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Scare Away Candy Cravings: October Meal Prep Ideas We Love

Posted on October 1st, 2021

October is often the spookiest time of year when it comes to watching what you eat.  A year’s worth of work can quickly be reversed during an indulgent holiday season.  But fear not!  We’ve been scoping out some of the yummiest meal prep menu items to help you stay on track and resist even the scariest of candy cravings.

Why Should You Meal Prep?

First, let’s talk about what meal prep is and why you should consider using it as part of your workout routine.  Meal prep is a popular way of eating that involves preparing batches of food ahead of time to be eaten during the week.  There are entire communities dedicated to meal prepping (after all, food brings people together), and even greater numbers of recipes to boot.  Why, you ask?  Many reasons.

Saves Time

Perhaps the most popular reason for meal prep is that it saves a ton of time.  Most avid meal preppers reset and prepare an entire week’s worth of meals in one day.  This way, you don’t spend your evenings, lunch breaks, and busy mornings scrambling to prepare food or falling back on unhealthy alternatives like sugary cereals or fast food.  Meal prepping means food is ready when you’re ready, which is the way it should be!

Saves Money

Another popular reason for meal prep is that it helps you save money.  Preppers usually buy food in bulk, because they’re making a week or even a month’s worth of food at a time.  Buying in greater quantities actually reduces the cost of each meal, assuming you’re not adding insanely pricey ingredients to your normal everyday menu.  Additionally, meal prep keeps you from eating out as often because food is available and ready to eat.

Portion Control

Portion control is one of the biggest benefits of meal planning.  These days, there are many helpful products on the market that aid in the process of portion control, from trendy mason jars to food containers designed to limit the amount of food you eat.  The average American eats far more than they need to in a day, and if you struggle with binging on your favorite foods, portion control can be a real lifesaver.

Reduces Stress

Imagine a world where you came home at the end of the day and dinner was already cooked.  That’s what meal prepping is like.  If you love the idea of reducing stress and being more organized, what better place to start than with what you’re eating?  Ditch the daily dish-cleaning ritual and relegate your oven use to one night a week and you’ve just taken an amazing step towards beating stress (and being healthier).

Reframes Your Relationship With Food

We’re not saying you have to break up with your favorite foods in order to be a great meal prepper, but as a species, humans tend to romanticize food at great length.  We’ve all done it, and food marketing is designed to be as sexy and appealing as possible.  Meal prepping helps you redefine your relationship with food and can help your brain realize that, ultimately, food is just fuel.

Our Favorites

We’ve scoured the internet and want to share some of our favorite fall-themed recipes that are perfect for meal prepping applications.  From sweet to savory, we’ve got a little something for everyone to try.

Overnight Oats

Overnight Oats

Overnight oats are an awesome, nutrition-packed breakfast or dessert that can be made in advance and keep you full where something like a breakfast bar fails.  The best part about overnight oats is that they can be made however you like them and are a suitable meal prep option year-round.  Top them with fresh, seasonal fruit, honey, your favorite nut butters, chocolate chips, and more for a totally customizable breakfast you won’t quickly tire of.

Our pick for the season?  These delicious Fall Harvest Overnight Oats from InspiredByCharm.com.  These tasty cups feature flax and chia seeds which are great for digestion, as well as fall spices and dried fruit.  Substitute your favorite toppings and enjoy a taste of fall.

Pumpkin Soup  Resize

Pumpkin Soup

As a rule, soups are wonderful as a meal prep application.  You can make a lot of soup at once, you can freeze it, and it’s easily portioned into cups, bags, jars, or just about any other container you can imagine.  They also re-heat quickly, making soup an excellent, quick meal for lunch or dinner.

This delicious Creamy Pumpkin Soup courtesy of byanjushka.com is vegan friendly and topped with crunchy, crispy chickpeas, which pack a nice protein punch.  Make this in bulk and get ready to get into that fall feeling.

Thai Spring Rolls

Fresh Thai Spring Rolls

If you’ve never had a fresh spring roll before, you’re truly missing out.  This simple, quick, tasty food is the perfect lunch on the go.  Usually a combination of raw veggies and your choice of protein, these spring rolls are encased in a springy rice wrapper.  Fresh spring rolls can keep for several days and you can stuff them with whatever your heart desires.  Eat them cold with your favorite dipping sauce for the best experience.

This tasty-looking specimen is another vegan/vegetarian-friendly option. Connoisseurusveg.com has created a yummy curry tofu version of this Thai treat using tofu, curry, scallions, cilantro, and other seasonal ingredients.  We’ll take a whole tray full, thanks!

Turkey Meatloaf

Turkey Meat Loaf Boxes

Meatloaf is one of those downhome comfort foods that we simply can’t say no to.  The best part is that it’s easy to lighten up by choosing ground turkey as your protein.  Meatloaf goes with so many different sides, is easy to reheat, and even easier to make.

Check out this great, simple recipe from BudgetBytes.com.  We think it would be awesome with glazed carrots, steamed asparagus, or even roasted broccoli.  Warm up a little bit of comfort any night of the week and keep your diet plan on track.

Apple Quinoa Salad

Quinoa is an incredible source of protein and fiber and is an incredibly versatile food when it comes to meal prep.  It can be a side dish or a main dish, and takes on the flavors of whatever you cook it in.  We’ve even seen it turned into mac and cheese!

This delicious, meal-prep-worthy Apple Quinoa Salad from Simple-Veganista includes crispy fall apples, grapes, maple syrup, and cinnamon, making it perfect for lunch or dinner.  Almonds, in combination with dried fruits and other warm savory flavors like tahini, take this salad to the next level.  Pre-mix the salad dressing or serve it on the side when you’re ready to eat!

Beef Stew

Crockpot Beef Stew

Meal prep looks different for everyone.  Some people love to prepare many small meals at once to eat throughout the week.  Some people like making entire bags of food that are ready to cook at a moment’s notice.  If you fall within the later category, then this recipe is perfect for you.

CookingClassy.com takes beef stew to a whole new level of simple by giving it the set-and-forget treatment in the crockpot.  Prep all of your meat and veggies ahead of time, give your ingredients a little bit of toss in a pan to lock in all of that delicious flavor, then toss this into the crockpot and walk away!  Seven to eight hours later you’ll have a hearty fall feast waiting for you, ready to serve a crowd.

ATC Fitness Can Help You Meal Plan

At ATC Fitness, we’ve watched countless people as they make their way towards their fitness goals.  We’ve been there along the way and love to help people be successful.  Ask any of our staff and they probably have a great recipe or two up their sleeves.  If you’re ready to get started, join ATC fitness today and begin your journey!

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