1. MAKE YOUR LIST BEFORE SHOPPING
Making sure you have a comprehensive list of the things you'll need to complete your meal prep is essential to a successful and stress-free shopping experience. Especially when shopping in a city like New York. I like to start with breakfast and work my way through they day, detailing each meal and snack so I can have an idea of what is needed. After completing the list, I make sure it's uploaded to all of my devices (iPhone, iPad and good ol' fashion paper... just in case). There's nothing like showing up to the grocery store minus your shopping list.
2. STICK TO YOUR SHOPPING LIST
By creating a list beforehand it helps you avoid impulse buys, therefore saving money. Unless it's something that progresses your weekly goal then make sure to leave it on the shelves. Keeping the snacks out the cart also makes the week easier as there are no temptations at home.
3. DEDICATE THE TIME TO MEAL PREPPING
I like to set aside uninterrupted time every Sunday to complete my meal prep. By blocking off the time, it ensures that you won't be tempted to make other plans. Knowing that your week's success is dependent on the discipline you have on Sunday makes it so worth it. I also try to look at meal prep time spent as another way that I'm nurturing my body.
4. INVEST IN TUPPERWARE
By having good quality storage containers you save yourself the headache of clean-ups when surprise, you reach into your purse for your keys and get a handful of balsamic vinaigrette. #YUCK Also by purchasing good quality, dishwasher safe storage containers it makes your meal prep simple and stackable in the refrigerator.
5. IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF YUMMY!
Have a favorite salad from a great lunch spot? Why not recreate it for your meal prep? I find inspiration ALL THE TIME from great dishes that I enjoy at restaurants. With it being warm these days, I'm a huge fan of the salads at The Juice Shop so every week I try a new and delicious salad. By enjoying the salad first hand and snapping a picture of the label for later, I have a great reference for items that I may need for my shopping list.
6. KEEP SNACKS SIMPLE
Meal prep requires a certain level of dedication so why not make things easier on yourself by keeping your snacks simple. I like to go with bananas, apples, string cheese, kiwis or fruits/veggies that require little to no prepping prior to packing my daily lunch. Trust me you'll be just as happy to peel that tasty banana.
7. PLATE IT UP
So you've completed your amazing lunch plus tasty snacks for the week and now it's time to chow down. One trick I use frequently is to plate my meal prep lunch. By placing your food on a plate you get to enjoy a meal like it should be enjoyed, not eating out the container like a savage, unless that's your thing. *wink wink*
8. COMMITMENT IS THE KEY
I get the question ALL the time, "How can you eat the same thing ALL week?" One word = commitment. By committing the time to prepare these healthy meals it usually ensures that I am going to stay committed to eating them each day. One note - I make four lunch meal preps allowing Friday to be a day where I order food. Keep in mind that just because I order food, it doesn't have to be pizza and wings. I make Friday a day where I treat myself to another satisfying meal. This also gives me another opportunity to try something new.