How to Meal Prep Effectively | @TinasTastyEats

“There is no set guide when it comes to meal-prepping,” says Tina of TinasTastyEats. During the day, Tina is a Registered Nurse, working as an RN Care Manager in the emergency department, by night, she is a nutrition and wellness advocate sharing meal inspiration on TinaTastyEats. Living in New York has taught her not only that there never seems to be enough time in the day, but also how to make the most of that day with healthy eating choices.

Born in Cameroon, West Africa, Tina enjoys the hues and flavors of the delicious foods from her homeland. One can experience her food passion incorporated in the plating and layout of her Instagram page (@tinastastyeats). This love for food has also translated into how Tina selects and preps her food and her emphasis on creating a healthy plate.

When we sat down with Tina to ask more about creating a healthy plate, meal prepping, and incorporating healthy eating into your routine, her biggest suggestion was to “think progress, not perfection.” Quoting the phrase by one of her favorite YouTubers, Marie Forleo, she shares that the idea of striving for “progress not perfection” allows the individual to empower themselves and command more effective results. How you prepare your food, what you decide to make, and what you have a taste for - can vary with each person. Here are a few pointers Tina shared with Twenty Somethin’ & Black that can help you prepare a successful meal for the week.

TINA'S TIPS

Start with writing a menu for the week. Think of a protein, carbohydrate, and a vegetable side: 

“We don't need a complete overhaul of our eating habits all at once - maybe we decide Monday through Friday we are focused on clean eating, and then more relaxed over the weekend. "

Make a grocery list based on your menu

By writing a list, based on your menu plan, you shop only what you need for the week. This means less waste and ultimately, savings. With a list you would also zoom through your shopping making it more time efficient.” 

Once you have your list, go to the grocery store at least a day before ‘meal prep day.’ 

“I usually go to the grocery store the day before so that I can cut, prep, and season my foods. This makes meal prepping less overwhelming. Of course, you can do it all in one shot but I like to break it up so that I can go through my prep quickly and efficiently” 

Chop, Slice, Dice and Season!

This immediate prep is a life saver”

Cook it up. 

“You don’t always need a recipe. I love to throw things in, taste and season as I go along. Don’t get caged in by a recipe and allow yourself to dive freely into the world of spice and joys of cooking. If the idea of eating the same thing every night seem repulsive I’d suggest prepping two days a week. For example a meal on Sunday that will last you through Wednesday and then cook again Wednesday evening to last you through Sunday.”

Use a Recipe as a Starting Point.

“It’s not always about a cup of this, and a pint of that. Just let the recipe book be a starting point.”

Switch Up Your Meals Mid-Week

“You might cook on Sunday, and it lasts until Wednesday, and cook again.”

If you hate eating the same thing every day, it is always a good idea to buy two proteins (chicken and salmon, or steak and creole shrimp). You can switch out the proteins for the next couple of days so it doesn’t seem old!

Remember Nutrition

The biggest thing to remember is nutrition. What you put in your body, will show up later in life. While Chipotle and Chick-fil-a may offer convenience, stay strong and stick to your budget. Meal prepping is a great way to save money and ensure that you are tracking everything you put into your body. While this guide isn’t an absolute way to approach your health goals, it is helpful to help you get started on the right track. With all that being said, head to your nearest grocery store and get started with your meal prep for the week!

A Few Recipes to Get You Started

 

BEEF STIRFRY

   
  
 
  
    
  
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    Steps:  1. Season beef w/ salt, pepper and 1/8-1/4c of coconut aminos  2. Coat beef strips with 2tbsp of arrowroot powder (will make meat more tender and moist as it cooks😊) Allow to marinate 30-60mins.  3. Stir fry beef in batches so as not to overcrowd pan till brown on all sides. Remove to a pan.  4. In the same skillet/wok add oil. Once hot, lightly sauté garlic, ginger and tangerine zest till fragrant bout 30secs . Toss in onions sauté about 2mins then add carrots and string beans for another 2-3mins. You can steam carrots and string beans first if you prefer less crunch to your veggies.  5. Return beef to pan and toss well. 6. Add tangerine juice and the remaining coconut aminos. Toss well to mix 7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy! Serve with cauliflower rice.

Steps: 
1. Season beef w/ salt, pepper and 1/8-1/4c of coconut aminos
2. Coat beef strips with 2tbsp of arrowroot powder (will make meat more tender and moist as it cooks😊) Allow to marinate 30-60mins. 
3. Stir fry beef in batches so as not to overcrowd pan till brown on all sides. Remove to a pan. 
4. In the same skillet/wok add oil. Once hot, lightly sauté garlic, ginger and tangerine zest till fragrant bout 30secs . Toss in onions sauté about 2mins then add carrots and string beans for another 2-3mins. You can steam carrots and string beans first if you prefer less crunch to your veggies. 
5. Return beef to pan and toss well.
6. Add tangerine juice and the remaining coconut aminos. Toss well to mix
7. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and enjoy! Serve with cauliflower rice.

THE PERFECT QUINOA

   
  
 
  
    
  
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     Ingredients:  1 tbsp olive oil  1/4 cup sliced onions 1 cup sliced mushrooms  1 cup rinsed quinoa 2 cups low sodium chicken broth  2 handfuls spinach  Salt and pepper to taste  Steps: 1. Heat up olive oil in pan  2. Add onions and mushrooms and cook till onions and translucent and mushrooms have sweated quite a bit, 4-5mins  3. Add quinoa and stir fry 30seconds  4. Add broth and bring liquid to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer 20-25mins till quinoa is fully cooked  5. Add spinach and cover pan so that spinach steams and wilts.  6. Stir to mix in spinach, serve hot and enjoy!

 Ingredients: 
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 cup sliced onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup rinsed quinoa
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 handfuls spinach
Salt and pepper to taste
Steps:
1. Heat up olive oil in pan

2. Add onions and mushrooms and cook till onions and translucent and mushrooms have sweated quite a bit, 4-5mins

3. Add quinoa and stir fry 30seconds

4. Add broth and bring liquid to a boil. Once boiling, turn heat to low and simmer 20-25mins till quinoa is fully cooked

5. Add spinach and cover pan so that spinach steams and wilts.

6. Stir to mix in spinach, serve hot and enjoy!