Wayyyy back in 2016, I wrote up a blog post called "meal prep made simple". In it, I shared my TOP 12 tips for effective meal planning and prepping. If you haven't already checked out that beauty of a resource, you can find it here.
And just for the record, I am by NO means an expert at meal prepping and planning. BUT I do know that if I buy it and have it prepared in the fridge, I WILL eat it. So that means I need to be mindful while shopping AND at home. (aka keeping cashew caramel ice cream in the freezer and All Dressed chips in the cupboard is a baaaaad idea for hungry Marie). But chopping up veggies, making overnight oats and cooking sweet potatoes is a GRAND idea. #winning
(this is blueberry chia pudding, which I do not currently have a recipe for, but isn't it pretty?! High in protein and healthy fats too!)
I recently started a new fitness program that goes for 80 days. Cray cray, right?! But I figure, the time is going to pass anyways, so I might as well see how FREAKING FIT I can get in the first three months of January, while it's still cold out and patio sangrias aren't a thing.
PLUS, Brandon and I are headed to el Mexico (courtesy of our coaching jobs whoop whoop) in April, so looking fly as hell in a bikini is a nice added motivation to me starting AND sticking with this new program. I REFUSE to feel self conscious in a bathing suit any longer. That's so 2015 Marie.
Anyways, the program itself uses something called "timed nutrition", which basically summed up, means that you need to be eating throughout the day at various intervals so that your body always has enough fuel to use for the tough workouts and recovery process after. Even having an easily digestible protein before bed (collagen hot cocoa anyone?) is a good idea, so that your body can metabolize while you sleep and you're ready to CRUSH it again the next day! WIN WIN YOU!
It ALSO means that if I don't want to be cooking up a storm every. single. day (ain't nobody got time for that), then I need to MEAL PREP!!!! Which excites me ONLY because I've done it before. So come along for the ride, young grasshopper, and I'll share some more of my personal tips with you so you, too, can meal prep like a BOSS.
STEP ONE: MAKE SOME FRIGGIN' OVERNIGHT OATS.
For real you guys, if you haven't seen overnight oats recipes plastering your Pinterest scroll, you must still be using dial up internet. Get on board with these scrumptious breakfasts in a jar.
Overnight oats are the bomb diggity for a couple reasons:
1) They take 3 minutes to make, sit overnight + are ready by morning.
2) They are literally a grab-n-go breakfast. Fast food that's delicious and nutritious? Sign us up!!
There are a TON of recipes out there, but for the oats pictured above, aka Apple Cinnamon Walnut Overnight Oats, I used:
1/2 cup GF quick oats
1/2 chopped apple
1 medjool date, sliced
1 tsp chia seeds
1/3 cup crushed walnuts
1/2 tsp cinnamon
drizzle maple syrup
dash sea salt
(don't forget to add 1 cup non-dairy milk + shake it up before leaving it in the fridge overnight to set)
You can literally make ANY combination for overnight oats.
oats + banana + pb + chia seeds
oats + raspberries + shredded coconut + vanilla stevia drops
oats + pumpkin + nutmeg + maple syrup
oats + slivered almonds + dark choc chips + banana
But I'm sure a quick internet search will yield you HUNDREDS of recipes! Just make sure that you stick with the 1/2 cup GF quick oats + 1 cup non-dairy milk + some kind of fruit/nuts/seeds combo with very little sweetener. Remember, this is breakfast, not dessert.
STEP TWO: KEEP SOME CHILLED PERRIERS IN THE FRIDGE.
I'm going to be very honest here, I am the FIRST to enjoy a delish glass of wine with supper. And if I could, I would legitimately drink wine every single night of my life until I died.
HOWEVER. (I know, don't you hate when people lead up to something only to crush your dreams?)
Alcohol, while delicious when enjoyed responsibly, is a total buzz kill when it comes to trying to get results from your workout program. Isn't that sad? Like all you want to do after crushing it in the gym (or your living room like me #yayforworkoutstreaming) is down a bowl of pasta with a glass of vino.
But alcohol actually slacks your muscles and dehydrates your body, which is literally the opposite of what we're trying to get when we work out: toned, tight and hydrated af.
SO, we've gotta be strong. If you want to challenge yourself like Brandon and I are doing, try giving up the drink for a couple months just to see how you feel! It's a very empowered choice, being able to attend social events and STILL have a great time even though you're not drinking like most people there.
The point of my alcohol ramble there was to show you that sometimes we adults crave a cold one after a long day.
I have been drinking perriers for some time now and I love these sleek little cans. First of all, it's just carbonated water, which is amazing because as stated earlier, we're going for #hydratedaf and second of all, you can get them in delicious, refreshing flavours like lime, grapefruit and orange and they're NATURAL (unlike most drinks in cans, even if they claim to be.)
Moral of the story? Put down the pop and pick up the perrier. Water wins every damn time, and if you're looking for something yummy to drink while you meal prep, these will do just fine.
STEP THREE: UPGRADE YOUR EGG (OR TOFU) GAME WITH VEGGIE SCRAMBLE BAGGIES.
It's not a secret that eggs are the QUEEN of breakfast foods.
They're delicious, nutritious (we want the whole egg, please and thanks) AND they're easy to make in a billion different ways. Basically they're the bees knees. We love eggs in this household. And if you're allergic or choose not to eat eggs, you can just as easily make these baggies up to use with tofu or chickpeas as well!
You know how I mentioned that new program I'm doing for the next three months? Well part of the timed nutrition aspect is eating about an hour and a half before your workout.
Which is something I literally NEVER do.
I usually have my MCT oil + almond milk frothy coffee first thing in the morning, do my usual routine and then forget to eat until post workout around 1pm when I make a shakeology smoothie + some kind of lunch. But not anymore. I
f you want something different, you've gotta DO something different, right??
So I made up these little veggie egg scramble baggies so that when I want to make my pre-workout breakfast (scrambled organic eggs with sautéed veggies in avocado oil and apple cinnamon overnight oats!) I can just heat up the pan and my ingredients are already chopped up! Voila! 5 minutes saved. That's called a life hack. You're welcome.
These baggies have chopped spinach, red onion, cremini mushrooms, herbamere and garlic powder in them.
But you could just as easily chop up broccolli, red peppers, cooked bacon, green onions, cooked sweet potato cubes, etc. and prepare it the same way!!
Some of my other FAVOURITE things to meal prep include:
There are SO many websites with AMAZING meal prep ideas, recipes, hacks, etc. and one of my personal favourites for inspiration is the Beachbody Blog!! Check out some of the TOP pinned recipes from last year in this post.
If you are someone who STRUGGLES with the idea of planning, prepping and eating healthy food, I can help! Each month, I host a 3 week private online group where around 15 of us get together virtually and work on our relationship with food, fitness and ourselves. It's a ton of fun + knowing you're not alone on your journey is probably the best part!
To apply for a spot in the next round I'm hosting, feel free to fill out this form and I'll get back to you within 24 hours!!
I hope this article helped you with some meal prep ideas. Pass it along to someone else who could benefit from it. And don't be afraid to reach out on social media! I'm hanging out on Instagram most often these days and can be found at @mariebarkerwelless!!
Happy meal prepping, beautiful people!
PS - Stay tuned for updates about my program, weekly mantras and affirmations as well as recipes right to your inbox!!