Meal Prep Tips + Overnight Oats
Updated: Apr 7, 2019
Hooray for the start of Spring!! I am loving this weather, although the pollen is not my fave. I’ll deal with grabbing that allergy pill every day and downing some emergen-c here and there, as long as it stays in the 70s. With the sun out and temps up, it’s finally time to get out with family and friends for runs, bike rides, and hikes! My pup is overjoyed that we have been getting outdoors more the past few days.
Beyond getting outside and being more active now that the weather is warming up, we still have to think about nutrition leading into swimsuit season! I know I am preparing for a beach vacation in a couple months, so I am trying to stay on track with my nutrition. Prepping things ahead can be vital to your success in eating a healthy, well balanced diet. *Side note- by diet I am not talking “diet” in the sense of depriving yourself of certain nutrients i.e. carbs or fats, or restricting your calories in any way. I am simply referring to diet as a way of eating.* Anyways, we all need good, healthy carbs in our lives, LOTS of multi colored veggies, fruits, healthy fats, and lean proteins available for us to grab when we are running around all week with busy schedules!
Enter- meal prep day! I typically reserve one afternoon a week, usually Sunday, when I spend a couple of hours chopping, prepping, grilling, cooking, and cleaning up afterwards. You can totally do it in less time if you prepare less at once or if you are crunched for time and need to cook multiple things at once! I will mention some of these tips below. It’s honestly something I have grown to enjoy and look forward to. It also makes me motivated and excited to eat the things I cook up later in the week! After investing the time and effort in it, it makes you savor those meals even more! Without further ado, here we go:
1) Spring temperatures have us outside more, so that means grilling weather is here! That is one of my number one tips for meal prep- Put everything on the grill!! I LOVE my grill. Especially now that I know how to use it without Shawn. It adds great flavors to foods, and since I use a gas grill, it cooks foods relatively quickly. If you have a grill, I HIGHLY recommend utilizing it for meal prep once a week. You can cook a ton of chicken in one batch on the grill. I do it all the time and save it for salads, or to serve with veggies and a carb for my lunches during the week. You can also grab one of these amazing things off Amazon for super cheap, and it makes incredible veggies! Last week I chopped brussels, tossed them in olive oil, garlic powder and sea salt and grilled them while I was grilling my chicken. They were AMAZING.
2) Sheet pans work wonders! If you are someone who gets bored easily with a certain type of veggie, you can do your body a great service by chopping and cooking multiple veggies (the greater the color the variety, the better!) on a sheet pan. This can also be a huge time saver so that you aren’t having to make multiple batches of veggies in the oven. You can season them all the same or differently!
3) Pre-chop raw veggies to throw in salads for lunches throughout the week. I typically have pre-chopped cucumbers, carrots, red onion, and mushrooms to mix into my greens for salads several times a week. I also love to throw in goat cheese and deli turkey too. Another tip- grab thick slices of deli meat for salads. You can portion out 3-4 ounce servings to cube and enjoy as a salad mix-in.
4) Bake several sweet potatoes in advance. This one is SUPER easy. I literally just throw a sweet potato on a foil lined baking sheet at 350 for about an hour. You can also cook them overnight in the crock pot on low. Boom. Healthy carbs for the week. The same goes for rice if you aren’t grain free. Cook up a big batch of it for the whole week and pre-portion it out to take in your lunches, or just keep it in a large Tupperware to add to meals as needed!
5) Speaking of crock pots, USE IT! This is such an easy way to make soups, large batches of shredded chicken or pork, stews, etc. Pack those suckers full of lean proteins and veggies so you can save the leftovers for meals throughout the week.For snacks, pre-portion out nuts, fruit, veggies, plantain or sweet potato chips, nut butters with apple slices, etc, that you can grab quickly to take with you for the day.
6) If you start your day early and know you won’t have time to cook breakfast for yourself, prep this ahead too! You can boil a big batch of eggs and peel them so they are ready to go. You can also make egg or egg white muffins with chopped veggies (and cheese if you are ok with dairy). I also like to make and freeze homemade muffins or banana breads to take for some healthy carbs and fats. Just make sure you are getting that protein in too!
If these ideas aren’t appealing to you, one of my favorite make ahead breakfasts is overnight oats. Check out the recipe below! It is totally customizable to the types of fruits and add-ins you like. Try adding in a scoop of protein powder and/or nut butter for some added proteins or fats!
1/2 cup Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
1/2 cup Unsweetened Vanilla Cashew Milk (or your favorite type of milk)
1/4 cup frozen blueberries (can use fresh or any other type of fruit here)
1/2 medium banana sliced
1 tsp cinnamon
drizzle of honey
Mix all ingredients together aside from the banana. Cover and place in the fridge to sit overnight. Wake up the next morning, add the banana, enjoy! It’s that easy!