Everyone’s heard of meal prep right (Meal Preparation)? If you haven’t it is basically all about cooking up large portions of food at the start of the week and freezing it. Now it’s obvious most of us are pretty busy in our day to day lives and it can be relatively hard to create every meal from scratch or to even maintain a healthy diet. And for that reason, it is entirely up to you what you would like to prepare ahead of time, for example you may choose to only prepare breakfasts and lunches or just dinners for the week. Luckily preparing your meals in advance will save you time, effort and money and you’ll be less likely to eat processed foods. So here are my tips for simple meal planning and a fuss-free healthy week.
How to get started
Before you start any meal prepping, you need to invest in some excellent quality glass or BPA- Free, plastic containers (BPA -Free will not fall apart in the microwave or oven). It is also a good idea to get the same sized containers as they can be easily stacked in the fridge which is a helpful approach to eating the right serving’s and staying on track. Portable Jars and zip lock bags are also another great musts, as they can help you against overeating by dividing your favourite snacks or meals into the right proportions.
If you are just starting out with meal prepping, I would recommend starting with breakfast or lunches 2-3 times a week, to help you get used to the process. It is also important to figure out what you’re going to eat that week and what ingredients you’ll need to prep your meals. There’s nothing worse than when you are in the middle of cooking and you realise that you’re missing an ingredient or not having enough servings of food. A great way to remember everything is to write down a list and categorize them into breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack items, that way you can figure out how much you’ll need for your meal prep session.
What foods to eat when Meal Prepping
Every meal should consist of protein, carbs and veggies, this is the easiest way to have a well-balanced meal which can help you stay fuller longer throughout the day. (Note if you follow a diet that is vegan, raw or gluten free, feel free to make any replacements). A few examples of protein options are; chicken, ground beef, eggs, tuna and fish. Also you should cook foods you will eat, there’s no point of eating chicken and rice 7 days a week, so cook foods with different flavours (don’t bore yourself to death) and try to marinate two to three variations of your preferred meat with different spices then place them in the freezer and defrost them when you’re ready to use them. Note seafood dishes will go bad quickly so try to prep fish only twice a week. There are also many options for carbs such as rice, oats, quinoa, pasta and sweet potatoes. Similarly, if you like your veggies and fruits to stay fresh cut them ahead of time, they will stay moist in the fridge for 3-5 days when refrigerated properly in a sealed container or plastic bag, ready to be cooked. In a nutshell line up a few containers on the counter and add protein, carbs and veggies one by one.Some Final Tips
Personally, I like to save as much time as possible when meal prepping, so try to cook a few dishes at once. For example roasting chicken in the oven, cooking rice (in the rice cooker of course) and stir frying veggies.
Buy prewashed greens such as spinach, kale or lettuce (you save so much time by having not to wash and chop them up).
Cut up some fruits and veggies so you can have them as ‘’on the go snacks’’ or put them in to smoothies, salads or steaming them with your mains.
So if you struggle to get meals together because you work late or don’t get enough time, try to focus on preparing meals with these ideas. I hope this helps make meal prepping easier and the cost of food down. Remember When it comes to eating healthy, preparation is the key to success Meal.
Farah has been using SkinB5 for two years now. She is an advocate for natural and organic beauty products, healthy living and a self-proclaimed whole foods enthusiast. Her passion for health and beauty stems from her personal experiences dealing with problematic skin and now she wants to help others learn her secrets to flawless skin from the inside, out.