Hack Your Meal Prep

Written by Jamie Susino


May 4, 2022

As a steadily busy person, I fully understand the headache that can go into preparing healthy meals for yourself. Prepping, cooking, cleaning, repeat. EVERY DAY!? It can be a lot, especially at the end of a long day. It’s easy to just decide to order in or stop for pizza when things get hectic, but that doesn’t always necessarily align with our fitness goals and can often derail progress. So how do we manage our schedules and still be health conscious? And how do we keep it interesting? Prepping ahead of time is KEY! Here are a few of my favorite tips to efficiently keep my nutrition in check.

  1. Invest in some tupperware

    You can make a ton of healthy food ahead of time, but make sure you have proper storage on hand. Snapware or other leak proof tupperware is great for bulk storage in the fridge, healthy snacks like berries or veggies, and your daily lunch to bring to work. Not only will you be prepared each day with healthy choices, but you’ll save some dough in the process. It’s an investment that pays off each and every day for me!

  2. Get a spacious (and perhaps stylish) lunch box

    Are you out of the house for long periods of time? Going back to the office, even if it’s part time, has been a hard adjustment for most people. And not having a fully stocked kitchen at the ready for a fresh lunch each day can make the office seem abysmal. It might not be “My Little Pony”, but a nice lunch box that holds your daily meals will keep you satiated all day. I eat the majority of meals at work on long days and my lunch bag really helps me stay on track and holds everything conveniently. You can get something pretty nice on Amazon or at Target for less than $25!

  3. Cook In Bulk

    Each week, I prepare a massive amount of veggies, carbs (mostly sweet potatoes and rice), ground turkey, and grilled chicken breast. I store each element separately in a large tupperware and now I have various options to choose from for each meal. I assemble my meals with a veggie base of choice, a serving of carbohydrates (already cooked and ready to go!) and whatever protein I’d like to top it off. Eating the same thing every day can be boring for some, so I keep each element plain until I’m ready to eat. I have a number of condiments on hand (Cholula hot sauce is a common go-to!) that fits well with my daily nutrition so I can change up the flavor and never get bored.

  4. Crockpot

    Fall is in the air and so is the aroma of comfort food! The best thing about the Autumn weather is making some hearty meals that warm you up. One of the most handy kitchen tools you can have at your disposal is the Crockpot or InstaPot. Set it, forget it, and your meal is waiting for you. This is an awesome way to cook in bulk and save some leftovers (with the tupperware you just purchased) for the whole week. Sunday is my usual meal prep day, so I’ll buy a 4lb pack of chicken breast and pop it in the crockpot with a low calorie sauce of choice (Stubbs BBQ sauce is pretty phenomenal), or a spicy salsa with a little bit of olive oil and cook it on low 4-6 hours. In the meantime, I can prepare other meals, run errands, clean the house, or relax on the couch with a cup of tea and a good true crime documentary.

  5. Savor the Flavor!

    Please, season your food. Healthy food does not have to be boring. If you’re not seasoning your food and cooking it the right way, you’re bound to get bored over some boiled chicken and bland broccoli. Marinate your chicken in some olive oil, pickle juice (Yes, it’s good! You can omit it, but I swear by it) and whatever dry seasonings you like! If you have a grill, use it to keep meat moist and flavorful. If you choose to saute, add flavorful spices, garlic, chopped onion, or whatever you like to add some pizazz to each meal. Either way, cater to your taste buds and keep them happy! Just because it’s good for you doesn’t mean it has to be flavorless or subpar.

  6. Healthy Snacks

Quick and easy snacks are a savior to keep you happy (and healthy) between meals. Everyone who knows me knows that I never go more than an hour (maybe 2) without some form of sustenance. You really don’t want to see me when I’m hungry! To keep the hungry beast at bay, I always have quick snacks ready to go to get me from meal to meal on long days.

These are some of my current favorites:

  • Oikos Pro Greek Yogurt (20g of protein!)

  • Mixed berries

  • Apples

  • Rice Cakes (various flavors or plain with low sugar jam)

  • Cherry tomatoes

  • Overnight oats (soaked with almond milk, blueberries, cinnamon)

  • Hot oatmeal (with added protein)

  • THINK! Chunky PB Bars (or other protein bar with moderate calories)

Hopefully, you can use these tips on your next meal prep day to optimize your time, do the legwork to give yourself a more relaxed week ahead, and have ready-to-go options so you can spend more time doing what you love while staying on track with your nutrition!

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