Yes ladies, meal prepping really does makes a difference. With an ample supply of prepared healthy snacks and meals, you’re more likely to eat enough of the good stuff that will help you stay lean and strong, and less likely to be tempted by not-really-worth-it foods you only eat because they’re there. But if the thought of meal prep ideas make you roll your eyes or brings to mind an overwhelming array of Tupperware and dirty dishes, check out these five tips for optimizing your bulk cooking days so you’ll be loaded with a week’s worth of healthy foods—with less of the headache.

5 Meal Prep Ideas to Master Your Time

1. Prepare veggies you can eat raw or cooked.

Chopping and washing carrots, green beans, cucumbers, snow peas, and peppers gives you the benefit of a two-for-one: they’re perfect for fresh snacks on the go and are easy to steam or roast for a delicious side with lunch or dinner.

2. Store bulk-cooked foods in portion-size containers.

Instead of storing that sautéed ground turkey or grilled chicken breasts in a giant glass container, consider putting them in several smaller single-serving size containers. You can slice up, dish out, and measure the portions you want on meal prep day, then save yourself serious time during the week by simply reaching into the fridge and grabbing what you need.

3. Got eggs? Boil your little heart out.

For an egg-cellent snack on the go (oh yeah, we went there) that’s loaded with protein and healthy fats, you can’t go wrong with a couple hard-boiled eggs. We recommend always dedicating at least one dozen of ’em for boiling. Top with salsa or avocado mayo, sprinkle over salads or drizzle with coconut aminos.

4. Stay simple and save the flair for meal time.

Meal prep day isn’t the best day for trying brand new recipes, since the novelty may cause you undue stress. Plus, loading up on specific flavors in your prepared bulk meals can make the next several days taste a little too similar. We recommend sticking to basic staple recipes and then adding in different herbs, sauces, and spices throughout the week.

5. Try some set it and forget it foods.

What’s better than letting time do the cooking for you? Certain meals require only minimal work on your end (basically just throwing the ingredients together), and then the fridge does the work overnight. Try these two to start with: overnight oats and chia seed pudding.

Have any favorite meal prep ideas of your own? We’d love to hear them! Let us know in the comments, and be sure to share this article with your fellow foodies.

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