Food prep is a skill or an art form that must be mastered over time. However, like any other art form, in order to be able to master it you will need some essential tools. With these 10 essential tools to help you master the art of meal prep you will be ready start your way to a healthier and better looking you.
It has been said that great bodies start in the kitchen. Well, to master the art of meal prep you must start with meal prep containers. All meal prep begins and ends with choosing the right meal prep containers.
Keep in mind you will be storing, stacking, freezing, and reheating your food; so choosing meal prep containers that are BPA free, microwave and freezer friendly is important.
Also, choosing same size meal prep containers to allow for stacking is essential. Tetris was cool to play as a child, but not cool to play in your fridge.
Here is a link to grab MacroStacks™ meal prep containers.
First thing is first, and that is figuring out what your ‘macro’ numbers are. To find out use our Macro Intake Calculator. Once you figure out your macros then you can start to figure out what your meal plan will be.
Write down your meal plan. We have several great recipes and meal plan ideas to get you started. Begin with breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner. Then break each meal down to ingredients. Keep in mind these foods will be stored in your fridge or freezer for a few days.
Here are some helpful apps to help you develop a dynamic shopping list in no time: FoodSmart Healthy Grocery List (Google Play / iTunes), Fooducate (Google Play / iTunes), & Apples2Oranges (iTunes). These apps will also help you compare the health benefits and nutritional value of the items on your list.
Portion, portion, portion size is a fundamental concept with meal prep. There is no better way to measure portion sizes than by using a food scale. Are you meal prepping on a budget? A typical rule of thumb is close your hand into a fist and that is how big your portion sizes should be.
You should consider your budget, easy to read, surface, and easy to clean/store when choosing a food scale.
Here is a link for other affordable digital food scales.
Eyeballing your portion sizes is not recommended; especially with oils such as grapeseed, olive, or sesame oils that contain monounsaturated fats.
There are approximately nine calories per gram of oil so measuring out the portion is critical for meal prep. Moderation is the keyword.
Here is a link for affordable measuring spoons.
Nothing makes meal prep duller than a dull knife. The science behind using a sharp blade is so there is less brute force when cutting the food.
The sharper the blade the better off for the food because the cells surrounding the cut will not get as damaged which accelerates discoloration and wilting.
Plus it is more fun being a fruit ninja. Here is a link to affordable kitchen knives.
Having a good cutting board is absolutely essential for meal prep. Cutting boards help keep the work space clean and organized; protecting counter tops from the knives. Not to mention sanitary.
We recommend you have more than one type and/or size of cutting boards so you do not cross contaminate your raw proteins with other foods. As you become more experienced with meal prep you will know what type and size of cutting boards fit your style.
Here is a link to affordable cutting boards.
Ah, the slow cooker, otherwise known as the crockpot. This cooking device will save you loads of time from being in the kitchen and will yield some of the most amazing dishes. You add your ingredients before bed and put the pot in the fridge.
Then first thing in the morning before work pop into the slow cooker. By the time you are home you will have delicious meal waiting for you.
Here is a link for affordable slow cookers.
Seasonings and flavored oils is where it’s at. Having a cornucopia of delicious herbs and spices along with flavored oils will make all the difference in the world for your meal prep. Think of the seasonings as the personality of your food.
Furthermore, flavored oils can enhance your dishes to a level where you will not want to eat anything else besides your own cooking. Imagine that. Not to mention there are a plethora of health benefits when you consume healthy oils in moderation.
Coconut oil for instance is known to improve the human immune system, digestive tract, strengthen bones, reduce protein loss in hair, and prevent live, kidney, and heart diseases.
I do not know about you but that alone is the reason to learn how to meal prep period.
Whether you are at the office, traveling, or at the gym, by having a quality dedicated meal prep management bag you will improve your chances of reaching your fitness goals. The idea is to have complete control of your nutrition.
A meal prep management bad allows you to be able to do that more easily. Plus picking out a bag to fit your style is fun to do. Keep in mind to get a bag that allows storage of at least three meal prep containers.
Here is a link for affordable meal management bags.
None of this will make any difference in your life if you do not have a positive mental attitude. No matter where your starting point is you have to believe in yourself. No one else can do this for you and that is the beautiful part.
By keeping a positive mental attitude the words ‘I can’t’ do not exist. You creative faculties will kick in and with time & consistency you will begin to see all sorts of transformations in your mind and body.
Please feel free to let us know if you have questions or comments in the section below. We hope this was helpful and we wish you the best in your meal prep adventures.
Proper meal prep begins with proper meal prep containers. They do not need to be fancy or expensive to get the results you want. We offer a variety of options to get you on your way to a healthier you.
See our other posts for meal prep recipe ideas under $5.