In our fast past world, eating has become more about convenience rather than about the nutritional fuel that our bodies need. However, convenience comes at a price. Not only does eating out cost more, the nutritional content, or lack thereof, contains more fat, sugar, sodium and artificial additives and pack more calories. Meal prep is one of the most reliable ways to eat healthy, week after week.
What is meal prep? It is a method of batch cooking your meals once or twice a week, portioning meals into containers and stacking it all conveniently in your fridge. Every meal and snack is pre-planned, pre-packed and ready to be eaten on-the-go so you can eliminate mindless eating, as well as control calorie and nutritional counts.
How do you get started? It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed when you start out. Breaking it down in to simple steps will make the thought of cooking all of your meals ahead of time less intimidating.
Meal prep step #1: Start with a plan
Before you ever step foot in the kitchen to start the process of cooking and packing your meals, it is important to get an overview plan of your needs. Ask yourself what are your dietary needs and how many meals will you eat each day?
Meal prep step #2: Find pre-made options
It’s not practical to expect that you will make every component of your meal prep meals from scratch. Utilize a local supermarket to pick up some of the items on your meal prep list, which may include: Roasted Chicken, Turkey or Pork and fresh fruit and veggies.
Meal prep step #3: Create a list of recipes
Start prepping with recipes you already know. When you feel comfortable, add more. You can find simple, wholesome recipes on-line. Bookmark websites or create and keep a recipe file. Keep staple ingredients on hand and note ingredients needed to make the recipes. Try incorporating your favorite slow cooker recipes into your meal plan.
Meal prep step #4: Go shopping
Take your list of ingredients and your list of pre-made foods and get shopping! Don’t forget to stock up on storage containers that are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, microwaveable, stackable, reusable and preferably clear. Clear containers allow you to quickly see what’s inside.
Meal prep step #5: Start cooking
Pick a day that is convenient for you to prepare all your meals. Meal prepping takes time. Make sure to dedicate a couple of hours out of your day to cook the recipes on your list.
Meal prep step #6: Measure and pack your meals
It’s time to create your daily meals assembly line! Line up your containers and fill them accordingly. Be sure to keep portion sizes in mind by using food scales and measuring cups.
Meal prep step #7: Grab-n-go
Simply grab your meals at the start of your day and pack with plenty of cold packs.
Meal prepping is the new fast food. Prep once. Eat healthy all week.
If you would like to know more about the TVH Nudge Health and Wellness programs, contact Lucy DelSarto, Health & Wellness Coach for TVH Americas. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with questions.