Aussie teacher’s side hustle earns her thousands a week

 

Katie Scarlett Lolas turned to meal prepping as a way to help manage her nutrition and digestive health.

Since sharing her tips and tricks on her Instagram page, the 33-year-old teacher has attracted a cult following of more than 164,000 people - and she has now disrupted the fitness industry with a unique take on a simple kitchen item.

The Sydney-based lifestyle blogger took an average, plastic container and transformed it into portion-controlled and stackable product.

She said the idea came after wanting to encourage people to quit their obsession with calorie counting - something she had done throughout her twenties, which lead her to having stomach and gut issues.

Katie Lolas, 33, hit the jackpot with her clever meal prep containers, selling 100 every week.
Katie Lolas, 33, hit the jackpot with her clever meal prep containers, selling 100 every week.

"68kg was the number I told myself I had to be to look my best and feel my best," Ms Lolas told news.com.au

"I am 6 foot (183cm) so it wasn't a sustainable way of doing things. I was going for extended periods of time without eating."

She had not only deprived herself of food but limited herself to just cardio training.

"I was doing no strength training, just cardio and because I am really tall, my core strength was really poor which led me to have back problems."

Now, the high school teacher is a happy and comfortable 73kg.

 

 

 

 

After years of meal prepping, Ms Lolas realised there was something missing in the fitness and nutrition market that would further assist people in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

"I've meal prepped every Sunday for at least the last three years, and I was never happy with the containers available on the market," Ms Lolas told news.com.au.

"I found that most containers took up too much cupboard space in my small Sydney apartment. I also didn't enjoy having to carry three to four different sized containers to work for my meals throughout the day."

So instead, she decided to create her own range - Meal Prep MVP - which she sells in 10 packs for $40, equating to just $4 per item.

Having just launched in early November, Ms Lolas said she had already seen a massive demand after selling between 80 and 100 of the two different-sized containers each week, earning her roughly $16,000 so far.

The containers come in two sizes; two compartments and three compartments.
The containers come in two sizes; two compartments and three compartments.

"I want to help people ditch their obsession with calorie intake and macro counting and instead encourage them to make healthy, homemade meals that are full of colourful and nutritious wholefoods," Ms Lolas said.

"They are designed to be a reminder to include a variety of foods in your diet. For example, with the three-compartment containers, I fill the largest compartment with colourful veggies, then one of the compartments with a lean protein and then the last one with a low-GI carb source."

She said that by meal prepping with this method, people tend to naturally save money on eating out and unnecessary snacking.

"My number one tip is to always prep food that you actually want to eat. Don't be afraid to get creative and change up the contents of the compartments for each day," she said.

"There are benefits to having a solid routine but keeping your meal prep exciting by discovering new recipes is the key."

The containers are designed to encourage healthy eating and are a good reminder to include a variety of food groups.
The containers are designed to encourage healthy eating and are a good reminder to include a variety of food groups.

For her personally, she said meal prepping takes the guesswork out of creating balanced and nutritious meals - "which definitely helps me maintain a healthy lifestyle".

"It means I don't make poor food choices on the go when I'm hungry as I always have healthy, wholesome food available."

Ms Lolas said the containers were made from BPA-free recycled plastic.

"They're lightweight and stackable and you can wash and reuse them, and they'll also take up minimal space in your cupboards."

While much of Ms Lolas' meal prepping is about her general health and wellness, she also uses it as a system to monitor her Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) - which she said was at its worst when she was on a restricted cardio-based, unhealthy diet.

Katie is known as the “meal prep queen” on Instagram where she has attracted a loyal following due to her inspiring meal prep photos, fitness tips and motivational posts.
Katie is known as the “meal prep queen” on Instagram where she has attracted a loyal following due to her inspiring meal prep photos, fitness tips and motivational posts.

"I'm lifting more weights now and have limited my cardio to a couple of runs a week, instead of smashing myself daily, which has been far better on my joints and IBS."

She heads to the gym three to four times a week before work.

Ms Lolas gained a loyal Instagram following due to her inspiring meal prep photos, fitness tips and motivational posts.

But the one thing you won't often find on her page is "transformation" photos.

"Because chasing physical changes isn't my focus and I don't want to encourage it to be yours," she said.

"I'm never going to be that girl that enters a bikini competition (as amazing as they are) I just want to feel comfortable in my own skin and have enough energy to live a healthy and happy life.

"So there it is, the reason I don't count calories or focus on my weight. I hope I can lead by example and inspire you to create sustainable strategies in your own life," she wrote on a recent Instagram post.

 

KATIE'S TOP 5 TIPS TO MAINTAIN A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE

Ms Lolas said to prep food that you actually want to eat.

"Don't be afraid to get creative and change up the contents of the compartments for each day," she said.

"There are benefits to having a solid routine but keeping your meal prep exciting by discovering new recipes is the key."

1. Don't restrict yourself at functions, because I find restrictions can often to lead to binge eating later on

2. Move your body often - even it's for a 20 minunite walk per day, a little bit of movement is better than nothing at all

3. Move in a way that you enjoy - a swim at the beach can be just as good as gym workout (especially if you're on holiday)

4. Meal prep snacks for when you're on the go or just meal prep one meal a day - that's going to be better than not meal prepping at all

5. Drink plenty of water, especially if you're out having a cocktail or two