We're handing over to our friend, Katie Morgan, aka. the Queen of meal-prep, to give you her top tips for bossing your weekly food prep and getting your nutrition right on track.
Meal prepping can seem like a lot of work, especially if the kitchen isn’t your happy place. But trust me, it doesn’t have to be that way. Meal prepping allows you to save money by helping you avoid living at Pret, and it also allows you to have quick, healthy choices on hand when you have very little time to cook dinner. We all know that for some, stress = eating everything in sight, so having a ready-prepped meal can be exactly what you need, and is even more convenient than a delivery app.
Meal prepping also doesn’t have to mean baking two trays of chicken breast and sweet potato. It can be as simple as cutting up vegetables and fruit, like watermelon and carrot sticks, for the fridge. It can be boiling 12 eggs for a week of grab and go snacks, portioning out protein powder or even just making a large batch of overnight oats.
To give you an idea of how meal-prep can help fuel your active lifestyle, here is an example of what I eat in a day. Of course, I am not perfect and I eat many meals out that are un-prepped... but this is an example of a good day! As I am constantly on-the-go in between studios and client’s houses, I find it crucial to have meals and snacks prepared. I eat at very random times and tend to get ‘hangry’ (angry with hunger!) very easily. My meals need to be nutritious to give me the energy for my busy days and fuel my own training sessions.
My go-to meal prep breakfast & snack options are;
You’ll get some weird looks when you crack a boiled egg out on the tube but you do you! A little hot tip though, it is much less awkward if you’ve already peeled your egg at home (and is much less messy) so you can be sneaky and just grab the egg out and eat it without many people noticing. What is it about people staring at those eating on the tube like they have never eaten before in their life?!
A classic breakfast or snack which creates itself as you sleep! Add ½ cup oats to 1 scoop protein powder, some chia seeds and enough milk/water to cover it (to the top of the jar or container). Shake it well and place it in the fridge, so it’s ready to chuck into your bag in the morning and go.
Rice Cakes and Peanut Butter
The nut butter slugs are great for meal prepping and also for portion control! Rice cakes are low calorie, nutritious and another fabulous meal prepping go-to. Portion up 3-4 rice cakes and a sachet of nut butter and that’s your afternoon snack sorted!
Carrot Sticks and Hummus
I love having washed and peels carrot sticks ready in the fridge, because the crunch is satisfying and if they are prepped and waiting for you, you are more likely to munch on them over a bag of crisps. Hummus is also a staple for me; I like to make a big tub of homemade hummus and then each day put 1-2 tbsp. into a small container to take with me during the day.
Another super easy and convenient option - load the bottom of your backpack up with these. However, if you’re like me then you might want to ration them, so you don’t eat all 4 just because they are there!
Protein Powder for Shakes / Smoothies
If you have small containers or snap-lock bags, portion up a 30g scoop and take it in your backpack. That way you’ve got an instant protein shake by adding it to your water bottle or shaker on the go.
My Go-to Meal Prep Lunch or Dinner Options Are;
Courgette Bacon Pie
This recipe is a great one because you can whip it up on a Sunday and have the leftovers for lunch or dinners mid-week as you please (find it at the end of this post). Plus, it’s a good combo of nutritious & comforting without being boring. Same goes for whipping up some courgette and corn egg fritters - make a big batch and store them in the fridge for the week.
Roasted vegetables are another wonderful meal prep idea. You can make a very large tray or two of roasted vegetables which means you will not only eat more vegetables but also won’t end up with too many soggy ones in the fridge at the end of the week. I also like to eat roast veggies cold so that makes them a great lunch on the go. You can easily add a tin of tuna or grab a packet of cooked chicken to team with the veggies on the go.
Curry or Stir-Fry
Curries or stir-fries are great meals to make in bulk that will last 2-3 days. If you don’t have access to a microwave, then save these ones for dinner so you know it’s there waiting for you when you get home after a busy day.
A Tray of Chicken Breast or Salmon Fillets
You can freeze them when cooked so you have cooked frozen pieces to grab in the morning which will be defrosted by lunch. For example, my boyfriend Rob will grab some frozen, cooked chicken breast, team it with a bag of instant brown rice, a small bag of salad and an avocado at work to last 2 days - that’s lunch sorted Monday & Tuesday! There are so many ways you can season chicken or turkey filets to make them delicious, so next time try marinated them in a honey & soy, satay or even pesto sauce. Even just roasting with garlic and lemon makes chicken taste a little fancy. If you’re really short on time, tins of tuna are also easy-peasy, and you don’t need to cook anything.
The simple rule when it comes to meal prep and preparing balanced meals is making sure you have your vegetables, a lean protein source, a complex carbohydrate and some essential fats. So, start with your favourite veggies, add sweet potato, quinoa or rice, top with your lean chicken, fish or tofu and then drizzle with olive oil, some nut butter or avocado. It’s the best way to build a simple, delicious and nutritious meal to fuel your body and brain for performance.
Personally, eating these kinds of meals fuels my body correctly and keeps me feeling full whilst I am teaching and training clients all day. Because I am rarely sitting down and often find myself rushing from here to there, I tend to eat whilst on the tube and want food that will fill me up and keep me energised to perform well. It also means I know exactly what I am going to eat that day and can stay consistent with my nutrition. After all, consistency is key – I hate to get cheesy but the saying ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ couldn’t be truer. Get creative, have fun and become a Tupperware nerd like me. You’ll start to love food, cooking and even meal prepping so much more when you realise how convenient and easy it is.
Courgette Bacon Pie Recipe (Serves 6-8)
- 3 large courgettes (zucchinis)
- 1 large carrot
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese finely grated
- 8 rashers of Bacon
- 1.5 cups oat flour (can use ½ almond flour if you wish too)
- 8 eggs
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- A pinch salt
- 1 tsp cumin ground
- 1 tsp turmeric ground
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1/4 cup pine nuts for topping
Grate zucchini and carrot. Set aside in large bowl.
Blend 8 eggs with 1.5 cups of oats/oat flour. Add salt and spices.
Fry up bacon rashers in small pieces. Add to bowl. Add the egg oat mixture to the bowl. Add oil, stir together, add cheese, and mix together again.
Pour the mixture into an oven dish. Evenly spread out. Sprinkle with pine nuts.
Bake at 180 degrees for 50-60 mins. Serve with a side salad! Perfect for freezing, lunch boxes or leftovers. If you want more of a loaf, halve the mixture and make 2 deep loaves rather than one large flat pie/slice.