus

Veggies Sticks & Hummus


  • Assorted crunchy veggies (Carrots, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, etc.)
  • Your favorite hummus
  • Mason jars


  • Spoon a layer of hummus into the bottom of your mason jar.
  • Cut veggies lengthwise into sticks and place them upright in mason jar, with one end in the hummus and the other facing up.
  • Seal the jar and bring with you to enjoy as a healthy snack when hunger strikes.


Dinner: Veggie Stir Fry

Veggie Stir Fry


  • 2 tablespoons peanut or canola oil
  • Crunchy veggies of your choice (celery, Bok choy, snap peas, carrots, onions, green beans, bell pepper, etc.)
  • Greens of your choice (kale, spinach, chard)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • Sesame seeds
  • Sesame oil to taste


  • Heat peanut oil in pan on medium-high heat. Add crunchy veggies and sauté for 3-4 minutes until softened.
  • Add greens and vinegar, and cook until greens are slightly wilted (about 1 minute).
  • Stir in sesame seeds and sesame oil. Serve over rice and enjoy!

Tip: This is a great way to use up leftover veggies in your fridge! Option to also add lean meat to the mix for a protein boost.


How to Make Meal Prep Work for You Infographic

How to Make Meal Prep Work for You Infographic


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