warning Hi, we've moved to USCANNENBERGMEDIA.COM. Visit us there!

Neon Tommy - Annenberg digital news

Stay In Shape With 'Meal Prep Mondays'

Beatrice Verhoeven |
September 25, 2013 | 1:40 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

Prepping your meals is a great way to stay in shape. (Mealprepmondays.com)
Prepping your meals is a great way to stay in shape. (Mealprepmondays.com)
Nowadays, everyone is constantly on the go. We eat our meals whenever we have time, and we eat whatever we can find.

It's a common fact that stress combined with unhealthy food will make you shake your head at the scale. And weight gain aside, eating out and getting fast food all the time makes a huge dent in your bank account.

Because of this, "Meal Prep Mondays" has become a very popular concept seemingly overnight. To stay healthy and keep your account balances in check, you can prepare nutritious meals for the upcoming week ahead of time. That way, you are organized from the moment you wake up, and don't have to worry about where you are going to get lunch when you're running around.

The creators of Meal Prep Mondays have set up a website that offers weekend meal plan suggestions, advice on which foods are the best to prep with, and an FAQ that answers any questions you may have on meal preparations. There is also an Instagram account that posts recipes, motivational pictures and easy ways to prepare your food in advance. 

Since everyone has a different schedule, prepping your food is something you really need to figure out for yourself. In general, it is suggested to look at your schedule on Sundays and map out which meals you need to make for the week. For example, if you have a lunch meeting on Wednesday, you'll know ahead of time that you don't have to prep for that day. This way, no food will go to waste. 

Mealprepmondays.com briefs you on the best foods to prep with. We all know that certain foods get soggy and bland after a few days, or worse, certain foods can make you sick if they've been out too long.

Proteins like eggs, ground turkey, lean ground beef and chicken breast are foods that are adaptable and easy to refridgerate. Quinoa, brown rice, wild rice and sweet potatoes are the perfect carbs. Vegetables such as asparagus, zucchini, green beans and eggplant don't go bad very quickly. And it terms of keeping everything as fresh as possible, Tupperware is the way to go.

You'll have to keep an eye out for USDA regulations on how long certain foods can be frozen (i.e. cooked ground beef can be refrigerated for three days, and frozen for up to four months), so a little knowledge about food is necessary.

(Chicken is a good food to prepare ahead of time/Instagram:@j_stachowiak)
(Chicken is a good food to prepare ahead of time/Instagram:@j_stachowiak)

Also, portion control is a big thing to be conscious about if you choose to use the meal prep plan to stay in shape. The website offers a do-it-yourself method for proportionally scaling your food: "Use your hand to judge portions when on the go!" 

Prepping for snacks is also a good idea: "The better you are prepared for meals and snacks, the better your odds at staying within your plan."

If this sounds like something you'd like to try but don't really know how to start, Meal Prep Mondays offers help. They host "Meal Prep Mondays Tupperware Parties" right in your own home. They'll guide you through preparing a meal, give advice, and even bring free Tupperware for you to try. The best part: they don't charge for this service. All they ask is a big group of your friends to join in on the fun. 

A blog worth looking into if you want to try to the Meal Prep Mondays regime is "Eat Hard Work Hard." It focuses on meal prepping and the blogger incorporates pictures of her meals and all her recipes, including where she got all the ingredients. She also highlights fun workouts for you to try.

A lot of online forums compare their prepped meals, so there is a sense of community for those that choose to prepare their meals ahead of time.

The creators of the website and Instagram truly believe that this is a great way to stay in shape and be fiscal and healthy. Their motto "Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail," says it all. 

Reach Staff Reporter Beatrice Verhoeven here



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

Watch USC Annenberg Media's live State of the Union recap and analysis here.