The concept of ‘meal prepping’ looks at preparing whole meals or dishes ahead of time. Prepping meals is particularly popular among busy people as this process can save a lot of time. Having meals, on hand, which are already prepared can, in addition, reduce portion size as well as assist you with reaching your nutrition goals. In this way, you’ll dodge unhealthy options such as greasy take-aways, especially when you’re feeling exhausted or overwhelmed. As preparing meals require you to choose what to eat ahead of time, meal prepping can lead you to make more nutritious meal choices in the long term. Despite what individuals may think, there are several ways to perform meal prep, not all which involve spending hours cooking dishes for the coming week.
Tips for prepping meals
If you have never put together a meal plan, or are getting back into it after a long break, planning so many meals may seem a bit daunting. However, the good news is that the habit of planning meals is no different opposed to effecting any other positive change in your life. Beginning small and gradually building confidence is a fantastic way to ensure that your new habit is sustainable. Start by planning out just a couple of meals or snacks for the coming week. Ultimately, you’ll work out which meal planning strategies work best so that you can gradually build up your plan by increasing the number of meals as you see fit.
Don’t skimp on any food group
If you’re doing meal prep for a week, month or a few days ensuring that each food group has a place in your plan. The healthiest meal plan highlights whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, high-quality protein as well as healthy fats. These plans limit sources of refined grains, added sugars as well as excess salt. As you look through your favourite recipes, consider each of these food groups. If any of these don’t feature, make a point to fill in the gaps.
Being super organised is a vital part of any successful meal plan. An organised kitchen, pantry as well as refrigerator make everything from menu creation, grocery shopping, and meal prep a breeze. This is because you’ll know exactly what you have on hand as well as where your tools and ingredients are.
In addition to this, invest in a lot of good-quality storage containers from brands such as Tupperware. This is so that once you’ve put together the meals that you plan on eating for the week, you can put them into their containers and store them in the freezer reading for use. When you decide on the containers that you want to buy, make sure that they are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe so that you can efficiently heat your meals and wash them in a quick amount of time.
Keep a well-stocked larder
If you have a well-stocked larder, this will make it easier for you to do your meal prep and make creating menus easier. Here’s a list of healthy staples that you need to have in your home:
- Whole grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats, bulgur wheat, whole-wheat pasta and polenta.
- Legumes: canned broad beans, red kidney beans as well as lentils.
- Tinned goods: broth which is low sodium, tins of tomatoes, artichokes, olives, corn, tinned fruit with no added sugar, tuna, salmon as well as chicken.
- Olive, avocado and coconut oil.
- Baking powder, baking soda, flour in addition to cornstarch.
- Almond butter, peanut butter, potatoes, mixed nuts and dried fruit.
By keeping a few of these essentials on hand, it is only necessary that you worry about buying fresh items in your weekly grocery shopping. Having a well-stocked larder can assist with reducing stress and improving the efficiency of your meal planning efforts. There’s no correct way to organise your meal prep spaces. Ensure it’s a system that works for you.
Keep recipes that you like
Take away the unnecessary frustration of attempting to remember recipes and save them in a designated location which you can easily reference at any time. This could be on your computer, tablet, or cell phone. Alternatively, if you like doing this a bit more ‘old school’ you can choose a specific spot in your house. Maintaining a set space for your recipes saves time and helps with reducing any potential stress associated with meal planning.
If you want to take your meal prep to the next level, you should think about doing a nutrition course as this will give you an in-depth look at what it means to be healthy.