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Meal Prep can be intimidating, especially with all the social media hashtags, fitness guru’s and all-round health nuts but what does it actually mean and how can it help you?
Meal prep isn’t just for the super fit and elite, everyday mums and dads can use it to stay on top of their lifestyle and free up some extra time while ensuring the family eat healthily and honestly it’s the only way we survive some days! These days everyone’s life is very busy and when you lead a busy life it makes it hard to choose and eat healthy foods.
The answer to this problem is pretty simple, though, and it’s called meal prepping! Now some of you may already know of this and do it but for those of you that don’t and want to start this basic introduction to meal prep will help guide you to make it all quick and easy. Did I mention that buying and cooking your meals in bulk can also help cut costs and save money? We all want that right? Check out some of the other ways to Eat Healthy When You’re Broke.
*If you want some insight into the What To Freeze For Easier Meal Planning then check out my handy guide with some recipes to get you started!*
So, What Is Meal Prepping?
Meal Prepping is essentially, preparing all of your meals ahead of time. It’s kind of like ready-meals, except instead of buying them pre-made from a shop, you prepare them all yourself, with much healthier ingredients and better portions and know exactly what goes into them. Not only will meal prepping save you time, it’ll help ensure that you eat healthier instead of grabbing a quick meal of prepackaged, unhealthy, processed rubbish. The main idea is that because you’ll have healthier things ready and easy for you to eat you’ll eat them instead of harmful foods which is why it also helps those looking to lose or control their weight because it helps you to avoid snacking!!
How to Start
As a beginner, meal prep can be overwhelming and far too often people become stressed thinking they need to go all out, comparing their meal prep to others, and trying to incorporate too many things at once. The key to success in meal prepping is to stay away from all of that and stick to the basics that work for you. For example, start by prepping with the recipes you already know and build up from there when you are ready.
Meal prep can be as little as cutting up vegetables ahead of time ready to throw in a pan or cooking a full meal and freezing it, whatever makes it suitable to you and helps you save time is totally fine, don’t worry about what everyone else is doing.
Prepping For Meal Prep
- Select a Day – Pick a day out of the week to prepare all of your meals. Most people like to choose Saturday or Sunday because it’s a day you’re off work and the kids are off school (this is great because you can have them help you if you need it). Consistency is key here because the more you do it, the more likely it is to become a habit so pick your quietest day.
- Pick Meals – This is simple, pick an order in which meals you’ll prep first to last. for example, breakfast, dinner, and last lunch. Pick a simple recipe you can easily make a lot of for each meal.
- Use Proper Containers – This is very important and cannot be stressed enough, you need to make sure you get the right containers. The things to look for are air tight sealing, sections so your foods don’t cross contaminate, and finally, make sure it’s BPA free (you can easily check this at the bottom of the container if the little triangle at the bottom has a “7” then stay away from it). Other things to look for in containers for your meal prep are that they’re freezable, microwave, dishwasher friendly, and reusable.
- Meal Prep Is Not For Experimenting – There is no point using your time to meal prep a recipe or meal you aren’t sure about or don’t know if you’re going to like because what is the point of cooking in bulk and having 2-4 (or more portions of it) and it will just put you off in the future. Meal prepping is for sticking to what you know!
See, meal prep isn’t so scary now, is it?
If you are looking for a place to start, check out the Clean Eating Index for some meal ideas
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