ONE HOUR Meal Prep!? Meal Prepping Ideas For Beginners

Hi guys! It's Alyssia. So this week, since we aren't launching season
three until next week, I thought we would do a back-to-school meal prep episode or video. Just to talk about some ideas. End of August, early September gets really
busy for whether you are going back to high school or college or even if you're a mom,
this time of year just really picks up and we don't have as much time to prep food.

Or maybe you haven't been prepping but now
it's like a fresh start and you want to jump back on the health wagon. So meal prep, people always ask for meal prep
ideas and you can do crazy meal prep. You’ve seen the photos where it's like seven
days of tons of Tupperwares and they’re in the fridge or on the table, laid out and
it's all the same thing. And that is awesome because if you follow
that, you will totally succeed. But it doesn't work for me because (a) I don't
want to eat the same thing every single day, and (b) I never have that kind of time to
make seven days' worth of meals at once. Even though I know the logic is, it's easier,
you make it all one time and then you don't have to make anything the rest of the week. But I don't have five or six hours on Sunday
to do that.

So I don't do that. I eat different things every single day to
keep it interesting. Especially when you're eating healthy you
feel like if I eat the same things I get so bored and I just want to stop eating healthy
altogether. So trying to keep it interesting really helps
for me. So, my meal prep – I'm going to tell you about
a little later – but pretty much I spend about one hour on Sunday doing all of my meal prep
for the week and then kind of space the rest out through the other days.

So, I'm going to share some of my staple,
on-the-go breakfast, lunch and dinner ideas and some snacks. And you can try these out, you can try your
own out. For breakfast, I love, love, love overnight
oats. So, if you don't know what overnight oats
are by now, I don't know what, but you need to click the link, wherever it is, for my
overnight oats episode. Because it will tell you exactly what it is
but pretty much it's oats and a bunch of other stuff in a jar. You stir it up and you leave it in the ‘fridge
overnight. In the morning you wake up, it's ready to
go, cold. So you can take it to school or work. Whether you are on a bus or train or car – I
guess you shouldn't eat it while you’re driving – but you get what I'm saying. It's portable and that's the idea with busy
on-the-go stuff, right? Because we want to be able to take it with
us.

So some other good breakfast ideas: I've got
my two ingredient energy bars which are no-bake. We did an episode Two-Ingredient Takeover
on those. Check it out. Fruit and yogurt. That's another one of my go-tos when I'm short
on time. Usually it's not quite enough for me so I
have to add some kind of protein powder or something to make it a little more substantial. But it's a good option. Muffins: I love muffins. And I love mini muffins because I can eat
more of them. So I have a ton of mini muffin recipes. I make them on the weekend. I keep them for the whole week. They freeze really well. My Vegetarian Breakfast Bake. I did an episode on that. Check it out. You make it on the weekend and it lasts the
entire week. And that's really good for lunch and dinner
too, not just breakfast. And of course my egg muffins. So egg muffins, I haven't talked about in
a while. I posted them on Instagram a long time ago
but pretty much it's like a little mini quiche.

You bake up – you just pour either eggs, egg
whites, egg substitute, whatever into little muffin tins with vegetables, bake them up
and then that's it. You put them in the fridge and you can eat
them cold or warm but they’re great on the go. Alright, on to lunch. So I know everyone doesn't have access to
a kitchen during lunchtime. You can't always cook something healthy but
you can always bring something healthy. So it does take some planning. There's no way around it. Especially if you’re going to go out to
eat and it's expensive. You don't want to have to pick something healthy
when you go out – I don't want to have to pick something healthy when I go out to eat. So my best bet to stay healthy during the
school year is to just pack my own lunch.

So, things I like to pack. Chicken salad and pasta salad are really,
really good options that I can make ahead of time and then just take them on the go. Really easy to make those things healthy. You don't need to use mayonnaise. I always sub Greek yogurt or avocado for mayonnaise. And I've got a bunch of recipes for those. Salads in a jar. So this is like a total fad going around and
it's super cool. But pretty much you put all your salad ingredients
– it can be lettuce, tomatoes, beans, fruit – anything you want, you put it in the jar. I recommend putting the lettuce on the top
because it'll get soggy if you put it at the bottom. And I also recommend not putting the dressing
in until you are going to actually eat it because it starts to be a little mushy.

But you can prep these for like a whole week
and it'll totally – when I make salads in a jar I will actually eat a salad every day
but if I don't make it then there is like a 10% chance I’ll eat a salad. Smoothies. Smoothies are great. Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack – anytime
of the day you can throw in vegetables, fruits. You don't even need milk, yogurt or anything. You can just put it with water and ice and
it's great. You don't need to add sweetener. If you use fruit it's plenty sweet and you
can also make those in advance. And you can freeze them and then eat them
as ice cream for a dessert. Dinner. Alright so my go-to dinner on busy nights
is eggs, frittatas, any kind of egg meal like I usually use egg whites or substitute if
I'm going to do scrambled eggs. If I'm going to eat fried eggs I of course
want the yolk.

But frittatas are one way that I can get all
my vegetables in. So one thing about prepping, meal prep and
stuff – I don't like to eat a bunch of raw vegetables so even if I cut them up, I'm not
going to go grab for them and reach them to eat them plain. But I will put them in eggs because eggs disguise
everything and make them taste great. So that's a really big go-to dinner. Same with pizza. So get like a solid whole wheat crust or try
out my garbanzo bean flour crust. That one’s super quick and easy to make. Put a bunch of vegetables on there and you
got your veggies in for the day. Any slow cooker recipes. One of my favorite recent ones is my Tex Mex
Quinoa. You can make it on the weekend or you can
throw all the stuff in at the beginning of the day, go out for work and stuff, you come
back and it's cooked. Ready to go. Panini. We forgot to talk about sandwiches at lunch
but you all know that. That's normal.

But a hot sandwich – get a Panini press – they
are like $10-15 at Duane Reade and you can make hot sandwiches. So a few appliances to keep around: Panini
press, Nutribullet, toaster/toaster oven – I don't know if dorms allow toaster ovens. My sister was saying that they don't allow
them anymore. But anyways, just the basics. You don't need a lot of appliances but just
a few will help give you a lot more variety in your diet. Also for dinner, sweet potatoes. They are so easy to microwave. They take a while to roast in the oven but
if you don't have time for that, throw them in a microwave for a few minutes, cut it open,
put a little peanut butter on it and you’re good to go. Alright, some snack ideas.

So, bean salsa is something I love to keep
in the fridge every single week. My bean salsa recipe, it's actually my mom's
recipe, but it's really good. You just take a bunch of canned stuff, put
it into a bowl and mix it up and you’re done. And it's a really good source of protein,
it's vegetarian. So if you are trying to do a little more meatless,
that's a good option. I eat it plain, I eat it with vegetables,
I eat it with chips or crackers, on sandwiches, anything. It's just awesome. Also the link for that will be below. Boiled eggs. You can boil up eggs easy peasy. Either, actually boiling them over the stove
or baking them in the oven and just grab and go.

Those are quick snacks. Celery in a jar with peanut butter. This is a really clever idea. You can do these before and they don't take
really long to assemble right before you leave. Just put some peanut butter in the jar or
grab an almost empty peanut butter jar, throw some little sticks of celery in there and
you're good. Making your own trail mix. So homemade trail mixes are a better option
than the store-bought just because the store-bought tends to have a lot of added sugars and salt. So making your own is easy. Get some nuts that you like. Get some raisins or cranberry, whatever dried
fruit. Maybe a few M&M's, but not too many and you
got a trail mix good to go. Another favorite snack: brown bag popcorn. So I am off of bagged, microwaveable popcorn,
like the pre-bagged kinds because of everything I've been hearing about all the chemicals
in the bag, it's like…usually I'm not like a chemically person but for some reason it's
freaking me out. And then I discovered this way that you can
make popcorn in a brown bag just normal.

All you do is put a few kernels in the bag,
throw them in the microwave, put it on for a few minutes. You don't need any oil, no butter, nothing. You can just put a little salt or little seasoning
and you got perfect popcorn. And it's healthy and low calorie and whole
grain. Okay, another snack. Dried figs. These are one of my new favorite things. So I’m going to tell you a secret that I'm
kind of embarrassed to even admit but until a few month ago – because I teach fitness
classes, I told you guys that before – but I had this habit of stealing all the sugar
packets from Dunkin Donuts and before I would teach a class I would shoot back a sugar packet
for energy.

Because I don't like taking energy drinks
and stuff. And I know that's really terrible. I mean it’s not that terrible. It's like one sugar pack, it's not going to
kill you but I just did it for the energy and it made me feel – I don't know. Anyways I did that and then a few months ago
I switched and I started, I was like 'oh I should try these dry figs'. And they are really good and sugary, no added
sugar, they are just naturally, they have a lot of natural sugar in them. And you don't want to eat a million dried
figs but I'll just now eat one or two dried figs before a class and I won't eat my sugar
packet. So small changes in the journey help. Alright, another good snack or sweet treat
option: any of my two ingredient recipes. If you didn't get to see the Two-Ingredient
Takeover series, check it out now.

But especially those brownies – all you do,
brownie mix and pumpkin. Boom! You got brownies. My two ingredient cookies – those banana oatmeal
ones will last in the fridge if you make them on the weekend. So we've come to our Sunday prep. I like to limit, like I said, my prep to one
hour. So you go to the grocery store – this doesn't
count in the time – you get everything you need, whatever. The basic prep I do. Let's say you take the first ten minutes and
you dedicate that to prepping your protein.

So I would probably use lean chicken or something
like that. Maybe extra lean ground turkey. So whether it's cutting off the fat of the
chicken or cutting it down, whatever. Prepping your protein to cook – ten minutes. That's a really liberal amount of time. You shouldn't need ten minutes to do that
but let's just say you do.

Thirty minutes. The next thirty minutes, your protein is cooking
so it's on the stove, it's in the oven, whatever it's doing, you spend the first fifteen minutes
just cutting up fruits and vegetables. So everyone thinks that that's the most daunting
part. It doesn't take that long if you actually
just have it all out and go on the cutting board and do it. You spend the first fifteen minutes cutting
up fruits and vegetables, put them in Tupperwares, that's it. The second fifteen minutes, you are going
to make your staple snack. So, your bean salsa, your hummus, any kind
of those dipping sauces, whatever that you want to encourage you to eat vegetables. So then your protein is done. You let it chill. You have twenty minutes left in your hour. You’re going to spend ten more minutes doing
those miscellaneous things. So whether it be making some pasta so that
you…or quinoa to make pasta salad, hot or cold. Maybe this is the time when you boil your
eggs or make your trail mix or just spend about ten minutes making a few of those things.

And then spend the last ten minutes cleaning
up. So if you are efficient while you’re doing
it, you won't have that much clean up. If you can keep it all kind of contained and
have your Tupperwares ready to go. It's not so bad. So, there you go. Meal prep an hour. That's literally all I do before the week. So the rest of it, I just kind of do as I
go because it allows me to keep variety and keep my diet interesting. Like I said I cannot eat the same thing every
single day. I can eat leftovers but not the exact same
thing for all the meals every day. But remember, whether you are a meal prep
person or not, your success is not going to be determined by whether or not you meal prep.

It's just going to be about how dedicated
you are. Prepping a few things like cutting up those
fruits and vegetables, keeping them accessible, will encourage you to be healthier. I know if I don't cut up the fruit, if I leave
the cantaloupe sitting out on the counter and I don't cut it when I get home – it's
not even about whether or not I have time. Let's be real, I'm lazy and I don't want to
cut the cantaloupe right then. But if I have it cut up in the fridge already
I'm going to pick it up and eat it. So rather than grabbing the processed food
or the bag of chips or your roommate's pop tarts, grab your fruit and your vegetables,
and your hummus and your bean salsa. You are going to have to make time for what's
important.

If you really want to see this change happen
and stay true to it then you've got to make the time to prep however you need to whether
it's an hour or five hours, whatever way is going to help you succeed, that's what you
got to do. Reorganize your day. It's not that we don't have time, it's that
we don't make time. So if you make the time I promise you can
succeed whether you are a meal prepper or not. So whether you’re back to school or your
kids are back to school, I hope everybody is ready for an awesome Fall and I'll see
you next week.

Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you: this
Sunday we’re going to start posting Mind Over Munch vlog. So every Sunday you'll see a new one. But this Sunday is the very first one and
it's going to show you what I eat in a day. So you are going to see some of the things
I talked about here.

You are going to see some things I didn't
talk about here. But may be that'll help give you some more
ideas for you to have a successful school year, semester, whatever it may be. See you then..

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