Meal prepping doesn’t have to be time consuming and it also doesn’t mean you need to eat the same thing every day. I’ve discussed the importance of food prep in our previous blog. It plays a big role in your success when making healthy changes to your lifestyle.
Although at first it may seem like an effort, you will be thanking yourself later in the week when you’re ‘hangry’ and want something quick without slipping off the bandwagon.
Over the years of creating a healthy lifestyle I have come to learn more about how to simplify my meal prep and get the best out of my time and groceries for the week. Here’s my favourite tips that might help you too!
Make a plan
I like to find one day a week where I put aside time to prepare recipes, grocery lists and meals for the week ahead, Sunday’s often seem to be the best time for me to do this.
Prepare a list of your favourite healthy foods and recipes, remembering simple recipes will save you time as well as recipes that can be made in bulk. Turn that list into what you will eat for each meal and snack this week.
Pro tip – save these lists for the future, in 4 to 6 weeks you might like to recycle this week and do it again, saving you even more time!
If you struggle for recipe inspiration, I would suggest downloading a recipe saving app. A great one I know of is called ‘Paprika’ which allows you to save recipes you find online. From there you can create a calendar of which recipes you will be eating on which day and also create a shopping list! Over time you will have hundreds of recipes to choose from.
For more recipe inspiration, search #mealprep on Instagram and you’ll be sorted for the rest of the year!
Freeze whole grains
If your meals include whole grains for the week, rather than cooking it every night, cook enough in one batch to get you through the week and freeze in single serve containers. It takes 1min to defrost in the microwave and you can portion control from the beginning.
Keep snacks simple
The more simple you keep things, the more time you will save yourself on meal prep days. Choose food and quick snacks like fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, air popped popcorn, yoghurt, fresh veggie sticks & hummus, or a can of tuna. Once again, you will find plenty of inspiration for snacks online.
Freeze prepared meals
If you decide to prepare your meals earlier in the week, they will stay fresher for longer and will taste better at the end of the week if you freeze them. Grab out of the freezer in the morning and it will defrost by the time you’re ready to eat it.
Prepare for variety
Keep in mind how you can use ingredients differently. Roast a tray of veggies which can be used in a wrap one day, mixed in a salad the next or with a side of chicken another day. Saving you from eating the exact same thing all week. Or make up a salad that can be used in a salad sandwich, on its own or as a side with your protein.
If you’re not a fan of a reheated meal for dinner and prefer to prepare something each night, just pre-cutting your vegetables earlier in the week can save you time at the end of the work day and makes having a healthier meal that little bit easier.
Take it one step further by blanching your vegetables, this keeps them fresh in the freezer for 2-3 months and they can be reheated for your meal within a couple of minutes, this video is a great example on how to do that.
Double the recipe
Cooking a delicious meal for dinner? Why not double the recipe and have leftovers for lunch over the next few days or freeze some portions for weeks that you don’t have prep time? It takes no extra time and also saves washing up time.
I can’t wait to hear what meal prep inspiration you find and how meal prepping earlier in the week has enabled you to live a healthier life! Remember to refer back to these tips so you can slowly refine your meal prep hacks over time, just like I have.