One of the questions I get asked the most is “How do you stay on track with your diet?”. The answer is so easy! I meal prep. Now I know you’re all going to say “where do you find the time” But it literally takes me an hour. One hour, once a week and I have my meals prepped and ready for the week ahead. Here are a few tips for those of you considering meal prep.
1. Plan your meals. I’m not saying you have to know what meals you’re going to be having at what time of every day, but a basic overview so you know how to plan your shopping list. A basic meal prep shop should include: Carbs (sweet potato, brown rice, quinoa), protein (chicken, turkey), vegetables (broccoli, beans, cauliflower), breakfast ideas (oats, egg whites), healthy fats (almonds, peanut butter yesssss!!) and snack ideas (carrots, protein bars, fruits).
2. Create a weekly shopping list. You’ll eventually learn it by heart and meal prep shopping will become a second nature but until then, it’s easier to go in knowing exactly what you want, it saves you spending hours standing behind your trolley at Coles, staring at the ridiculous amount of product they have.
3. Invest in good quality containers. There is nothing worse than having flimsy 50c containers that burst open in your handbag, leaving your lunch all over your laptop. (Yes, this has happened to me). I bought mine from Coles and they have lasted me months at a time. They are BPA free, so no nasty chemicals, and they’re both microwave and dishwasher safe.
4. Plan your prep and set aside as much time as possible for your first few preps so you can get the hang of things. You will eventually find your “groove”. Different people enjoy cooking at a different pace and in a different way. It’s a good idea to begin with the things that take the longest to cook (rice, quinoa, steamed vegetables) and then go onto the things that take less time while that’s all cooking.
5. Decide how you are going to “utilize” your food. If you are going to break all the foods you have cooked into separate meals (a good idea if you are counting macros), then remember that could take a bit more time. Personally, I should probably start doing this again but my daily schedule is all over the place at the moment so I store everything in separate containers and measure out servings as I need them.
6. Keep in mind, things wont stay fresh forever. Generally, my meal prep lasts me 6 days and I find that it all still tastes amazing (no food poisoning, yet!). If something has a funky smell, throw it out. Don’t risk it. Don’t keep anything longer than 5 – 6 days. It probably won’t end well for you.
For those of you who have been meal prepping for a while, if you have any other tips, I would love to hear them! I’ll share a few of the best ones in future videos and articles. Until then, happy cooking!
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