Meal Prep is all the rage amongst many fitness enthusiasts, but unfortunately, it hasn’t caught on across the general population…well, if you don’t count grabbing a candy bar as meal prep. And why not, when the benefits are huge in terms of controlling calories, optimizing nutritional content, and convenience? Common reasons for meal prep discouragement are “finding” time, effort, and lack of ideas. Without having pre-cooked meals ready to consume or a plan on what to cook, it’s too easy to wander off your diet plan by grabbing something less nutritionally effective for the sake of convenience.
With a better game plan, you can overcome the above-mentioned excuses, and you’ll find 10 convenient meal prep hacks that will make the kitchen experience more enjoyable. I’m confident that the information provided here will help you start up a balanced nutritional diet plan and most importantly, “stay the path” of healthy living.
Excuse #1: I Have No Time
• Our priorities determine our capacities. If you really want it, you’ll find a way to get it done.
• There is only so much time in the day and it really comes down to priorities on where you want to make time. Do you want a healthier life?!
• There are so many meals that take 10-20 minutes to cook (that is far less time than most spend social media scrolling).
Excuse #2: Meal Prepping Is Too Much Effort
• Once you realize (with the help of the recipes below) how easy meal preparation can be, I am certain that you may not feel this way.
• If you still feel unmotivated to get in the kitchen, inviting a friend over to join you is always helpful.
• Cooking in bulk for 3 days can help you not be in the kitchen daily if you dread it that much.
Excuse #3: Cooking Healthy Food Is Boring
• Au contraire! Eating healthy does not have to be bland food on repeat. “Spice is Life” and in moderation “Sauce is the Boss.” You will see examples of this in the recipes below.
10 MEAL PREP HACK RECIPES
Now for the good stuff. Below is a list of my favorite quick and healthy meals. I have played these on repeat for years without getting bored and achieving my fitness goals because well. They are energy-packed, nutritious, and tasty!
1. Chinese Chicken Salad – Add readymade rotisserie chicken, lightly drizzled wonton strips, ready-to-go raw carrot shavings, sliced almonds, and ginger sesame dressing into a bowl of green lettuce (the darker the green the better) and enjoy a zesty nutritious high protein salad. If you feel the need to add more carbs depending on the goal, add a baked potato, yam, or whole-grain tortilla.
2. Tuna Salad – Grab tuna from the can or pouch, sliced cucumbers, shaved carrots, a couple of croutons (will not kill you to add 2-3 for crunch and zest), balsamic vinaigrette, or raspberry vinaigrette. Same rule regarding carbs if you feel you want more calories.
3. Strawberry Walnut Goat Cheese Chicken Salad – Add readymade rotisserie chicken to a bed of romaine lettuce. Include sliced strawberries, walnuts, goat cheese (sprinkled sparingly for just a hint of flavor), cucumbers with balsamic vinaigrette. Same carb rule as above.
4. Pan Fried Creole Tilapia – 10 minutes before you cook your fish steam-diced yam and broccoli in a steamer. Lightly spray pan and set to medium heat. Pre-season your tilapia with creole seasoning. Pan-frying tilapia should take no longer than 8 minutes.
FRIED NOTE: Just because something is pan-fried does not make it unhealthy. There are good oils and sprays that can be used to create a nonstick cooking experience without excessive fat.
5. Honey Dijon Chicken Salad or Wrap – Add readymade rotisserie chicken breast to a bed of romaine lettuce. Include a chopped boil egg which can be purchased boiled (optional). Lightly drizzle honey Dijon dressing adding cucumbers and fresh tomatoes. Again, if you want to add in more carbs, wrap this goodness in a whole grain tortilla wrap, and do not be scared to add 3 or so croutons for umph.
6. Mexican Turkey Bowl – Pan-fry lean ground lightly-seasoned turkey until cooked (usually takes 8-10 minutes on medium heat). Then, season to taste with additional Mexican taco seasoning. Place on top of readymade rice from the pouch or container, sliced tomatoes, avocados, ¼ cup of black beans, and a dollop or sour cream, and two tablespoons of shredded cheese (just enough for a hint of taste).
7. Pan Fried Coconut Curry Chicken – Steam carrots and zucchini for 15-20 minutes. Butterfly or dice a medium chicken breast and pan cook on medium heat for 10-12 minutes (or until you are confident it is cooked through) adding salt, pepper, and onion powder. Add just a portion of the coconut curry sauce packet to the chicken a few minutes from the end of your cooking time. Lay the chicken on a bed of readymade rice and steamed vegetables.
8. Homemade-ish Chicken Soup Pour a container of chicken stock into a medium-sized pot and bring to a rapid boil. Add diced carrots, celery, and onions (which can all be purchased together precut in produce) to the pot. Boil for about 10-12 minutes. Within the last few minutes throw in premade rotisserie chicken breast and ready-made rice. Once finished season to taste with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
9. Baked Bruschetta Chicken w/ Veggie Mashed Potato – This one I will admit takes longer than the rest but will only require 35 minutes tops making nutritious eating MOUTH WATERING. Butterfly chicken breast, dip in egg white, then cover it in gluten-free panko crumbs. Add salt, pepper, garlic, and onion powder (a few shakes of each on both sides), bake for approximately 35 minutes (could vary depending on oven therefore check to see if 5 more minutes or so is needed). While it is baking, slice a small potato, broccoli, and a carrot into a steamer for 20. Cut ½ tomato into dices cubes places aside. Once the steamed veggies are finished mashed them together for a nice nutrient-infused veggie mashed potato mix. Once the chicken is out of the oven place those fresh juicy tomatoes on top of this flavorful crunchy protein-filled chicken breast and drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette.
10. Lean Body RTD or MRP Shakes Last but not least, the easiest meal of them all; a Labrada Lean Body Meal Replacement Shake. Whether in powder form via single-serve packets or via the ready-to-drink carton, these single-serve shakes consist of the right number of calories, macros, vitamins, fiber, and omegas to be considered as nutritious as an actual meal. Once you experience how easy and enjoyable getting in a meal replacement shake is, you are not likely to miss a meal again or make excuses.
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Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only and is not meant as medical advice, nor is it to diagnose or treat any medical condition. Please consult your physician before starting or changing your diet or exercise program. Any use of this information is at the sole discretion and responsibility of the user.