Meal Prep

Meal Prep 101: Lots and LOTS of storage containers

I'm a meal prepper. I prep my food every Sunday. My grandma and my daughter both know to stay out of the kitchen for at least three hours every Sunday. Three hours may seem daunting, but seriously. It's the only way I can keep track of my food. 

Every week I get a random question from someone asking how I prep. So I decided to write about it instead: 

First off here's a list of things you will need, I've included links to the items that I currently own: 
* a food scale 
* An array of Ziplock or Rubbermaid containers
* A lunch bag of some sort. I use a Jaxx bag, but I also have a Six Pack Bag that I use for travelling.

Now for the work involved: 

It all starts on Wednesday. I save all of the ads to my favorite grocery stores, then using Excel (because I'm a dork like that) I plug in my shopping list. Now before I go on, I wanted to point out, that I have the excel sheet saved as a digital file that you can download from my site for free. You'll find it here

Then throughout the week I look at the foods I like and figure out what I want to make. Usually perusing through Pinterest (the link takes you to my cooking board on Pinterest) and coming up with ideas on what to make. I'll prep anything from breakfast quiche, to grilled peaches and greek yogurt ice cream. But I always start with what's on sale. Why? To save money of course! Rarely I'll prep multiple meals, but overall I eat the same thing all week and then just make something different for the following day. 

This step usually takes me two to three days. I try and be precise as possible. Which means, I write down what the item is, how much it is, and where it is. Then I add on the serving size and the macro nutrients: Protein, Carbs, Fat, and Fiber. Typically I get this information from My Fitness Pal, google, or this nutrition book that I have. Let me tell you. Google and MFP are way faster than the book, not to mention easier to read. The trick is finding everything in grams. Find out what the serving size is, in grams. And then go from there. 

I find out my new macros for the following week, after I weigh in and measure myself. Once I know what my new numbers are. I add it to the bottom of my menu planner. Then I start planning my menu, what meal I want to eat when. I include everything! From salt, to coconut oil, to water, everything! Then I print out my menu and put it up on the fridge. One so I remember what the fuck to cook, and two so my grandma doesn't make me her amazing Lithuanian food. 

Quick Tip: I always leave a little extra room for stuff that I like. Like my large iced coffee from Dunkin, with easy cream and sugar. I know what days I need it most, so those are the days I leave a little extra room for carbs. Same with going out with friends. I take all of that into account each week. That way, my numbers stay on track and I don't get mad at myself for eating like an asshole. 

After shopping everything goes in the garage fridge until I'm ready to cook. The fridge we have in the house is super small. It barely fits everything we have. So we have my fridge in the garage. Saturday night I usually take the time to marinate any meat and being the basics of prepping. Sunday morning, 9am, the grill goes on. Mind you, I used to bake everything. But after three years of baked chicken, I couldn't take it anymore! So we got a new grill and that baby is used every damn Sunday! 

When Sunday comes around, I'm ready. Food is prepped to cook and that's all I do for three hours. Cook, clean, cook, clean. If you follow me on Snapchat (@inkristyble) you'll see why the constant cleaning. The kitchen is smaller than my desk at work. 

Food goes into the containers immediately, and store in the bottom shelf of the fridge. I even have it set up to where I can just grab and go. As long as no one messes with it. 

So that's how I meal prep. Obviously, everyone is different. I know people who prep their food based on the local restaurants. And some people who prep different meals for each day. So to each their own. But hopefully this will help with your own weekly meal prep.

Kristy Kronas is a Certified Personal Trainer in the burbs of Chicago. She is a single parent and author with a children's book being published this fall! She has a passion for lifting, boxing, kayaking, and a hatred of running. Watch out for her new venture this September when she launches a daily podcast called the 'Daily Donut.' If you have any questions, comments, or just want to say hi, shoot her an email!