Are you a health fanatic and scared of the idea of eating out processed and not so healthy food? Are you bored of the same old menu served daily at work? Or are you passionate about cooking and planning to make your lunch a bit more interesting that boosts the mood for work? Is eating out daily making a whole in your pocket?
Well, you should consider the life saving hack, Meal Prepping. Which is essentially the plan and process of preparing your daily lunch in bulk for a time period, typically for a week, ahead of time in a way that saves you from the hassle of planning daily, cuts down the budget while keeping your health in mind.
Now, let’s talk about how to get started. It might sound overwhelming at the beginning with all the details but sticking with the basics is the key here.
- First thing to remember is although you’re trying to make it easier for you to eat healthy but incorporating new things or prepping all new healthy recipes might end up demotivating you to do it all together. Where, you can prep the recipes you already know and sure about.
- Picking a day for preparing all you meals is essential. For example, choosing a weekend for the job makes more sense than on weekdays where you’re all exhausted after work. Using the two days of the weekend will allow splitting up the week’s prepping, say, one day for grocery shopping another for cooking for the week.
- You need to plan out what you want to eat for the whole week and consider if they will stay fit for consumption and hold it’s taste when preserved. Next, simplify your grocery list. For example, plan which ingredient you need in what amount. Sounds intimidating? Well, this simply means if you need ½ kg chicken for monday’s lunch stick with it to refrain from overspending as we’re focusing on staying on the budget.
- Grouping ingredients according to category saves time as it will enable you to keep track on which thing to get from which aisle so you don’t come back to the same section four times. Also, it’s important that you do all your grocery shopping at once as It’s hard to prep for a meal if you realize you’ve got to make another trip back to the grocery store. Stay organized and get it all done at once.
- When choosing the recipes, think about how you want to balance the meals as we’re focusing on eating healthy. For example, if you are trying to maintain specific macronutrient goals (proteins, fats, carbs) each day, that should factor into what recipes you choose. Knowing how each macronutrient converts into calories will also help provide more accurate information. Using a small kitchen scale can help you determine this.
- Portioning out snacks will refrain you from overeating. After coming home with a big bag of snacks it’s better to portion out the evening munchies than just guessing the portion size using measuring cups according to serving size. This allows you to portion your snacks ahead of time so there’s no guesswork.
- Using proper containers is the most important thing and can not be stressed enough! Good storage containers are really the foundation of your meal prepping. How you choose to store your meals can make or break your meal prepping efforts. You don’t want to simply throw everything into Tupperware bowls. That defeats the whole point of preparing things. Throw it all in one big box and what you’ll have is a pile of goop – eww! So, “What Makes a Good Container?” For starters, you want to be able to divide each part of your meal. You don’t want foods cross contaminating each other. So what you need is a container that’s airtight, with divided sections that are also airtight. This feature alone makes for better, fresher, crispier tasting meals.
Things to remember while in the kitchen –
- Focus on simple meals. Chicken is a favorite among many meal preppers because it can be cooked in a seemingly endless number of ways. It’s also easy to store and freeze.
- Learn to Multitask. Remember that you can cook lots of different things at the same. Use your oven space to its fullest potential. Use multiple oven trays if it helps, or use aluminum foil to make dividers on one oven tray and multiply your efforts. Start with recipes that lend themselves to this type of cooking.
- Fruit is a great way to dive in to meal prepping as it is considered the “nature’s candy and can be a great snack.. You can cut up different types of fruit and store them just like any meals you could prepare. You can easily make fruit salads or smoothies to go along with you prepped meals.
- Eating healthy takes work. In a busy world, it’s much easier to grab for convenience over nutritious. Set aside time each weekend before your work week starts. Following these tips of prepping healthy food can change your entire week, replacing the same old appetite killers with nutritious, unprocessed alternatives that will help being more productive, save time and money while keeping health on check.