Some of you may be wondering “what even is meal prep?” Meal prepping is basically planning some or all of your meals ahead of time. It’s a much healthier alternative to frozen dinners because you can use better, healthier and unprocessed ingredients. You can plan your meals for the day or week and take them to work, school, or eat them at home. Meal prep can be different for every person so it’s important to find a routine that works for you.
What exactly is meal prep?
Meal prep can mean something different to every individual, so it’s important you find a routine that works for you. Essentially, meal prepping is used to prepare meals ahead of time – saving you time in the kitchen and make it easier for you to eat healthy and nutritious meals during the week.
You can choose to prepare only breakfasts, dinners, or even all of your meals, including snacks. Trial and error will help you get settled into a routine that suits your lifestyle.
Here’s how to start doing meal prep, yourself
First of all, because it will take you a bit of time to prepare your food for the whole week, it’s advisable to choose one or two days in the week that you dedicate to meal prep.
The first thing to do is pick a day to prepare your meals. For most, Sunday is the best option because you are off from work and school and you have the entire day to prepare meals for the work week. Stick to one or two days in the week that work for you.
Start off slow so you don’t get overwhelmed
In the beginning you don’t want to meal prep for the whole week. Starting off slow and not getting overwhelmed in the beginning will help you become a successful meal planner. At the start, it’s best to prepare three meals a week. This will help you get the hang of meal planning. It’s best to choose either breakfast or lunch meals first as they are easier to make.
Decide what meals you want make ahead
When you are meal prepping, it’s best to make recipes that you already know. Trying out new recipes while meal prepping can make the process very stressful. This way you are already confident with the recipe and you just have to focus on preparing it ahead of time.
You don’t need to cook everything
Food prep doesn’t necessarily have to be cooking. You don’t need to cook all your meals completely. Food prep can mean just simply chopping up vegetables ahead of time and storing them in boxes for the week. Washing fruits and vegetables so they are ready to use. It can even be making bags of nuts or dried fruit for snacks. You can cut up chicken or beef to be recipe ready.
Remember that you can cook many different things at the same time. Use everything in your kitchen to it’s fullest potential. There’s no need to do only one thing at a time. While the meat cooks, start the vegetables and then move on to boiling rice. Follow recipes that work with this type of cooking.
Simplicity is key
When you’re meal prepping -make your life easier and don’t try to make extravagant meals. The simpler the dish is, the easier it will be to make it ahead of time. This will also motivate you to want to meal prep.
One thing that is very important while meal prepping is making sure you have proper containers. Buying seven of the same containers for each day of the week is ideal. Good quality storage containers are the foundation of meal planning. Make sure that the containers are airtight and have dividers otherwise it just won’t be convenient. Make sure that your containers are BPA free. (which means it’s safe and microwaveable)
You don’t need to make specific food in order to meal prep. Meal prepping can be done with basic desi dishes as well. It is always advised however, to try to keep your meals healthy. If you’re making heavy dishes, make tweaks here and there such as cutting back on oil or butter and they can easily be made healthy.
Try out some of these healthy meal prep ideas to make for your meal prep week:
Skinny Chicken Tikka Masala
Check out the recipe here.
Daal is so versatile , you can have it on its own or with rice or roti and salad. Try out any of these amazing daal recipes.
Korean Beef Bowl
This Korean beef bowl looks delicious, try out the recipe here.
Mix and Match Burrito Bowls
Try out these delicious and versatile burrito bowls.
Meal prep is not as scary as you might think it is. It can be a super easy way to stick to a healthy diet. Did these tips help you?
cover image via: menshealth.com