6 Steps to Foolproof Meal Prep
In this day and age, most of us are time poor and struggle to find the time to eat well, exercise, work, socialise, get enough sleep, and do everything else we’re expected to do in a day! That’s why preparing food in advance can take some of the stress out and help you to make healthy food choices day in and day out. New to the whole idea of cooking all your food for the week in one go? Here’s the basic 6 steps to follow to fool-proof meal prep!
1. Decide how much you want to prepare.
This includes considering the number of days you want to prepare. We recommend preparing 2-3 days in advance if you’re keeping your food in the fridge. Any longer and it needs to be frozen so that it’s still safe to eat. If you’d prefer not to freeze your meals (or your meals won’t freeze well), choose a second meal prep day half way through the week. You also need to consider which meals you want to have prepared. Do you want breakfast, lunch and dinner sorted, or are you happy to make breakfast when you wake each morning? Do you have dinner plans one night and so don’t need to have a meal prepared for that night? Finally, you need to decide who you are preparing for. Are you preparing for additional family members, or just yourself? Do you need to double, triple, or quadruple recipes, or make separate meals for different dietary requirements and preferences? All of these things need to be considered and decided before you can start your meal prep!
2. Choose the best method for you.
Do you want to prepare full meals, or would it make more sense for you to prepare individual ingredients? Whilst the most obvious choice is to make full meals, if you’re eating more fresh foods like salads or other foods with high water content, it can make more sense to prepare individual components to avoid your food becoming watery. Chop raw veggies, roast any veggies that need to be roasted, cook your protein, and then simply assemble when you’re ready to eat. This will still save you time and will keep your food tasting fresh and delicious.
3. Select your meals and write a grocery list.
This is where the fun starts. Take a look at your recipe options, select which ones you’d like to eat this week, and write down a plan. Make sure that all your meals have a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, fat, and loads of veggies to make sure you get maximum health benefits. Now take a look at the ingredients and write a list for any that you don’t already have in the pantry or fridge and need to buy. Don’t forget to multiply any quantities if you’re making larger batches.
4. Head to the shops and grab your supplies.
Make sure you don’t go shopping on an empty stomach to avoid buying any extras that you don’t need. This is also an important time to remember any kitchen supplies that you need. This might include extra storage containers (try to find some that are freezer and dishwasher friendly to save stress later), a second baking tray or dish, or anything else that might make your prep easier.
5. Prep your food.
This is the best part! Try not to eat all your delicious food before it’s portioned and stored. Once it’s cooked and ready to store, pop it into your containers and label the date that you made it so that if things get a little messy in your fridge or freezer you can easily identify whether it’s safe to eat down the track.
6. Finally, enjoy having your food ready to go for each meal!
It’s cheaper and easier in the long run than takeout, and the whole process can take you just a couple of hours once you get the hang of it.
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