Let’s talk about one of my very favorite things… Food! If you have been following me for quite some time, you know I work a traditional 9-5 job and run a full-time business (Ryann Nicole Wellness). And because of that, the last thing I have time to worry about is what I will make to eat. Over the past 2 years, I have perfected my food prep methodology, and I am dropping all the secrets to help make your food life easier!
In episode 048 of the Food Freedom Lab, I am sharing how to make your life easier and more efficient with food prep. Before you’re like, ‘NO, OH MY GOSH, I HATE THIS,’ I want to pause and say this is different from meal prep. Meal prep is prepping entire meals, whereas food prep is prepping ingredients for you to be able to create meals from. So to make things easy peasy is what you need to know about food prep:
TIP ONE: FIND YOUR STAPLES
Just like having staple outfit pieces that you can always spice up, it is vital to have meal staples that you can always spice up. These staples are your go-to when you are in a rush, don’t have time, or just aren’t in the mood to make anything special. Here are examples of my 3 go-to breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack staples…
- Breakfast: Avocado Toast, Overnight Oats, Waffles with Nutbutter
- Lunch: Wrap, Sandwich, Salad
- Dinner: Meat/Veg/Rice, Taco Bowl, Turkey Burger
- Snacks: Yogurt Parfait, Protein Bar, PB & banana Rice Cakes
When you have your basics and go-to’s, it takes the stress out of it and allows you to change things up when you do have more time.
TIP TWO: DO IT WHEN YOU'RE ALREADY COOKING
My #PROTIP to food prep is to do it when you are already making something. I usually do this when I am making dinner on Sunday. When you are already in cooking mode, getting things dirty, and spending time in the kitchen, you can make the most of your time by leveling up and prepping some other things.
Things I typically prep:
- Wash and cut fruit
- Wash and cut veg
- Cook any meat (usually chicken and hard-boiled eggs)
- Make 1 or 2 carbs (usually quinoa and roasted potatoes)
TIP THREE: UPGRADE YOUR SAUCES
Sauces are SO underrated, and I think it’s our diet-obsessed world. They get a bad wrap. However, sauces can be a game-changer in making eating EASY. How? Because you can use the same ingredients yet feel like you are having an entirely different meal based on the sauce.
For example, let’s take chicken, rice, and broccoli.
- You can make a teriyaki bowl by throwing that chicken, rice, and broccoli into a pan and adding teriyaki sauce and avocado
- Or, you can make curry by throwing that chicken, rice, and broccoli into a pot and adding coconut milk and curry powder
- You can make a mexi bowl by throwing that chicken, rice, and broccoli onto lettuce and adding some salsa, beans, and cheese
- Or, you can make a barbecue plate by throwing that chicken, rice, and broccoli on a plate and adding barbecue sauce
Take some time the next time you are at the grocery store to stock up on some sauces for food prep. Here are some of my favorites:
- Bitchin sauce (chipotle and pesto)
- Majestic Garden Garlic Spread
- Annie's Goddess dressing and balsamic dressing
- Teriyaki sauce
- Barbecue sauce
- Soy sauce
- Coconut aminos
TIP 4: STOCK UP YOUR FREEZER AND PANTRY
Can we please stop demonizing frozen food and nonperishables? There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with frozen meals and nonperishables. And these can be such a lifesaver when you’re having one of those days where you are starving and don’t want to cook. Or when you are trying to make a meal out of the random leftover ingredients in your fridge before you go to the store.
Things I always keep in my freezer:
- Ground turkey
- Frozen fish: salmon, tilapia, shrimp
- Frozen pizza
- Frozen chicken tenders
- French fries
- Frozen veggies (broccoli, edamame, green beans)
Things I always keep in my pantry:
- Rice Noodles and spaghetti noodles
- Quinoa and rice
- Boxed mac and cheese
TIP FIVE: KEEP THINGS SIMPLE AND SEPARATE
This might sound counterintuitive and trigger you, but HEAR ME OUT. If you bake a ton of chicken and just season it with salt and pepper with some olive oil, you can then take that chicken and add it to your teriyaki bowl, curry, salad, and mexi bowl, and it doesn’t take away from the flavor!
This also really helps with not feeling like you are eating the same thing over and over and over. If you keep things plain, your sauce add-in can change it up, and you don’t have to cook new things every time you want something new!
Meal prep and food prep are two different things. If you are ready to be more efficient with your cooking and groceries, food prep is the thing for you!