I fall between both of these depending on mood and my life at the moment, my days etc.
I use a variety of items. I have Pyrex containers with lids when I need to rewarm certain meals in the microwave and for longer term storage. Zip baggies are fine for short term freezing, plastic types of containers I will use for short term freezer or fridge.
I personally do not do per meal packaging, 6 containers per day weighed out etc. Even during contest prep I don't go that far. That is fine for those it works for and I admire that, very cool. I cook up batches and weigh portions as I go or need and don't weigh unless a pre comp and even then, you get to know by eye - at least I do. Maybe I pack a meal to bring if I am going to be out and need it on hand but mostly I am able to be a bit more flexible with my set up and availabilities around me. Even if I were on comp diet, sushi is readily available to me, sashimi of good quality close by all my areas. I have more than enough choices, not just sushi.
I have prepped on one day for the week, but I have to work with the dictatorship of my tummy issues so its day by day at times, that means keeping what I may think will fly on hand and other times having to go get something at the time according to what I can get down.
For most of us, and if you can and are okay with spending money for foods eating out, you can find a lot of really healthy options, cooked clean, or raw foods available as you go about your day. For those who prefer to get fresh foods and make it themselves, it is much more affordable at times and you are guaranteed to know what you are eating, you made it. You have full control over what you like, how it tastes and all aspects of the meals. I prefer that aspect alone but do have my go to eat outs as well.
Some of the handiest things to make a bulk amount of and keep on hand in the freezer are:
- Protein balls, meat, poultry, fish, legume.
- Grilled chicken servings
- Braised fish (I eat mine over the day or 2 after its cooked and usually use fresh or buy fresh, freeze then defrost some to cook as I need. I prefer not to eat it after its cooked, frozen then defrosted to eat)
- Roasted chopped yams
- Roasted chopped root veggies
- Oat and protein type bars homemade
- Made Fresh banana peanut butter pops , kept in freezer as treat. Can add a few chocolate chips.
- Frozen chopped fruits and berries for smoothies
- Frozen yogurt and peanut butter pods for smoothies
Some fresh produce and other items that are healthy and last longer in the fridge which are also great choices:
- Green Apples
- Lesser ripe Tomato and Cukes
- Cottage Cheese
- Cauliflower (other cruciferous veggies)
These are all baseline and can be used in many ways especially if you want to keep it simple and lower maintenance, many can be grab and go. You can build on these with any fresh items you choose that you feel like that day but if you are in a rush, you have what you need to get by.
Again in keeping things general, a goal I would set for your food macro break downs is half the plate (so to speak) is plant foods. The other half is protein/fat/starch. That breakdown can vary but another general would be 1/4 protein, 1/8 fat and 1/8 starch but these can vary between you according to your goals and preferences, if you eat higher fat meats then you get more fats in that section anyways. I like higher fats intakes and lean toward lower starch for the most part, I have my carb starch days too. I try to keep protein high but for me that is always something I need to pay attention to or I get too little. Plants I lean toward fruit…..so I have to pay attention to getting in the veggies ;)))
If I use them the right ways, the ways that make me drool, then no problem but I don’t always go the effort so it is something I have to pay attention to.
Be honest about your taste buds and tendencies and work those considerations into your eating habits and fitness focused nutrition plan.