It’s harder than ever to have time to cook all your meals. Between, work, errands, school, and exercise, finding time to stay home and cook an entire meal seems almost like a dream. That’s why many are recurring to meal prep, as a way of saving money and taking care of their bodies.
Meal prep is the practice of spending a few hours each week making big batches of whole grains, proteins, veggies, and snacks so you are prepared to eat clean, home-cooked meals all week long. Here’s how to get started on simplifying your cooking habits:
1. Keep it simple
Sure, that recipe of a bacon wrapped chicken breast looked succulent, but think about the taste after two days in food storage. Probably not great. That’s why keeping your meals simple will help you maintain a proper plan and taste better by the end of the week. Keep it simple with:
Protein: Chicken breast, ground beef, pork tenderloin, steak, lean turkey, or roast beef.
Carbs: Oats, quinoa, couscous, brown rice, wild rice, whole-grain tortillas, or bread.
Healthy fats: Almonds, walnuts, pecans, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, almond butter, olive oil, or coconut oil.
2. Prep something
It takes time to get used to prepping your food for a whole week. So start with something that will make your meal healthier. The easiest thing to prepare in a hurry is a salad. Fill a mason jar with salad the day before or prep a few of them on Sunday and store the dressing separately for each, only mixing at lunch to stop the salad becoming soggy or soaked!.
3. Create a schedule
Many practitioners carry out their meal prep for the week on Sunday. Others feel overwhelmed and split it over two days – usually Sunday and Wednesday. The most important thing is to find a schedule that works for you and that you can stick to.
4. Know your meals
Before you start cooking, you need to head to the supermarket. If you’re just doing 5 lunches, or you’re prepping your lunches and breakfast, this will determine what you need to buy and how you can plan accordingly. This is crucial to calculate your calories and protein intake. Others have uploaded charts to the Internet that can help guide your food and shopping for the week
5. Mix it up!
Probably the number one reason many get bored of meal prep is due to eating the same thing repeatedly. Avoid this trap and mix things up by changing veggies, adding different sauces to your protein, or changing the grains. You can also add one day during the week where you eat out, choose a day where you can just pick a restaurant and have something completely unexpected, this will keep you motivated and interested in the rest of your meals.