If Instagram isn't your go-to site for meal prep yet, you don't know what you're missing. Tasty ideas and genius tips abound, all designed to help you eat nutritiously, hone your chef skills, and free up more time on Sunday so you aren't stuck in the kitchen all day cooking and storing meals for the upcoming week. These 7 tips from our favorite Instagram meal preppers will show you how it's done.
Prep simple ingredients you can mix and match all week
If creating big batches of meals feels too overwhelming, just prep some basic proteins, greens, and healthy carbs—you'll have enough ready-to-eat food on hand to turn into many healthy meals. Check out @shutterbean, which has the right idea: precut, washed, and prepped roasted tomatoes, orzo salad, hard-boiled eggs, cooked spaghetti, and more.
Use a small number of versatile foods
Cook with ingredients that can be used in multiple ways, so it feels like you're making a huge variety of meals but you're only relying on a handful of staples. Shopping and prepping will be so much more manageable. “If you’re making a stir fry with peppers, then maybe find another recipe for stuffed peppers, or use them raw on salads or in frittatas,” said Leslie McDonald of @balanced_life_leslie.
Make smoothie freezer bags
Are smoothies your breakfast of choice—yet you never have time to measure out ingredients in the morning? Just toss your favorite produce (like spinach, banana, berries) into single-serving plastic bags and stash them in the freezer, as shown above on @shakeology. In the a.m., they can be thrown into the blender with a scoop of protein powder or nut butter. You’ll shave minutes off of breakfast and leave the house without a cutting board to clean.
Don’t forget snacks
Meal prepping breakfast, lunch, and dinner is admirable—but don't forget to pre-make healthy snacks too, so you have nutritious bites at the ready when munchies strike. Check out Meowmeix's sweet and sour snack box.
Go with the best containers
Leave it to @how2mealprep to point out the best types of containers for make-ahead meals, like this one that comes with neat sections for each of your lunch items. A smartly designed container will make it easier (and cleaner!) to store and transport the foods you expertly prepped at the start of the week.
Shop the grocery store right
Ever wondered what a health pro puts in her grocery cart? Now you'll know, thanks to influencers who share their weekly market hauls on Insta. Search hashtags like #inmycart and #traderjoeshaul to get ideas for the healthiest items to add to your basket at the store.
Challenge yourself to meatless Mondays (or any day)
Skipping animal products when you meal prep isn't as hard as it sounds. Scroll @thefeedfeed.vegan for endless plant-based ideas, and you'll see just how versatile veggies can be. The account serves up weekly meal plans and daily posts that are all linked to original recipes, so you can test them out stat.