Meal prep is the key to an organised week. It’s the saving grace for every busy person and imperative for maintaining a healthy lifestyle and staying on track!
Meal prepping is about preparing a week’s worth of food in one go, so that when your week descends into madness you can “grab and go” a pre-prepared, deliciously healthy meal in a matter of seconds and keep your waistline in check (without being tempted to grab a quick takeaway – which is not only expensive, but likely to be unhealthy too!)
So what are some tips to meal prep like a boss? Read on, and get your butt in that kitchen!
The key to meal prep is being organised:
- Choose a time and day where you’ll set aside a few hours to prepare for the week (yes, 2-3 hours is required per week… a time investment, but WELL worth it!) A lot of people I know, including myself, meal prep on a Sunday afternoon.
- Plan out your week of meals: grab a piece of A4 paper and plan out your three meals + snacks for each day (keep reading for tips on what types of meals to choose, and some great meal ideas for breakfast, lunch and dinner). I like to keep my meal prep to just breakfasts, snacks and lunch – as I prefer to prepare dinner fresh each night (but usually with plenty of leftovers that I can freeze and pull out of a morning if I know I’m not going to have time to cook that night!)
- Get to the supermarket and get your supplies – make sure you’ve got a comprehensive grocery list, tick it off as you go along and don’t be that wally that gets home and realises you’ve forgotten a key ingredient!
- Have a range of Tupperware or containers on hand that suit a variety of meals and purposes. You’re going to be packing and stacking and will need a heap of different options to hand (TIP: check out your local Op shop for containers, especially great glass containers with lids – cheap and you’ll be doing our planet a favour at the same time)
- Clear a space in the kitchen and get stuck in!
Choose meals that work for you
- Do they transport easily and travel well? You may have seen those insta-worthy salads in mason jars, or nifty containers with little divided sections. These are all so you can keep your foods separate until meal-time for maximum freshness!
- Are they microwave-friendly: there’s nothing worse than preparing a meal that doesn’t microwave well! Choose foods that still taste yummy once they’ve been blasted, and mix it up: have some meals that don’t need microwaving so you’re eating them fresh out of the fridge (eg. salads, bircher muesli etc).
- Will they keep well: the idea of meal prepping is that you can prepare a whole week’s worth of food in one go – so, you want meals that keep well and will maintain their freshness for 4-5 days. Make sure you choose foods that refrigerate well and will last the distance.
Some ideas to get you started could include:
- Bircher muesli with berries, banana and honey. **Stay tuned for my famous homemade recipe, coming soon!**
- Mason jar salad: sooo many great ideas out there, just remember the golden rule: dressing and “wet” ingredients go in first/at the bottom, and stack accordingly from there, finishing with the dry ingredients at the top (eg. lettuce, spinach leaves, rocket/arugula). Mason jar salads are handy to transport and when you’re ready to eat, up-end them into a big bowl and away you go!
- Chicken and vegetables: easy peasy, great to re-heat and healthy.
- Mexican rice: so easy to make a big batch of this at the start of the week, and then enjoy in a variety of dishes (think chicken + mexican rice, or mexican rice burritos… yum!)
- Nutty mix (just be mindful on portion size here, I have a “7 almond” maximum rule!)
- Boiled eggs (boil for 12 minutes and voila! The perfect “protein bomb” snack).
- Yoghurt tubs (Chobani is high in protein and minimal sugars)
Constantly expand your repertoire:
Keep it interesting by constantly seeking out new ideas for meals. There’s SO much inspiration out there! Check out the following Instagram pages for new ideas, and let me know in the comments who you follow – I’d love to expand my repertoire too!