CrossFit Meal Prep – (Tips & Tricks)
It's 7am on a Monday morning, you struggle to turn off the alarm, you fall out of bed, hit the shower then rush out the door to work.
No time for breakfast at home so you grab a coffee to go at your favorite cafe and then you see them. All those shiny dough-nuts, muffins and pastries at the counter.
That little devil on your shoulder says:
Go ahead buy one.... what's the harm?
Getting your CrossFit Meal Prep on point is one of the best ways to keep you from falling off the wagon and reaching for that 6 pack of doughnuts at the store or impulse buy at the coffee shop.
Although meal prepping takes a little bit of planning and work the positive benefits it can have on your nutrition quality is astounding.
CrossFit Meal Prep Guide
One of the biggest challenges of eating healthy is finding the time to prepare fresh meals. Instead of cooking a meal, you may decide to binge out on whatever snacks you find in the cupboard.
Meal prepping provides a way to make preparing meals less of a hassle. If your busy lifestyle keeps you from eating healthy, follow these tips to start prepping your meals and spend less time in the kitchen.
Understanding the Basics of Prepping
Meal prepping refers to the process of preparing foods in advance so that you can quickly put together a fresh meal or snack. Restaurants also use this process to deliver meals more quickly.
The most basic types of prep work include washing and cutting produce, weighing food portions, and cooking batches of meat for multiple meals.
You do not necessarily need to cook all your meals in advance. However, you can take care of the initial preparation for your meals for the week. Instead of needing to cook and cut chicken for stir-fry, you can simply grab a container of chicken that you’ve already prepared.
Purchase Storage Bags and Containers
Before you can start prepping, you need storage containers and bags to store the food that you’ve prepared. Consider getting a variety of storage containers of varying sizes. When you store food, you want to limit the amount of free space in the container as the extra air can cause the food to spoil quickly.
You can use either reusable containers or disposable containers. Disposable containers save you the hassle of needing to wash the containers after each use. However, reusable containers may provide a more affordable long-term solution.
Along with containers, you should purchase storage bags, including freezer bags. Storage bags make it easier to limit the amount of air that reaches the stored food.
Plan Your Meals for the Entire Week
With your container and bags in your kitchen, the next step is to start planning your meals for the week. Choose your breakfast, lunch, and dinner for each day of the week.
You may find it easier to start your planning with your dinners, especially when cooking for one or two people. Dinners are often a great source of leftovers for lunch the following day, which can limit both meal prep and cooking.
Choose Two Days to Complete Your Prepping
The goal of meal prepping is to save time. If you want to ensure that you spend less time in the kitchen, choose two days out of the week to complete all your prep work.
You do not want to prepare all your meals a week in advance. Some ingredients will only stay fresh for several days. After chopping up ingredients for a salad, the ingredients may not last more than a couple days.
Divide your prep work between two days so that you never prepare ingredients more than four days in advance. For example, you may choose Sunday and Wednesday to complete your prepping.
Keep Your Fridge and Freezer Organized
As you prep your food, you will begin to fill your fridge and freezer with containers and bags. It is easy for your fridge to become an unorganized mess. When you have an unorganized fridge, you are more likely to let food go bad. You may overlook or forget about a container in the back of the fridge.
As mentioned, you should choose two days to perform your prep work. Before you get started, clean out the fridge and get rid of any old or rotten food.
Prepare Fresh Produce for Your Meals
You are now ready to start prepping your meals. If you’re eating a variety of healthy meals, you will likely need a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Start your prep with the produce.
Go through the meal plan that you created and determine which meals require fresh fruits or vegetables. Wash, rinse, peel, and cut the fruits and vegetables according to the directions in the recipes.
Remember to avoid storing the produce in containers that are too large. You want to ensure that the fruits and vegetables still taste fresh after two or three days in the fridge.
Cook Large Batches of Meat for Your Meals
Along with fresh fruits and vegetables, you may need a lot of meat to make it through the week. With some meals, you can weigh, cut, and cook the meat in advance.
Stir-fry, chicken salad, chicken strips, and other chicken-based meals are easy to prep for. You can cook a large batch of chicken breasts and store them in the fridge or freezer.
Add Crockpot Recipes to Your Weekly Meal Plan
Crockpot recipes are also useful for saving time. You can prepare the entire meal in advance and then store the meal in a large container.
Stews, broths, and other crockpot meals are easy to make. You typically combine all the ingredients in the crockpot and heat for several hours. While the meal is cooking, you can take care of the prep work for your other meals.
Freeze Fruits and Vegetables for up to a Year
If you are new to meal prepping, you should start with the suggestions already discussed. When you get used to the process, you can start freezing fruits and vegetables, allowing you to complete even more prep work in advance.
You can store most produce in your freezer for up to a year or longer. Instead of prepping fruits and vegetables for the following several days, you can prepare enough produce to get you through months of meals.
Vegetables do not typically need to be thawed if they are going to be cooked. Fruit typically needs to thaw at room temperature before being added to a meal, which may take several hours.
Start Prepping Your Meals to Save Time
Use these tips to start prepping your meals. Remember to start by purchasing the necessary containers and bags. You may also want to clear out some space in your fridge and freezer.
After you plan your meals for the week, review the recipes. Determine which steps will require the most prep work. If possible, perform most of your prep on the same day each week. The repetition will help you make meal prepping a healthy habit.