Hi everyone! I haven’t been as active lately- February has been a MONTH! Back to school and dancing has been an amazing adjustment, so I am trying to balance it all again. One of my goals for myself this semester was to meal prep and organize healthier eating options for myself during these busy days. It is definitely a commitment to make, but it has helped me tremendously with my busy weeks… I can actually EAT and not worry about what I am going to eat that day. Here are some of my tips and tricks for meal-prepping in college. (I emphasize college because I believe that my grocery shopping and prepping has saved me so much time and money.)
The Skeleton for my Meal Prep:
1 Protein (meat)
1 Carb (rice, quinoa, potatoes)
1-2 fresh or cooked vegetables (salad, spinach, steamed squash, asparagus, roasted peppers & onions)
Frozen options like packaged vegetables, potatoes, even meats such as shrimp, steak, chicken, or salmon, etc. Frozen options are generally never too expensive and can be a great bang for your buck since it can stay in your freezer for a longer period of time. Buying things fresh is always the best, but it usually may not benefit you the best during the week if you are busy like me; I don’t like to worry about having things stored that may spoil quickly.
Pre-Made Foods to re-heat:
Similar to above, pre-made/pre-packaged foods are great as well to just re-heat and set aside/portion out for the week. Healthy options are available out there once you look for it and really saves me time instead of making a lot of things from scratch.
Let’s talk money. My grocery bill averages around $70 every two weeks. Not bad! No meal plan at school anymore.. phew! Each meal I create for the duration of 5-6 days in the week averages to at least $20 per meal. I usually give myself a free day to eat leftovers, have a mini cheat day, or go out for food/get food delivered.
Balance & Variety:
You will find it. You will figure out what works for you and what you like and don’t like. Be willing to try new things, however, it helps! You will discover new things about yourself and eventually begin living a healthier, balanced, and more disciplined lifestyle. ( if you want that of course!) I have never been happier and satisfied with what I have been able to do with my meal prepping and how much time I am able to save. Prepping both lunches and dinners probably only takes me roughly an hour and a half to two hours, one day a week… DEFINITELY do-able in my opinion.
Meals I have Prepped so far this Semester:
Tuna Melt Sandwiches
Hummus Grilled Chicken and veggie wraps
BBQ Grilled Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Salmon, Quinoa, and spring mix salad
Steak and potatoes & sweet potatoes, with spring mix salad
Salmon, White rice, and baked Asparagus
Pasta with grilled chicken and marinara w/ sautéed onions and mushrooms
Steak with roasted potatoes, steamed squash, and green beans with garlic
Seasoned shrimp with quinoa and a side salad
Meal prepping does not work for everyone, but I recommend trying it! Some people may not like eating the same thing everyday for a week, but I personally don’t mind. If you do mind, you can definitely prep a variety, just make sure to organize it and plan it well! It is definitely do-able and workable for your needs… after all you are prepping it! There are many guides online as well, and remember, KEEP IT SIMPLE! I started a Tik Tok account too @theballerinabody. There, you can see some of my meal prep videos and tips for surviving as a college dancer / performing artist!