5 Basic Steps for Healthy Meal Prepping
It’s not always easy to find time to prepare and cook a good meal, especially if you work a full-time job or are always on the run. Sometimes, it’s easier to just find something quick while out on your lunch break or on your way home. But these quick foods are not always the healthiest. By planning ahead and meal prepping, you can enjoy your favorite meals throughout the week while saving time and money. (And the stress reduction from not having to figure out dinner each night is a nice bonus!)
Here is an easy step-by-step guide to meal prepping:
1. Pick Your Recipes
The first thing to decide is what to prepare for the week and locate recipes you enjoy. You can find recipes from your favorite cookbook or from any number of websites like Pinterest, AllRecipes, or one of my favorites, FitMenCook. When choosing your recipes, consider things like availability and cost of ingredients.
2. Think About Where You Eat
Consider what resources you have available to reheat your foods. If your office, school, or workplace doesn’t have a microwave or an oven, you should choose cold food recipes for the meals you would eat there. Consider investing in a cooler bag and ice pack to keep your food chilled if you don’t have access to a fridge.
3. Pick Your Grocery Store & Build Your Grocery List
Not all grocery stores are the same. Make sure you know where you can get your ingredients and plan accordingly. Once you choose a grocery store, compile your shopping list and gather your ingredients.
4. Pick a Day to Prep
Now that you have all your ingredients, the next step is to decide a day to prep your food. For me, Sunday evening works best. You also may find that splitting your prep into two nights is more manageable. A good plan is to prepare half your meals for the week on Sunday and the other half on Wednesday. This reduces the amount of time the food sits in the refrigerator and it keeps your meals fresh.
5. Cook and Refrigerate
Prepare your foods and store them in microwave-safe containers for quick and easy heating at work. You can also label them with the day and meal they are designated for.
By preparing your meals in advance, you can remove the stress of struggling to maintain your healthy eating. Pick a method that works for you and get to it!