A new year means new goals and for some people, that means figuring out how to prepare meals for your meal plans. Let’s face it, not all of us can have ready packed meals delivered to our doorsteps but that doesn’t mean you should abandon your plans to eat better. Here are a few tips to help you prep your meals for a busy work week.
Pick A Day
This is the most important step. There is no point in deciding to eat healthy then dropping the idea because you can’t find the time to put together your meals. All you will need is one day out of the week to set everything up. Once you’ve got the day picked out you can move on to the next step.
Choose Your Actual Meal Plan
This part can be overwhelming. Do you want to focus on eating low carb or jump on the keto trend? Do you want to eat a healthier breakfast or have something to carry for lunch every day? Maybe you went for a health check and you’re trying to lower your cholesterol or make sure that you don’t fall back into bad eating habits. Whatever the reason, you will need to figure out your meal plan so that you know what’s going into each meal.
Decide How To Cook
Grilling? Baking? Boiling? Blanching? The list of ways to cook your meals is extensive and after figuring out your meal plan, you don’t want to give up before the cooking begins. If you’re short on time then grilling or pan-frying might be better options. However, if you have a little more time on your hands then slow cooking or baking might be better. Whatever you choose, make sure you don’t pick anything that requires 5 hours otherwise you might just get frustrated and give it all up.
Then Decide What To Cook
This should be one of the easier parts. If you don’t mind eating the same thing for 5 days then you can pick one type of protein, starch and vegetable. However, if the thought of eating beans for 5 days straight bores your palate, pick at least 3 things that can be cooked the same way. This way you can ensure your cooking process is much easier.
Shop For What You Need
Going shopping it tedious enough without adding items from that one recipe you read a while back. Skip the niche items and buy exactly what you need for each dish. Don’t go adding BBQ sauce because it was sitting right next to the regular sauce you usually buy or don’t switch up your recipes halfway through shopping then end up with ingredients for stir fry when you had planned on baking.
Don’t Forget The Containers
Everyone thinks they have enough containers until they actually go through their cupboard and realise all they have is plastic takeaway boxes. Storing meals for 4-5 days means you will need containers that keep all the good stuff in and all the bad stuff out. You don’t want to go through the effort of cooking only to have all your food get spoiled before the end of the week.
Have All Your Mise En Place
This is a fancy term that means prepping all your smaller ingredients. It will be easier to cook in bulk if you have everything chopped, diced and defrosted before you start cooking.
Keep Your Recipes Simple
You might be tempted to make a 5-hour dish because you have the time but don’t forget the goal is to make meals you will actually want to eat 3 days from then. Keep your cravings at bay and find recipes that won’t require you to marinate anything for 24 hours. You could make burrito bowl inspired meals or one sheet pan meals.
It’s Alright To Multi-Task
Use your kitchen efficiently when cooking to cut time in half. Baking multiple dishes? Use multiple sheet pans. Cooking your vegetables? Skip boiling and wrap them in aluminium foil and bake until done. This way you’ve save an extra pot that you can use to cook something else.
We recommend starting slow and prepping meals for one or two days then gradually building up to an entire week. Once you find your rhythm you’ll figure out what to cook, how to cook it and what you will actually eat. Good luck with your healthy eating!
Find our favourite healthy recipes here!