The Art of Meal Prep
You’ve probably heard of the meal prepping concept before. The real question is, are you doing it? Most of us, including myself, are guilty of getting home from work tired and hungry without any desire to cook. Naturally, you may be inclined to pop down to your local fast-food joint and grab a quick bite to eat instead of slaving over a hot stove. This seems like a good idea at the time but it can quickly get suuuper expensive and unhealthy. This is where meal prep can help! Meal prepping is one of the most beneficial things you can do in everyday life, allowing you to adopt a healthier, more organised lifestyle that will save you a whole bunch of time and money in the long run.
Benefits of Meal Prepping
With meal prepping, you’ll be able to maintain an organised approach to grocery shopping missions. You’ll know exactly what you’ll need to purchase each week, meaning you won’t end up buying extra stuff that you won’t end up eating. No more throwing out limp heads of lettuce or carrots that are bending at a questionable angle!
This is my favourite benefit of meal prepping. As someone who is not super passionate about cooking, meal prepping saves me the hassle of cooking every evening after a long day at work. This means I can cook meals in bulk, freeze what I don’t eat and just reheat it at a later date! Plus, it also saves you the agonising routine of staring into a barren fridge and wondering what to cook each night. Instead, you’ll find plenty more time to focus on what is important to you, whether that be spending time with your children or focusing on that hobby you’ve been neglecting.
Promotes a Healthier Lifestyle
If you are currently trying to adopt a healthier approach to food, meal prepping is a great place to start. By preparing your weekly meals ahead of time, you can ensure that you are getting all your whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes into your diet without fail. This system also makes it easier to control your portion sizes, as you can measure out your food into containers, so you don’t overeat. Not only will you feel physically healthier, but you will also notice reduced stress. No more agonising over what to cook for dinner or frantically trying to put something together at the last minute.
With this more organised approach to food prep, you are much more likely to stick to your weekly budget. When you’ve got your meals prepared in advance, you will be less inclined to purchase takeaways for lunch or dinner. In addition to that, you are far less likely to over-purchase fresh produce that will end up withering away in your pantry or fridge.
Top Tips for Meal Prep
Stock up on Containers
Keep your cupboards stocked up with plenty of containers! Make sure these containers are microwave safe, freezer safe and dishwasher safe. Check out Pyrex or Click Clack for a bunch of great options.
Freeze Bulk Meals
Make the most of your freezer! Cook up meals in bulk and store them in the freezer for your convenience. When you are in a hurry or facing a time crunch, simply heat up your masterpiece and enjoy.
Create a Cooking Schedule
Have an allocated cooking day each week dedicated to whipping up your bulk meals. If you work during the week, choose a Saturday or Sunday to focus on prep for the upcoming week. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather spend one day in the kitchen instead of seven!
Document Your Recipes
Make notes of your favourite meal prep recipes. Grab a notebook and a pen and jot down tasty looking recipes from the internet, magazines or recipe books. You could also type these up in an online document if you are the tech savvy type. For those who are new to meal prep life, make sure to take note of what worked well and what didn’t so you can curate all your best recipes to create a killer meal plan!
Target Key Food Groups
Consider each important food group you want to target. Make sure to include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein, healthy fats etc. Also try and have lots of spices on hand so you can instantly jazz up any meal.
If you are feeling inspired, shop our top meal prepping picks: