Meal prep made easy
Meal prepping has become a popular way to save time and make healthier choices in our food. The idea is to prepare meals ahead of time, creating something akin to your own personalized TV dinners for the week to come.
Meal prepping allows you to save time by cooking all your food at once, money through less food waste, and make better health decisions. Many of our poor food choices are due to being hungry and grabbing the first preprepared snack we see. If healthy food is already prepared and readily available, you'll be more likely to grab that instead.
How to meal prep
Meal prepping can seem scary at first, but once you get into the swing of things it will become a relaxing part of your week. You don't have to eat the same thing 7 nights in a row, nor do you even have to cook it all in order to be successful. Meal prep can be as simple as figuring out what you want to make and chopping all the vegetables, shredding cheese, or cooking meats in advance.
Having all the ingredients prepped in advance can make cooking a breeze, even if you don't necessarily have the meals already assembled.
If you plan to complete all the meals at once, there are helpful, reusable TV dinner plates you can put them on. You can cook a whole chicken for example, and use different marinades to make barbecue chicken one night, orange chicken for another, and the bones to make a chicken stock for later in the week.
You can swap between different meats, or if you're a vegetarian, different protein rich vegetables to help keep variety through the week.
Breakfasts and lunches tend to be more repetitive than dinners, so you can often make the same meal for breakfast and lunches for the week, and just change it from week to week.
It's best to choose the same day each week for meal prep, so choose it in advance and make sure it's a day you're usually free to get meals together.
Don't forget snacks
It's easy to forget about snacks. When we think of meals, we tend to think of the three major meals we eat a day, but we're also supposed to have two snacks throughout the day. Planned snacks will help keep you from reaching for a bag of twinkies to get you through the day instead of a more wholesome snack of nuts or vegetables and dip.
Meal prepping doesn't have to be overly complex. You can save time by getting all of your chopping done all at once, or cooking the whole meal and stashing them away in individual containers. This will give you more time to spend with the family, or just relax after a busy day of work during the rest of the week.
Meal prep has one other amazing benefit. It can help you get better control of your nutrition, by helping you to choose ingredients based on what macro or micro ingredients you need, and allows you to weigh the ingredients. What ever your reasons, meal prep is a great choice for everyone.