If you haven’t hopped on the meal prep trend yet, what are you waiting for? Meal prep keeps healthy food around at all times, which makes clean eating much easier. Meal prep can also save you time and money when done properly. Follow these three rules and you will be an expert meal-prepper in no time.
Schedule a time
Just as you would schedule a meeting with your boss, schedule a meeting with your kitchen every week. If you don’t set aside a specific time to meal prep, it won’t happen. You can either schedule 30-minutes a couple nights a week to keep your fridge stalked or take a couple hours out of your day off to prepare food for the entire week. This may sound like quite a time commitment, but in the grand scheme of things it will save you time and money by keeping you from spending money at restaurants or spending hours preparing food after work.
Think ingredients not meals
When most people think of meal prep, they think they need to make meals. Cooking up a big batch of chili or preparing a big salad for the week is great. However, for a majority of people I find that meal prep is better when food is prepared individually. I recommend cooking and storing your protein, grains and produce separately. This will allow for more variety in your meals. If you have quinoa, grilled chicken, and a load of veggies in the fridge you can easily toss it all together to make a salad. Or you could make a stir-fry if you are craving something warm. If you had the meal prepared already you wouldn’t have these options.
Spice is up
One of the biggest complaints I hear about healthy eating and meal prep is that the food is bland and boring. This can sometimes be true, but it doesn’t have to be. Utilize spices and sauces to make your food more exciting. We have determined meal prep is most productive when you make ingredients, not meals. Grab your protein, veggies, and complex carbohydrates and make them taste better with your favorite spices, a splash of your favorite sauce or the squeeze of a lemon. You can also add some healthy fats to your meals for more flavor. I personally put guacamole on everything, which helps with taste and contains a healthy dose of fatty acids.