Meal-Prep Like A Pro
Posted On May 16, 2016
Sticking to a healthy diet while leading a busy life can be extremely difficult. Many of us get home from work, contemplate the contents of our refrigerators, calculate the time and energy it would take to prepare one healthy meal and then reach for the phone for order delivery. However, “meal-prepping”, the hot topic taking over social media, is a practice that, with a little forward thinking, can help you adhere to a healthy home eating plan all week long.
Meal-prepping is accomplished by buying whole foods, spending a few hours cooking full meals for the week (usually on a Sunday or a Monday), then storing those meals in portion-controlled Tupperware. Of course, the 270,000+ fans of the Instagram hashtag #mealprep will typically use a photo to showcase their plethora of containers with a week’s worth of healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.
Despite what you may think, meal-prepping is not just for fitness fanatics and clean-eating social media paragons. Many people, including working moms, are using this practice to achieve their diet goals while also saving time and money. There are few things more wasteful then letting a fridge full of fresh food expire.
If you want to give meal-prepping a try, here are a few easy steps to get you started.
- Purchase a good amount of high-quality food containers, either glassware or Tupperware in varying sizes.
- Plan your trip to the grocery store ahead of time. Divide your shopping list according to the ingredients you will need for each meal over a five-day period. You may find that you can buy many items in bulk, which will save you money. Make sure to include protein (chicken, fish, and lean meats), vegetables, whole grains, and fruit to create well-rounded meals.
- Set aside a few hours on a Sunday or a Monday for meal preparation including baking, chopping, and steaming. Some meats and vegetables can be roasted at the same temperature in the oven, which will save you the trouble of waiting around to swap out trays.
- For foods you would like to eat fresh, do a limited amount of prep such as portioning out salad ingredients and mixing together later or freezing marinated salmon or chicken breasts. Don’t combine yogurt and granola in the same container, as it will become soggy after a few days. Ditto for salad and salad dressing.
- Mix it up! “Meal fatigue” is the enemy of meal-prepping. Prepare a variety of different meals so you don’t become bored and tempted to stray from your eating plan. This can be as simple as using different spices or flavorings.
- Take advantage of the proliferation of #mealprep and search social media for tips, tricks, and inspiration!