Have you ever made the declaration “This is the week that I start eating healthy!”, only to have all your plans unravel a few days later?
This seems to be a common experience. Sometimes we may have every intention of eating healthy, but we simply don’t have the time or energy to do so with our busy schedules. After a long, hectic day, the last thing you want to do is go home and prepare a healthy, well-balanced meal from scratch.
That is why meal prepping is such a great idea. As long as you can devote a little time to planning and preparing your meals once or twice a week, you can ensure that you will have healthy meals for the ENTIRE week that will require minimal effort.
Want to know more? Here are three ways you can get started with healthy meal prep.
Create a Meal Plan
Even if you’re unable to prepare your meals in advance, creating a meal plan can help save you time and stress in the kitchen and at the grocery store. Consider the following tips when planning out your meals for the week:
Make sure your meals are healthy and well-rounded. Stick to vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein when possible.
Try and choose ingredients that offer a variety of colours and textures. If you eat the same boring food every day, you may be more likely to give in to temptation.
Choose simple recipes with minimal ingredients. You may overwhelm yourself and give up if you pick complicated recipes, especially when you’re first starting your meal prep journey.
Invest in Quality Storage Containers
There’s no point in prepping your meals in advance if you have no place to put them! This is a good time to do away with any stained, cracked containers and invest in some good quality ones. Look for food storage solutions that are:
Airtight, like stainless steel containers and reusable silicone baggies, for keeping ready-to-cook ingredients fresh.
Freezer-safe, like wide-mouth mason jars, to limit nutrient loss and freezer burn
BPA-free and microwavable, like silicone containers and Pyrex glassware, for a healthier way to heat up your food
Leak-proof with compartments, like bento boxes, which are great for ingredients that need to be kept separate until the last minute
Choose the Right Meal Prep Method
There are several ways to meal prep for the week, and not all of them require you to be in the kitchen for hours on your day off. Pick a method that works best for you and your schedule, as one of the following:
Ready-to-cook ingredients: this involves prepping the ingredients for meals ahead of time. This way you can just throw everything together and cook it when you get home.
Make-ahead meals: cook full meals in advance, portion them out, and throw them in the fridge. You’ll just need to reheat them before eating.
Batch cooking: make a large batch of a recipe, divide it into individual portions, and put them in the freezer. If the batch is big enough, you could have enough meals to last you for months.