Have you ever made it to 12pm during a busy day at work and thought how nice it would be to have your lunch already prepared? Or maybe you're trying to save money and eat more healthy. Or, maybe you’re just sick and tired of figuring out what you want to eat every day for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Meal preparation can help you find the balance you are looking for.
What is meal preparation and where do I begin?
Meal prepping is the act of portioning out a meal with the intention of designing your own personal grab-and-go experience. Whether it’s for two days or an entire week, meal preparation is meant to ultimately save you time, money, and stress while keeping focus on what matters most: your health.
Have you ever put your leftovers in a container and brought it to school or work the next day? Well, it looks like you’re already halfway there! I recommend starting small by figuring out which types of foods you prefer to eat as a leftover and creating meals that you enjoy eating more than once a week.
Why bother meal prepping?
Read the following words and notice how they resonate with you: organization, cost-effective, convenient, nutritious, fun, and healthy!
Organization: Meal prepping allows you to assemble your food in an orderly fashion without even trying that hard! With the help of some awesome simple glass containers or compartment glass containers, you’ll be organized in no time.
Cost-Effective: If you’re trying to stay away from fast food or aiming to eat in more, meal prepping will reduce your temptation to eat out. Your wallet and your gut with thank you later!
Convenient: Time is some of our worst enemies, right? Meal prepping’s greatest quality is time saving. Enjoy those extra minutes in the morning with your dog or your hot cup of coffee knowing your lunch is all ready to go.
Nutritious: The best part about meal prepping is that you have full control of what ingredients you use! With proper planning, you can pick out some of your favorite whole food meals that are both delicious and nutritious!
Fun: Eating healthy doesn’t mean that you have to make it boring! Spice it up! Try new foods, experiment with new ingredients, or invite your partner to meal prep with you.
Healthy: Meal prepping creates a regular healthy eating pattern. Have you ever grazed around the kitchen when you start to feel hungry and then regret eating all those little snacks? Meal prepping ensures that you no longer have to look around to find something to eat—it’s all ready when you need it! Also, you not only have full control of the ingredients, but also the portion. Portion control restricts your plate in the healthiest way possible.
What meals can I meal prep?
Certain foods last longer than others when stored for a couple of days in your fridge. The following foods are able to stay fresher, longer:
Fresh vegetables (i.e. celery, cucumber, bell pepper, carrot, cabbage, etc.)
** Avoid prepping pre-dressed salads, avocados, shrimp, breaded meats/fish, yogurt parfait with granola, broccoli, and crispy tofu, to name a few!
Don’t Forget—keep it simple, prep balanced meals, cook recipes you’ll actually eat, and make enough food!