Mealprep 101

IMG_20140616_180131I always get a lot of questions about and comments on my mealpreps when I post them on Instagram. Let met start by saying: you don’t have to mealprep! I do it because it really helps me to stay on track and lose weight, but if it’s not for you, then that is totally fine!

If you scroll down on my instagram page, you can kind of see how my mealprepping started. I started with making 3 dinners on a plate, for easy and healthy eating when I come home tired. I progressed to adding breakfast and later on I also started prepping my lunches. Nowadays I prep for 4 days on Monday (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks). I usually add some extra snacks (usually protein) on the days I workout.

2 Most frequently asked questions:

  1. Doesn’t it spoil? Do you freeze them?

The answer is no and no. I use airtight containers for the lunch and dinner. The breakfast goes in a bowl without a cover in the fridge. I don’t freeze them, because it alters the taste, makes is more dry and it’s not necessary. We are always so afraid of food going bad, but really, if you work hygienic, use the proper containers and have a proper working fridge, there is no problem. I even don’t cool my lunch during the morning, I just put it in my bag and eat it at noon. And everything tastes very nice 🙂

  1. Isn’t it boring to eat the same every day?IMG_20140611_194205

This is very personal. For me it’s not boring. But I can imagine you wouldn’t like it. And that’s ok! I’ve prepped different meals for every day, but it just wasn’t worth the time for me. I only do this 4 days a week, so the other days I eat something completely different. Personally, eating the same for 4 days really works well for me. It takes out the guessing and the emotional eating. I see food as a nice way to fuel your body, it’s not something to control your emotions with!

How to start:

Ok, so you want to start prepping, here are some tips and questions you need to ask yourself before you start.

  1. My first tip is don’t go overboard the first time. You’ll get overwhelmed by everything and might quit soon! Try to prep 1 course, so maybe only lunches or only dinners.
  2. Plan before prep! Think of the following:
  • Where am I going to eat my prepped meal?
  • Am I going to eat it cold or hot?
  • Do I have the possibility to heat if I want to eat it hot?
  • How many meals/which days are busy for you?
  • Do you have enough tubs?
  • Where are you going to keep them, how are you going to transport them?
  1. Every ‘boring’ meal can be made nice by herbs/spices/garlic/onion/pepper/salt/ginger etc.
  2. What does your meal has to contain? (weightwatchers: how many pp? Slimming world people: what day and how many syns? Calorie counters: how many calories? Macro counters: how many macro’s?) iifym.com is a great site to find out how many calories and how many macro’s your body needs. www.myfitnesspal.com is also a great way to track what you eat and it also has an app!
  3. When you choose your food: don’t choose food that has to stay partially raw, like rare steak. I choose food that can be heated thoroughly so germs die and don’t spoil it after a few days.
  4. When are you going to prep and what are you prepping exactly?
  5. When are you going to do the shopping? For how many days will you shop?
  6. Create a shoppinglist and a prep-plan
  7. Clean your kitchen, empty the dishwasher/sink, get the stuff you need out on the counter/table.
  8. Get started!

Hiccups:IMG_20140810_154524

So everybody has hiccups on their path. For me, I’ve realized I have to change my meals weekly, because prepping the same week after week will leave me nauseated and not feeling like eating it anymore. I learned from this. I’ve also learned that I don’t like the taste of reheated fish (I’ve tried tilapia and salmon). If I want to prep with fish again, I’ll leave it for dinner and just fry it when I want to eat, because the frying of fish doesn’t take that long. You’ll find out yourself what works for you and what doesn’t. Write it down, make a plan and change it if necessary. I’ve learned to write down the exact cooking plan. Why? Well, I had a plan in my head of what to do first and what can cook at the same time, but forgot I only had 1 big pan and 2 dishes needed the big pan lol.

What stuff do you need?

Well, this is different for everybody, the only thing I know is the stuff I use, some things are just handy and not really necessary:

  • Proper tubs (BPA free!) that can stand cooling, microwaving and the dishwasher.
  • Cooking utensils (pans, spoons etc.)
  • I use the oven frequently, but not 100% necessary
  • I use a steamcooker frequently, but again, not necessary (Mine is Tefal, Jamie Oliver edition)
  • SCALE (if you want to know how much you eat, you can’t do without!)

Portion control:

So you’re cooking in bulk, how do you calculate your exact portion? Not too difficult I must say, but I’ve got some tricks that make it very easy. If you have separate ingredients, like steamed sweet potato, steamed chicken and broccoli, it’s not really difficult to weigh the portions out in your tubs. But, I cook dishes with multiple ingredients frequently and that got me doing this method:

  1. You weigh your pan before you start cooking
  2. You write down everything you put in the pan (100 gr. Rice, 100 gr. Chicken etc.)
  3. You calculate the total amount of points/syns/calories/macro’s and devide it by how many meals you are making (so 40 pp for the whole pan, 4 meals, 10pp per meal).
  4. You weigh your pan again, but now with the finished product in it.
  5. You subtract the original pan weight from this finished product weight.
  6. Now divide this weight by how many portions you are making.
  7. Now put your tubs on the scale and weigh out your separate portions.

You could also just start scooping things in the tubs and than weigh every tub and redivide, but that is a pain in the behind, so I prefer this method (also good for oatmeal breakfast prep!).

When you have any mealprep questions, just ask!! I’m trying to upload my mealprep weekly with a shoppinglist and a plan which takes you through the process.

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19 thoughts on “Mealprep 101

  1. Thank you for liking my post on Supercali, I also maintain a weight loss blog, through which I am writing to you. I see you have done amazing things with yourself. I plan to follow you and hopefully encourage each other on this journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for “liking” my recipe Creamy Chai Rice Porridge with Poached Ginger Pears.

    Like you, I also prep my meals, often for the whole week, and pack some in the fridge and some in the freezer. It makes it easier to eat healthy convenient meals, especially after work when I may not feel up to cooking from scratch. I reserve cooking ahead for a slow Sunday afternoon. 🙂 I am glad to know others do this too and for similar reasons. Keep up the great health progress!

    Like

  3. Pingback: Mealprep week 6 breakdown | Floordeboor

  4. I loved the detailed explanation.
    It is very thorough and helpfull. I have done this for years and I envy you for beong able to eat the same thing four days in a row.
    I’m married with children so it was rather challenging That’s why I did sometimes freeze food. Espcially when it’s preparation was time consuming. So I made a double amount and kept half frozen for a time of need or unexpected guests (or an unexpected crave…).
    I totally agree about ar tight containers.
    About freezing, it’s good if you use an airtight container. Otherwhise it does ruin your food. Anothet way to freeze is to double wrapp it ( e.g. wrapp the box with aluminium foil or plastic).
    As for the fish, I found that if you want to retain it’s fresh flavor, you should’t use microwave for re-heating (there goes the option to eat it at work) but to use the same method used for it’s cooking – i.e., if you fried it, fry it again. If you cooked it, cook it again in a small pot (you might have to add some liquid).
    Hope I helped.
    Thanks again

    Liked by 1 person

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