What is “Meal Prep”?
It’s the act of preparing food in advance.
And to be totally honest, I actually started meal pre-prepping quite recently. I mean… sometime after the new year. Before I might cook a meal for a day in advance but that was pretty much it. I often reached for a greasy pastry or something unhealthy from the cafe or a shop.
As my weight and therefore my health was not under control anymore I decided to try meal prepping. I found out that meal prepping save me so much time! Plus, when I come home starving, there is a lunch waiting for me, just to be warmed up. That also prevents me from reaching for a junk food.
So, why meal pre-prepping?
- you are very busy,
- you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen,
- you don’t feel like washing dirty pots every day (my favourite) 😉
- you frequently forget to eat,
- you want to gain weight,
- you are on a diet and you struggle to stay disciplined,
- you don’t want to eat unhealthy junk foods and sandwiches for a lunch,
- you can control easier what you put in your body,
- easier to count your macronutrients,
1. Make a plan:
- What do you want to eat?
- How much do you want to eat?
- For how many days you need to meal prep?
Choose foods which won’t spoil quickly. You’ll probably notice that some vegetables can rot very quickly and some grains can soften or become jelly. However, to avoid this issue you might use the foods I tried and used before.
Vegetable I usually use for meal prepping:
- peppers (good for approximately 4 days)
Carbohydrates I frequently use for meal prepping:
- mashed potato (good for about three days)
- quinoa (stays good very long)
- brown rice (4-5 days)
- wholemeal tortilla (I usually pre-prepare the meat or tofu for a burrito and on the day when I’ll have my lunch I just fold the meat and some veggies in a wrap).
My meal prep almost always contains a meat or a fish and some legumes which I found them sustainable for about four days in the fridge and approximately 7 days in the freezer. 🙂
2. Go to the shop and buy all the groceries.
Make a list of all the foods you need to buy. And noooooo! Chips is not going home with you today!
3. Take your time to cook a dish.That depends on what you are cooking. Usually, it takes me an hour to an hour and a half to cook all my foods. Honestly, an hour in a week is not much at all.
4. Wait for a food to cool at a room temperature. Very important! Always wait for the food to cool before putting it into the fridge. This will extend the time of expiry.
5. Pack your foods in food containers. You can use e.g. five food containers if you are planning for five days in advance and spread different foods in five equal amounts and therefore already design a whole meal. Or you can put every ingredient in the box separately (as shown on the cover photo) and combine the ingredients on the day, as I usually do… because I don’t have enough food containers.
6. And guess what…Put it in the refrigerator or freezer. 😉
If you have a freezer, I recommend you to actually freeze the food and a night before you’ll need it, take it out and place it in the refrigerator for the night. That way, the quality of the food will last longer.
A last quick tip. I sometimes also cut the salad and some fruits and pre-pack it. When I am in the rush, I am most probably not willing to cut vegetable and fruit or make a salad. But if there is already prepared in the fridge… there is much bigger chance for me, to eat some healthy stuff. 😉
I hope I gave you some useful tips. You can find ideas for meal-prep recipes in my previous posts and if you have any questions please comment below or contact me. 😉 I will be happy to help.