HOW TO MEAL PREP LIKE A BOSS
“Failing to prepare is preparing to fail”. We live by this quote as it is so TRUE! One of the reasons why people tend to fall off the wagon is due to lack of preparation. Now let's face it, most of us are busy in our day to day lives, whether you're a business owner, full-time time mum, student or just working full time, it can be hard to find time to cook all your meals. How many times have you finished a long day at work and thought, “I’m too tired to cook, let's just order a pizza".
This is where meal prep can save that happening! By planning and prepping your meals, you can help prevent your chances of eating junk food or visiting your local takeaway. And, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be amazed how much time and money you might save.
SO WHAT IS MEAL PREP?
Meal prep is simply preparing some, or all of your meals ahead of time which will save you time in the kitchen and give you more time to do the things you WANT to do. It makes trying to follow a healthy diet much easier as everything you make will be from scratch with better, healthier and unprocessed ingredients. Now everyone is different when it comes to meal prepping, some like to cook ALL their meals for the week, whereas others might only want to prepare breakfast, dinner or snacks. It will take a little time to get into a routine that suits you and your lifestyle but once you get the hang of it meal prep will become your BEST FRIEND!
Since our fitness journeys started we have prepped ALOT of food and along the way and we have found some useful tips that have made it a lot easier which we want to share with you.
INVEST IN SOME TUPPERWARE
Go and get yourself some good quality containers, bare in mind that if you want to reheat your food then choose ones that are BPA free and won't melt away in the microwave! If you going to be doing a lot of meals then it may also be beneficial for you to invest in an insulated bag for you to carry your meals everywhere you go.
The first thing you should do is plan your meals, there is no use going to the supermarket, chucking random things in your basket and hoping for the best when you come out. In order for your meal prep to work you need to know what you are cooking and when. Using a calendar or weekly meal planner can help you visually map out your meals for the week, this way you can also plan your meals around your training schedule.
Next, you need to find a day when you can set aside time to prep your meals. For most, Sunday is the best day as this is when people are usually off work and kids are home from school. If you are just starting out with meal prep then don't overwhelm yourself and feel like you need to do a week's worth of meals in one day! This is a big task and even the best of us can struggle with that, so for now, try to stick to 2 or 3 days at a time. Stick to simple recipes that you have used before so that you don’t end up cooking a bunch of food you don’t really like the taste of. Find recipes that will allow you to keep stored in the fridge or freezer.
Eating healthy doesn't have to be boring. No one is saying that in order for you to lose fat you have to live off plain chicken and broccoli 7 days a week. It's all about figuring out what you like as an individual and make little adjustments to prepare healthier versions of your favourite foods! For example, you can still have your favourite curry on a Friday night just replace the sauce with your own homemade sauce using ingredients such as coconut milk, curry powder & chilli powder. Try to incorporate as much variety as you can so that you don’t get bored of eating the same thing each day. This can be as simple as switching up your spices, protein and carb choices.
Finding time to cook isn't always easy but is not IMPOSSIBLE. This is when batch cooking will become your best friend! Set aside a few hours once a week to put on your chef's hat and have some fun cooking meals you like that can be portioned up and frozen. This means you can keep meals for day 1 and 2 in the fridge, then freeze day 3 and defrost the day before. You can also do this with your favourite sauces and refrigerate the leftovers, rather than make several smaller batches.
Pre-chop all your veggies in advance and portion them out in containers so they are ready to be cooked. The same goes for other little snacks such as nuts and olives. Wholegrain rice takes a long time to cook and doesn't last long in the fridge. You can get wholegrain rice/quinoa microwave packets that are pre-cooked and ready in just 2 minutes, these are an absolute winner! Just be sure to avoid the varieties with lots of extra ingredients. Other carbs such as sweet potatoes can also be cooked in advance and stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
If you use all these tips and cook your meals in advance it will make hitting your goals so much easier!
If you need some batch cooking recipe ideas then check out our 'Winter Warmers' recipe guide that will be sure to keep you lean and warm this winter!