Eating well regularly can seem problematic if you don’t love the idea of cooking every night. Alas, it is possible to have your healthy meals ready to eat for the whole week and you only need to slave away in the kitchen once! Meal prepping is a great way to save money, time, and also cut down on your overall food wastage. It is also a great way to avoid accidentally swinging by your favourite takeaway shop for the 2nd time this week (oops), or doom scrolling through Uber Eats.
Put simply, meal prepping involves preparing meals ahead of time (perhaps a week’s worth, but totally up to you) and then storing them in the fridge or freezer. Depending on the meal, you can then eat it straight from there when you’re ready, or potentially chuck it in the microwave and we’re ready to roll. Read on for our simple guide to successfully meal prepping and loving it:
- Planning is key
Don’t set yourself up to fail before you’ve even begun…sit down and make a plan that is feasible and easy for you to stick to (accountability amiright?). Sit down one night and plan your meals for the week. We suggest picking 1 protein, 1 carb and 2 servings of vegetables per meal. Chuck in some healthy fats if you desire, like nut butter or avocado. Spice it up with an array of herbs and spices and you’re dandy.
- Time to shop
After you have created your menu for the week, check what food you already have in your fridge or pantry and then write a shopping list. Do your best to stick to the shopping list whilst strolling the Coles aisle (trying to ignore the half-price choccy bars…maybe just one?). This will keep you organized and accountable. Stock up on some eat-on-the-go fruits as well, as this is a snack that you don’t even have to meal prep.
- Time to cook
Ensure you have enough time one night or perhaps on a lazy Sunday afternoon, to cook a couple of big batches of meals. If you are like me and need variety with food, you could consider meal prepping smaller batches twice a week, to keep things interesting. Seasoning your meats and roast vegetables differently can also be a good way to avoid food fatigue, as well as changing up the carb each meal. Making one meal in the slow cooker is a good way to save time as you can spend time on another meal whilst that one is busy stewing away on its own! You can even just meal-prep parts of a meal to save time on weeknights – grains will last cooked in the fridge (granted they are reheated) for up to 5 days. You might consider prepping some rice and chicken in bulk and then simply chucking together a salad or steaming veggies on a nightly basis.
Having a good set of containers that are completely air-tight and microwave safe is essential for a good meal prep routine. A 2-cup container is the perfect size for a single meal. A couple of larger containers for bulk rice or meat is also a handy addition in the mix. Freezer bags are great for freezing anything extra that may not be eaten in time! Make sure your food has cooled slightly before packing it up to avoid upsetting our fridge temp, but make sure it’s safe in the fridge within 2 hours to avoid growth of bacteria.
- Reheat and enjoy!
Our favourite part…dinner at the click of our thumbs (or after 3 mins in the microwave). Nourish your body and enjoy tonnes of spare time all at once, tick!