A particularly popular mode of cooking especially amongst busy people, meal prepping is the concept of preparing your meals ahead of time and storing it in the fridge or freezer for consumption through the week or month.
While meal prepping helps save time& money and reduces waste, one ofits main benefits is to help you achieve your fitness and nutritional goals with healthy and wholesome meals.
Here is our quick guide to help you on your meal prep journey!
Meal prep styles can differ from person to person based on their schedule, time, money and preferences, therefore it is important to pick the method that works best for you.
Batch cooking: This involves cooking multiple batches of a recipe to be put in the fridge or freezer for weeks to come. Rice, Curries, Stir Fries etc. are great for batch cooking and storing.
Make ahead Meals: This works great for individuals who have little to no time to spare. Make a lasagna or pasta for the entire week and reheat when needed.
Individually portioned Meals: Preferred by those with specific nutritional and fitness goals, individually portioned meals are convenient and healthy. Once you prepare the food, you portion it into individual servings, making it easy to ‘grab a box and go’ during your busy days.
Research and find some simple yet delicious recipes and list down what meals you wish to have for the week. There are some great apps and online resources that you can use to find easy- to -make healthy meals.
Meal prepping requires about 2-3 hours of your day depending on how many meals you plan on cooking. Therefore pick a day that you have ample time to leisurely cook and organize your food. Most people prefer cooking on weekends to save time during the week.
Based on your menu, list down all the ingredients you will need for the week or month. There are certain foods that store well and some that do not, be mindful of this when curating your menu and choosing your ingredients.
Food that works well for meal prepping include: beans, lentils, pasta, rice, meat, roasted vegetables, celery, carrots, peas, radish, potatoes, apples, oranges, nuts, seeds, cheese, hummus, salsa
Food that is not suitable for meal prepping include: lettuce, cut fruit, fried food, crackers, chips etc.
With your list in tow, head to your nearest supermarket or store to purchase all the ingredients. Be sure to take your grocery list as this will help you to purchase only what you need and avoid the temptation of buying unhealthy or unnecessary snacks and food.
Having good storage containers is a must when it comes to meal prepping. Based on your meal prepping style, purchase some glass lock oven safe containers, mason jars, divided food boxes, ‘twist and lock’ jars, food canisters etc.
Get your menu, ingredients, utensils and start cooking! Make sure to stick to your curated meal plan in order to stick to your fitness & nutritional goals. Once the food is cooked, wait till it's cooled down, divide into your containers and store it in the fridge or freezer.