If you are serious about hitting your health goals then nutrition is going to play a key part in your journey. Although it can seem overwhelming at first meal prep has to be one of your top priorities if you have a normal job like most of us. Having a plan is crucial for success and makes prepping food more manageable. Follow these 5 easy steps below and you’ll be prepping like a boss in no time.
1. Pick a day or several days to prep on
For me it’s usually a Sunday evening when I have the most free time. It’s also when I get my weekly delivery of Mindful Chef so I know I have food to cook for the week. However, a lot of us don’t want to cook a whole weeks worth of food in one evening so I would suggest picking another day. Wednesday’s are usually good as you are then able to break the prep down into manageable chunks.
2. Figure out how many meals you need to prep for
A lot of us may not actually need to prep every meal for the week ahead. That can be a daunting and intimidating task for most people and rightfully so. I prefer to wake up slightly earlier so I have time to make breakfast and because I enjoy cooking it never seems like a chore to make dinner in the evenings. So for me I only really need to prep lunch which is really manageable. I actually make it super easy by ordering a bigger Mindful Chef box than normal so when I cook meals in the evening I always have leftovers for lunch the next day. Prep made easy and it stops me running to the shops at lunchtime and ordering food that isn’t very good for me.
3. Keep it easy and interesting
This is our biggest rule at Mindful Chef - healthy eating can be delicious and easy. By following a few simple rules and knowing a couple of helpful hints the bland healthy meals of chicken and broccoli have become a thing of the past. Herbs and spices are your best friend, sauces are not. Often sauces have lots of hidden calories or nasty additives. Instead use spices and herbs like paprika, thyme, chilli and oregano to help your meals pack flavour. Avoid processed foods and choose from a wide selection of proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
4. Plan a weekly shop or food delivery
This point is very important. If you think you’re going to be able to prep well by frequent daily visits to the shops it won’t work. Instead it’s likely to be much more expensive and the temptation to pick up unnecessary extras will be too strong. It goes back to our point of having a plan. If you have a plan of the meals you need to cook, what you’re going to cook and when you are going to cook them you are far more likely to succeed. You can either go for a big weekly food shop or you could have food delivered to your house. I have Mindful Chef delivered on a Sunday so it makes prep for the beginning of the week really easy. I then do a separate shop for the end of my week which enables me to cook up the remaining meals I need to on a Wednesday.
5. Roast or slow cook
One of my favourite presents in recent years has been my slow cooker - it makes meal preps so much easier. It’s only the chopping of vegetables that takes up a bit of my time. After that I am able to throw it all into the slow cooker along with some herbs and spices and a few hours later I’ve prepped a load of meals for my week ahead. The same thing can be achieved roasting a large batch of vegetables. Some that work really well are carrots, parsnips, sweet potatoes, butternut squash and broccoli.
Everything comes back to having a plan. Once you have a plan in place meal prep becomes a much more manageable and achievable process, especially in the long term which is essential if you want to hit your health goals. It can seem overwhelming at first but I guarantee if you take a bit of time to set out a plan at the beginning you’ll be prepping like a boss in no time.