Eating healthy is a dietary goal everyone must achieve. If you are short on time, managing your resources is a skill you need to develop day in and day out to prepare better meals. The concept of planning and preparing your meals in advance is what is known as meal prepping. Meal prepping can be a game changer to a healthy diet so it’s best if you pay close attention to it.
What is Meal Prepping?
Simply put, meal prepping is that act of cooking or preparing all your meals in one big batch rather than doing so every single time you need to eat. Prepping your meal can save you time which can be channeled to more productive ventures. Prepped meals are particularly helpful if you are on a diet and need to drop off some pounds.
Instead of cooking dinner every night when you get back from work or rushing to fix yourself lunch in a lunch box, you can prep all these meals in one batch.
Beginner’s Guide on How to Prep your Meals
Types of Meal Preps
Full make-ahead Meal Prep: Full make-ahead meal prep means you prepare an entire meal and store it in a freezer or fridge for consumption later
Batch cooking: Prepping multiple meals that could last a week can seem intimidating at first but it’s a huge time saver. Plus you could get used to it as time progresses. However, batch cooking is ideal for recipes you know you can prepare in large amounts.
Step-by-Step Guide to Prepping your Meals
1. Pick a Prep method and stick with it
For beginners, the best introductory meal prep method is Make-ahead meals. This method will ensure you have enough meals in your fridge to last for a week or so. Make-ahead method is best when the meals are easy to prepare. You don’t want to spend the whole day at the kitchen just prepping meals. I’m sure you have other things to do. To save up on time, try these:
- Sheet pan meals: With this system you load all ingredients into one big baking pan and bake them up under the same temp and pressure. Ideal for veggies and chicken combos.
- One-pot Meals: Just as the name suggest, your cooking vessel is a large pot unto which all ingredients are cooked. Ideal for soup recipes and stews.
2. Mapping out your meals
The next step to prepping your meals after you must have had the basis down is to map out your meals for the entire week or duration you want it to last. You must have mapped out the meals you intend to eat a day or two before you start cooking. Put together a meal plan on Saturday or Friday prior to cooking on Sunday. To map out your meals, there are key areas you need to place more emphasis on:
- Focus on breakfasts and dinners: To keep things interesting for breakfast and dinners, pick three to five recipes you are sure to cook in time and mix match them with different flavors to boost appetite. Ideally, each recipe should be made of lean protein, a veggie, some healthy fats and a complex low carb diet.
- Mix-Match Things up for lunch: Lunch meals are the least important of the three daily meals but that doesn’t mean they should be forgotten. Use the leftover proteins from dinners to act as a base for salads and lunch sandwiches.
3. Go Shopping
Now that you have all the ingredients in pen and paper and you have a clear roadmap of your meals, it’s time to hit the grocery stores with your list. With your list you are sure not to miss anything as you can be easily distracted by what’s on display. To ease this process you can employ the services of a meal prep delivery company to aid the process.
4. Lastly, Cook!
Now that you have everything in the right place, set aside one to two hours to prepare the meals. Come up with any innovative ideas that can improve or reduce the time you spend in the kitchen. Start with the longest cooking items first and work your way to the easiest.