Meal prep is the act of preparing meals ahead of time and storing it for later consumption. Meal prepping can have many benefits. It can help you save time and money as well eat healthier. Having a plan allows you to reduce stress as you don't have to worry about it later. If you're new to meal prepping, here are some tips to help you get started.
Make a Meal Plan
Learn recipes to make healthy meals. It helps to write things down and there are many templates you can find online. It's important to plan the right number of meals so that you do not go hungry and have the right nutrition. The meals should also have variety as always eating the same thing, no matter how healthy, becomes unhealthy. Choose meals that are appropriate for your lifestyle. If you workout on certain days, it's important to add a bit extra to your meal plan to ensure you have the right nutrients for your workout.
Make a Shopping List for Your Groceries
The first step to meal prepping is to collect the ingredients. It is a good idea to come up with a shopping list of foods to get at the grocery store. You can write your shopping list down on a piece of paper or on your phone and check things off as you go. Nowadays, there is also the option to get your groceries delivered via certain apps to help save you time. But if you do decide to go shopping in person, a good tip is to go when you're full. Don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry or else you are more inclined to make unhealthy impulse buys.
Get Prepping and Cooking
There are many different ways to meal prep. Some of the most popular include: make-ahead meals, batch cooking, individually portioned meals, and ready-to-cook ingredients. Make-ahead meals are those that are cooked in advanced and then refridgerated.Batch cooking is when you make large batches at a time and split it into portions to eat gradually over time. Individually portioned meals are similar to batch cooking where you pack it in a grab-and-go fashion. Ready-to-cook ingredients work for foods like salads that do not require any or extensive time cooking.
Storage and Reheating Foods
Believe it or not, the appropriate storage container can make a difference. Make sure to choose containers that are airtight, BPA-free, microwaveable, freezer-safe, leak-proof, and compartmentalized as needed. Stackable and packable containers also make it more convenient for you. Ensure that your fridge is set to appropriate temperatures and refrigerate your food in a timely manner. It helps to add a note of the date when you packed the container so you can keep track of when foods expire and go bad. When reheating your food, make sure you thaw safely and cook at high enough temperatures.
Other Words of Advice
Stick to a consistent schedule and organize, organize, organize! By being consistent, you develop habits and can better automate your meal prep system. It makes it easy to find time if you know when you're going to do something. Map out your week and keep a journal at first, but soon you won't need to refer to your notes as it'll all become easy and routine. Meal prepping can help you eat healthier, save money as you're more likely to buy in bulk, and reduce food waste for a more sustainable world.