Two Words: Meal. Prep.

Photo courtesy of:  @leefromamerica

Photo courtesy of: @leefromamerica

Going from an unlimited college meal plan to figuring out each meal can all of a sudden get expensive -- as I’ve quickly realized. While the food at Frank Dining Hall was inedible, as most college food is, it was essentially “free” with a quick swipe and always accessible. Did I enjoy eating unrecognizable mush? Absolutely not. Did I? Regrettably so. However, all of a sudden our work lunches began to start adding up to around $12 a day...working on barely any budget at all it just didn’t make sense anymore. I could be spending $90 a week so many better ways...renting a paddle board for the day, a weekend camping trip, who knows what else. Also, the options in our building are fairly limited so while the roast chicken upstairs is pretty awesome, by day four it starts to get a little -- well repetitive (just to give you a little perspective, up until we started our meal prep adventure, Jake has had that roast chicken everyday for the past five months).

So as I dove into my roasted tomato soup yesterday from a place downstairs, I stared at Meg’s quinoa, grilled chicken, roasted broccoli and cauliflower that she had prepared the night before. I decided that we were making not only a lunch change but a lifestyle change. Yup, two words: Meal. Prep.

At the Fair Harbor headquarters, we’re all about the meal prep. Mix up the grain, the vegetable, the source of protein -- keep it clean and keep it interesting. Spice up your life by adding a little meal prep into the mix. While we’re just rookies ourselves, here are some tips that have helped us:

  • Designate one day a week to crank out your grain and protein. Then make half a vegetable batch and then another type a vegetable half way through the week.

  • Make the most out of your trip to the store and stock up on versatile favorites that you can use in different ways.

  • Find portable, securable tupperware that’s easy to transport and that you can just throw in a bag without worrying it’s going to explode all over your laptop. If you’re really getting into it, try containers that have different sections built into it to keep certain foods separate.

  • Don’t be afraid to add spices/fresh herbs to your meals. The more interesting you make them, the less likely you will be to get bored with them.

  • Use the freezer! Bag up fruit for premade smoothies for breakfast in a matter of seconds.

  • Get a buddy -- a.k.a. Meg -- and compare notes/recipes. Even alternate days and bring in lunches for one another to try different ways to prep.

Basically you can just kind of make it up along the way with what you like. If you're feeling extra adventurous (and competitive), try out these recipes below; they will put your co-worker's --a.k.a. Clark -- sad smushed sandwich to shame:

Sea's the day!

Written by: Caroline Danehy